Page 45 Review by Publisher Blurb
Almost certainly the final PUNISHER MAX collection - a series in which the implacable one set his sights on real-world horror - and although it's not as consistently, viciously and socio-politically satisfying as Garth Ennis' tenure in the first four volumes, reviewed in depth and more often than not with Goran Parlov in tow, there are still some real, pithy gems.
Two I'd single out, both illustrated by Laurence Campbell, are written by Rob Williams (THE ROYALS - MASTERS OF WAR, ORDINARY, UNFOLLOW) and Valerie D'Orazio.
Williams's 'Get Castle' was exceptionally topical for Britain given the half-hearted investigations by the army into its own severe, malicious and covered-up misconduct following several cadets' suicides.
It's set in the Brecon Beacons where the S.A.S. train. One rogue faction, back from Afghanistan, has found something else to do on its remote Welsh mountains and, without knowing how well he was connected, they hung Corporal Dan Mitchell whose father you may well remember from PUNISHER MAX VOL 4. They hung him naked after suspending him naked and for hours. Campbell draws the man naked. This is important, for it is as stark as it is dark, and 'Max' for Marvel means adults only. The rain and terrain are terrific.
Now there's a stranger in town, an American. He's made his intentions brazenly clear in the local pub: he's come to execute the Corporal's killers. But he's also done his homework, he always does a recce, and the S.A.S.officers have no idea who they're dealing with.
It's Frank Castle's intuition and inventiveness I liked there, but in D'Orazio's 'Butterfly' it's the inventiveness of the storytelling I admired. It's seen through the eyes of the Butterfly herself, an accomplished career hit-woman with pretensions to being published and whose girlfriend is oblivious to what makes the woman tick or even what set her ticking in the first place. It was decidedly grim, and it's left her with a pretty bleak outlook.
Not a lot made me laugh there, but this did:
"I hate waiting. It's not that I'm impatient... but waiting implies a certain degree of optimism about the future only to be found in humans and squirrels."