The Punisher: Born
Collection: The Punisher: Born issues #1-4 © 2003-2004
Publisher: Marvel / Max © 2004
Writer: Garth Ennis
Pencils: Darick Robertson
Inks: Tom Palmer
Colors: Paul Mounts
Letters: Virtual Calligraphy’s Rus Wooton
The Punisher: Born had a fantastic art team that totally fit Garth Ennis’ dark and macabre atmosphere. Darick Robertson’s pencils were amazing and surreal. Great layouts and angles. In shots where many artists would just give a blurred or abstract background, Robertson goes all out. You really feel like you’re in a jungle with soldiers in Vietnam.
Tom Palmer’s inks and Paul Mounts colors were amazing and really sold each panel. Palmer used shadowing in a very tasteful way that doesn’t take away from the pencil-work. He utilizes thin, razor-sharp lines throughout, only using bolder,thicker lines occasionally. Paul Mounts was the icing on the cake though. His subtle and bold color choices really cement the framework laid down by the pencils and inks. In several cases, Mounts’ colors carry the panel. Like when there’s an explosion or splattering blood and body parts. These were done with expert skill.
Garth Ennis’ Punisher: Born defines Frank Castle in a way that no one has before or since. He does this primarily with diary-like captions that narrate Castle’s experience way back in 1971. As with all of Ennis’ works, there is a dark-humor mixed in with this grisly tale. This is one of the things I love about his writing. Punisher: Born delivers on all fronts: story, art and letters. It is also totally world-changing. Ennis’ portrayal of Frank Castle will change how you see him for the rest of your life.
The Punisher: Born covers much of Frank Castle’s true origins as the Punisher. You might think you know his origins already. His family shot down in the crossfire of a mob shootout in Central Park. But, as The Punisher: Born shows us, back in 1971, while Frank Castle still in Vietnam, during the last days of the war, the seed that became the Punisher sprouted out of the ashes. See the stunning transformation from a man, serving his country, to the ultra-violent force of nature that is the Punisher. Frank Castle had spent many years serving his country in Vietnam. Now that the war was all but over, he didn’t know what to do. He had been permanently altered by war and death. An animal was released that couldn’t just be caged up now that the fighting was done. Could he even be a husband and father upon his return to society? This book will forever change your perspective on Frank Castle. On who he is. On what he stands for. On his righteous mission of death.
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