Punisher War Journal - Volume 4: Jigsaw (英语) 平装 – 2009年4月1日
All the players are assembled...the stage is set...the lights are lowered...and a conspiracy 18 issues in the making begins This is it: the ultimate revenge saga as designed and engineered by Punisher's arch-rival, Jigsaw He's killed off the loose ends from Frank Castle's life before the Punisher; he's replacing him on the streets with a leaner, meaner psychotic; and now Jiggy's taking out everyone and everything that Castle holds dear and framing him for it And this is just the bloody beginning Collects Punisher War Journal #18-23.
There is this set-up by the criminal Jigsaw to frame the Punisher and at the same time, offer a $50 mill reward for his demise. Jigsaw is also good-looking (like the Punisher). If this was a stand-alone comic, OK then. But we are supposed to be tuned in to the Marvel Civil War and universe etc etc. Last I saw, Jigsaw was damned ugly and in jail. Now he is out there and has $50 mill to blow???
GW Bridges comes in again to try to arrest the Punisher. Everytime he comes across the Punisher, he lets him go (what is his role again?). Bridges recruits three ex-Shield operatives, Sable, The Countessa and some girl with probabilty (a female longshot, I think). These three explode onto the scene fighting the Hand Ninja clan over Punisher. This cat fight scene is really badly done, too similar in style to Millers Dark Knight Returns part 2. Thus, Jigsaw looking like Harvey Dent confirms my suspicion that originality is definitely mising here.
Finally, how can the Punisher be so blatantly careless, openly living at some fixed location, buying his groceries and getting his mags from regular joints where everyone knows him? Also, how could he not realise that his blind female masseur turns out to be this girlfriend of Jigsaw?
Muddled writing and poor graphics. Great looking covers though.
Where to start with what's wrong with this book?
Well, lets start with the biggie: Matt Fraction just does not understand Frank Castle.
It's patently obvious to me that, after sitting through four volumes of his inept attempts at getting inside the big fella's mind, he just doesn't understand what makes the character tick. Frank Castle was fundamentally reinvented, for the better, in my opinion, by Garth Ennis (who injected a much needed note of realism and authenticity to the character) and he is no longer, as a character, about running around with an Uzi and white boots, having arguments with Superheroes. Today's "Punisher" is older, wiser, more dangerous and frankly even more psychopathic than ever. He is a cool, clinical strategist, tactician and soldier who has become so completely consumed by his "mission" that it's debatable whether he really even functions as a human being at this point. Reading Fraction's take on the character is like taking a step back to the eighties - he's a hot-head, he's stupid and he's clumsy. Reading Fraction after reading Ennis is like reading "The Dark Knight Returns" and then seeing Bill Finger resuming writing and artwork duties and repopulating Batman with oversized props and gangsters in zoot suits called 'Slapsy' again.
Then there's the dialogue - Fraction seems to favour the deeply irritating Brian Michael Bendis "Powers" school of 'try and jam as many words into a frame as you possibly can'. Trying to read his laboured attempts at externalizing Jigsaw's thoughts is actually painful. Really. Someone needs to tell the guy that comics are primarily a visual medium and that 'less' really is 'so much more'.
As for the plot...well, we have a revenge plot so that is so ridiculous, hackneyed and clichéd that Marvel might as well have just re-printed a series from the Reagan era and had done with it. Fraction also populates the book with so many scantily clad female assassins and "Shield" types that he seems to be confused as to whether he's writing an issue of "The Punisher" or "Elektra" - a problem not helped by Howard Chaykin's artwork; seriously, someone needs to tell Chaykin that the eighties called and that they want their artwork back. "The Punisher" sporting an eighties "bum-freezer" style Leather jacket and black, straight-line designer pants? Dear God...
If you're a fan of the darker, more cerebral "Punisher" of recent years, avoid Fraction's take on the character like the plague. I know I will be from this point on.
I have to mention that I did not enjoy reading this volume as much as the ones I have previously read. I guess it is because he seems to be almost helpless at times, as his enemy Jigsaw pretends to be "The Punisher" killing innocent civilians and anyone else who is in the area. The one redeeming thing about this graphic novel is the amount of action and great illustrations.
Frank Castle, The Punisher finally comes around toward the end of the book finally getting back at Jigsaw killing him with help from some friends. It also was somewhat difficult to determine which was Frank Castle and which one was Jigsaw. Fortunately, it came together at the end of the story but I did not enjoy this sometimes confusing story.
In conclusion, those who are fans of The Punisher series may want to check out this volume.
Rating: 3 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Never Trust a Politician: A critical review of politics and politicians)
Second, the art: Chaykin's art is a strange cross-breed of 1980s Frank Miller mixed with 1990s Richard Case. It's an odd style for a Punisher book, but it was cool once I got used to it. Sure, I prefer Ariel Olivetti's master work (I don't understand why people complain about him, either--the man is an artistic genius)or Mick Bertiloronzi (from Punisher: In the Blood #3)but Chaykin's art suffices. So quit yer gripin' already! These guys are talented.