Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Only A Mother Could Love: Marvel Knights - Punisher #2

It's time for another installment of comics that 'Only a Mother Could Love'. A few weeks back I was talking about issue #1 of the Marvel Knights Punisher relaunch. Now with the setup and all the 'Hold the phone! The Punisher is dead?' revelations out of the way let's get down to the nitty gritty of issue #2.

Unfortunately compared to issue #1 this one is more than a little bit lackluster. The story doesn't move on and the mysteries don't unfold quite as much as you'd like. In fact I'd go so far as to say that not a lot happens in this issue.

Now hold on before all you undead Punisher fans jump down my throat (c'mon there's gotta be at least one out there, anybody? Hello?), I'm well aware that some stuff happens in this issue. It just doesn't cut the mustard quite as well as issue #1 did.

Let's review all that goes on, shall we?

Okay the Punisher and the inept Castle Family Guardian Angel Gadriel yak...a lot. Then they hit each other with a big metal door a few times before heading off for a quick team up with a certain hell-spawned Marvel hero, who I'll talk about extensively later. Then they finish up by hanging out on a rooftop and well....yakking some more.

Oh yeah, we also stop in on our resident bad guy, the chicken-goujon-looking demon, Oliver. He ups the action ante by making out with the disembodied head of a dead angel and having a sing-a-long in the bathtub. Exciting stuff I'm sure you'll agree:

Now I'm not against an issue driven by dialogue, but in a book where the Punisher has been ressurected as an undead, mystical uzi packing engine of destruction I expect to see some undead, mystical bullet-ridden, destructive action on every other page. That's how you get the folks here at YouAreComic to plunk down their hard-earned cash people.

It seems like start to finish the only thing that punctuates Frank and Gadriel's yak-a-thon in this issue is Frank's obsessive need to keep shooting Gadriel in the face every few panels:However despite all of my bitching and moaning, about halfway through this issue, we are spectacularly delivered from mediocrity. How? Well the method of our deliverance can be summed up in three beautiful words. Magical words that can turn even the dodgiest of books into a veritable Mardi Gras of comic book wonder and joy. What are those three special words?

Daimon. Hellstrom. Appearance.

Oh yeah baby. The Son of Satan is here and this time it's more than a tantalising one panel cameo. This time he's packing his glowing, netharanium trident and wearing a spiffy Duran Duran style shirt to show off his snazzy chest pentagram. This time he's laying the smack down on some ill-mannered demons who are holding up traffic in downtown Brooklyn. This time, as every time - He.Is.Awesome.

Check it out:
..And I'm Hungry Like The Wolf!!

In an effort to add his own brand of comic-cook greatness to this sagging issue Daimon let's Frank with his mystical uzis and Gadriel who can shoot fire out of his hands apparently (How come angels never did that anytime they showed up in the Bible?), join him in some much appreciated demon ass-kickery. Sadly it's all over in a flash and the streets of Brooklyn are safe once again - well as safe as the streets of Brooklyn get anyway.

Luckily Daimon knows that just showing up and stabbing up a few demons with his trident isn't going to sate his guest-star-appearance-starved fans. He knows you should go out how you show up - in style! So to top off the trifle of awesome we've already enjoyed we are treated to this:That's right ladies and gents there now exists a Punisher comic that features Daimon Hellstrom riding off into the sunset on his demonic horse drawn chariot. Oh Daimon you history-making glory-hog you! How did you get to be so awesome?

For the sake of the upchuck reflex of my loyal readers we'll leave the Hellstorm gushing there because there is one other bright spot in this issue. The mysteries raised in the first issue don't get a lot of resolving here but a last bit of plot thickening is tossed in for good measure at last minute.Hmmmm, it would seem that there's more to Oliver's poorly tailored henchmen than meets the eye. Whatever it is Gadriel doesn't seem keen on old Frankie finding out.

We're left hanging yet again with more yet more un-answered questions with which to torture our poor, road-weary brains:

- What does Gadriel know that he doesn't want Frank to find out?

- How many times will Frank shoot him in the face when the truth comes out?

- What tie do Oliver's leather-clad henchmen have to Frank and his resurrection?

- Why do all Oliver's henchmen look like a cross between Grant Morrison and Judas Priest's Rob Halford?

Left with the promise of answers and the possibility of more Hellstrom guest appearances to come ,you best believe I was there for issue three.

I can't get into that right now though. I'm off to read some old 'Hellstorm - Prince of Lies' back issues. Where'd I put that one where he kills his dad and takes over his throne? Hell yeah - you heard me right, dude kills Satan and takes over Hell.

Daimon Hellstrom=Awesome.

Nuff said.
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