Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Jesús Saiz, Paul Azaceta, Dave Stewart, and VC’s Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: April 19th, 2023
Frank Castle has finally embraced the role of Fist of the Beast, the High Slayer of the world’s most powerful clan of murderers, the Hand. And the rest of the Marvel Universe has taken notice in the Punisher #11 by Jason Aaron. If Frank really wants to end his war once and for all, he’s going to have to fight his way through some old familiar faces.
Another twist to the Punisher origin story comes to fruition as the Punisher #11 wraps up. This depressing, sorrowful tale of an almost sadistic man dealing with inner pain and trials his entire life has led to the moment where fans thought the Punisher began. Sadly, we discover that not only did this tale begin almost at age 10 but the truth of that fateful day was hidden amongst stray bullets, blood, and death.
Now, as sorrowful as this Punisher story has been, no one could argue the sheer power and excitement this entire series has provided fans. Within the pages of the Punisher #11, fans will witness Frank easily lay waste to the Avengers as well as Doctor Strange and Wolverine. No doubt, this Punisher looks unstoppable. And truthfully, I rather quite enjoyed that side of the issue. Nevertheless, it has been a bit odd watching a more street-level, vigilante go exorcist-level supernova on a fleet of villains and heroes. Haven’t we already seen people as the Fist of the Hand? And keeping that in mind, have they been this powerful? I only ask because I feel like even superheroes like Sentry would have a difficult time tackling this Punisher.
Punisher #11 continues this twisted, psychotic retcon of Frank Castle and places another unique caveat on the day of his “origin” that’s been left out of his backstory to date. It does provide a unique wrinkle that truthfully makes sense given the new information laid out by Aaron. However, I’ve said it in other reviews and I’ll say it again, this retcon changes the character drastically. Not just in the short term but forever. The way fans look at the character and what he stands for are permanently changed. For better or worse… that’s still to be decided.
I can see why longtime fans could hate this. However, I can’t help but continue to be wildly intrigued by the story. I want to know where it ends and what’s to become of Frank. I can’t help but feel this series is better reviewed as a trade where we can see all the pieces together than individually by each issue. I for one am still excited to see where this goes and haven’t been this entrenched in a Punisher comic in quite some time. So, for all the fans upset, I’d argue that even though you may not like the direction, the series is still incredibly interesting. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!