Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Jesús Saiz, Paul Azaceta, Dave Stewart, and VC’s Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: March 29th, 2023
At last, the Fist of the Beast has fully risen, and the full power of the new Punisher is unleashed upon the world as this week’s Punisher #10 by Jason Aaron begins to unfold. It’s a bad day to be a bad guy. Meanwhile, Frank’s wife, Maria, uncovers more dark secrets from the past, including more missing pieces of the Punisher’s origin.
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Jason Aaron makes Frank Castle probably the most bad$&@ he’s ever been in this week’s Punisher #10. Couple that with some of the most insane abilities imaginable and you get one heck of an issue this week. The best way to describe this issue of the Punisher actually comes from this line directly from an announcer in the story who states “ it’s a bad day to be some of the worst human beings on the face of the earth.” Because after reading the Punisher #10, this is the most vicious and powerful I can remember him ever being (excluding the Cosmic Ghost Rider). On a more sour note, Maria’s character in this story is just bizarre. She’s gone from knowing absolutely nothing to being in the premise of the Hands demonic “god” and completely unfazed. It’s almost as if she’s aware of what’s going on and simultaneously unaware. She seems unsettled with her husband yet strangely ok with everything. And frankly, it just doesn’t make any sense.
Nevertheless, things get extra creepy in this week’s Punisher #10. Frank’s weird obsession with murders, executions, and bar brawls just to appease the sick, sadistic rage inside of him really contorts the character and changes his M.O. almost permanently. Truthfully, who would have fallen in love with this man the way Aaron portrays him? Readers, this Punisher is different. This Punisher needs to be behind bars permanently. His deeds don’t appear good in order to do good but are disgusting and vial with the focus on “bad people”. So, the real question is this: is a serial killer that only kills rapists, drug dealers, and child molesters ok because his focus is on “bad people” instead of innocent people? It just puts an almost sinister, diabolical spin on the Punisher that takes away the fight for the little guy or the people who were wronged. Is this our Punisher now? Additionally, the ending of the issue seemed off. Why did Frank just stop and decide to be done? It makes no sense. What triggered him to shut down after all this killing? Nevertheless, the cliffhanger revealed definitely sets up a huge throwdown that I don’t know if I can wait until next month to see.
Punisher #10 levels up Frank Castle in a way well beyond what fans would have ever foreseen him becoming (again excluding Cosmic Ghost Rider). This dude is wicked, sadistic, and a serial killer turned up to eleven! Readers, there is no going back on who the Punisher is now. His entire history is changed. His motivations are forever changed. The foundation of what made him who he was has changed. And ultimately, I don’t know how it gets altered. This is some pretty heavy stuff that Aaron throws at readers. And like it or not, this appears to be the new Punisher.
On a more positive note, this Punisher is almost unstoppable, which is what gets me excited for the next issue. Deep down in my heart, I want to root for the guy because he’s certainly “taking out the trash” on a larger scale across the globe. Any dastardly deviant organization or entity is going down at the “hands” of the Punisher. And with the way Aaron has leveled him up, I don’t think the Avengers could stop him. However, we will certainly see next week. Personally, I’m extremely curious to hear everyone else’s take on Aaron’s new Punisher. Hit me up online @dispatchdcu on Twitter or Instagram. Look for us on Facebook at The Comic Book Dispatch. Or, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Frank is legitimately scary. Good luck to anyone in his way!