Review: Punisher War Journal #26

Punisher War Journal #26

(****)

Ah Fraction, I love you man. The last year of this series has, for the most part, been mediocre or worse, but you know what? Fraction knows that too. In this issue, the writer tells us why this series didn’t work. Sure, you could just have some fun with this zany Christmas adventure, but this is really a commentary on the entire series and the Punisher in general.

“You punish the guilty, Frank. Not the stupid.” That’s from Rhino, the ridiculous voice of reason. Think about it, when has this series worked? When it embraced its idiotic nature. Punisher hits Stilt Man with a bazooka? Hilarious! Punisher blows up a bar with a bunch of Z-List baddies? Classic! The Hate-Monger saga? The ultimate Jigsaw story? Not so much. The fact is Punisher shouldn’t fight supervillains. I mean, I guess he could if Marvel would actually let him kill a true criminal, but he can’t. He can only deal with the bottom of the barrel. Stilt-Man is of course the obvious example and hey, Matt Fraction thinks so too because guess what this issue is about?

It’s Christmas day and Frank is sitting on top of a roof with a big silly gun spying on a bunch of idiots. “What kinda criminal would be dumb enough to come back to a place the Punisher already hit?” That’s right! This is the bar Frank hit way back in issue #4. These morons are arguing over who gets to be the new Stilt-Man. While Frank is watching his prey, the Rhino shows up with a Santa Hat. He’s here to feed the Vulture’s pigeons, but he’s also here to talk some sense into the Punisher.

This issue is drawn by Andy McDonald. I’m not too familiar with the man, but he has produced some wonderful work here. He hits all the right notes. Cartoony when it needs to be, but it also provides some realism to add to the humor. It’s sad that this is McDonald’s only issue on the book.

I’m a longtime Punisher fan, but even I’m having doubts about whether “the big guy with the skull on his chest” is really necessary in the regular Marvel universe. I still haven’t decided if I’m going to follow Remender to the new Dark Reign book. I don’t really see how that series couldn’t suffer from the problems here. Then again, Punisher Max hasn’t impressed me either since Ennis left. Still, one thing’s for certain. Punisher War Journal goes out with a comical bang and I couldn’t be happier.

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4 thoughts on “Review: Punisher War Journal #26

  1. As someone who read most of this series, do you think I should get this issue? Jigsaw was so bad that I stopped after that, but I enjoyed the series when it was fun. This is the last issue of War Journal? Well, I’ll probably get it Tuesday or Wednesday.

  2. Uh, well this was the best issue in about a year. Although if I were you, I would just read my review and move on. I talked about why this issue was important. Yes, if you read it, you’ll enjoy yourself, but will you ever read it again? Probably not.

    Oh and just to let you know, I do read your blog. I read your articles on Jeph Loeb and Grant Morrison. I have problems with both, and I could write a hell of a lot explaining why I disagree (Especially with Morrison, my favorite writer), but what’s the point?

    All I will say is that I recommend All-Star Superman. It’s the best Superman story. In only twelve issues, it shows every reason why Superman is so great. Oh, and it’s out of continuity if that helps.

    Sorry, one last thing. Morrison loves continuity. That’s demonstrated in a lot of his work like All-Star Superman. FYI, he read just about every Superman comic ever to prepare for it. Even Superman vs. Muhammed Ali! 🙂

  3. If you disagree with things other than opinions, then post them. If you think Morrison loves continuity, then post that. Sure, I’ll still dislike both, but you can give me less reason to (or I can give you more reason to). If you think something I’ve said is wrong, then tell me. If it’s with opinion, then, well, you know that opinion is merely that. Opinion.

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