Graphic Novel Review: The Punisher: King of the New York Streets

The Punisher: King of the New York Streets

The Punisher: King of the New York Streets - Credit: Archant

Back where he belongs...

(Panini Books)

Frank Castle is back in the Big Apple, and he’s making up for time lost during his recent road trip, which means taking out the underworld’s trash with extreme prejudice...

Auspiciously a series of vignettes, this volume concludes with a follow-up to the recent EMC saga, which offers a cynical satire of the Times Square movie premiere staple, delivered with the usual Punisher flair.

Writer Becky Cloonan has realised that the best Punisher stories give the vigilante a very subtle, barely perceptible sense of humour, delivered straight without any suggestion of one-liners, albeit showing that Frank isn’t averse to bringing a touch of black comedy to his actions.

The stories here cover the rich tapestry of New York life, from the war vets living in disused tunnels underneath Manhattan through to the trail an illegal gun might take through the city’s streets. The winner of best yarn is a toss between Frank’s hunt for a subway serial killer and the blackout raid on a museum, both of which offer self-contained stories oozing with action, characterisation and attitude.

The loss of the much-missed Steve Dillon as artist cannot be overlooked, but his replacements Matt Horak and Kris Anka continue the high standards he established, pumping their panels full of brilliant brutality.

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The king is back to reclaim his realm. Long live the king!