From the House of Ideas: ‘Punisher #1’ Delivers a Sold Debut for a New Character

Replacement comic book characters usually go about as well as replacement lead singers. Think about it. From a commercial and creative perspective , the only really succesful replcement lead singer experienments have been when Brian Johnson replaced the late, great Bon Scott in AC/DC in 1980, and when Sammy Hagar stepped into the shoes of David Lee Roth and joined Van Halen in 1986. Both bands experienced their greatest success’ with those replacements.

Replacement comic book characters? That’s a whole other situation. Did Azrael really do a good job replacing Bruce Wayne’s during the ’90s? No sir. Or that time when Ben Reiley stepped into the Spider-shoes of Peter Parker; was that a success? Nope, not really. Neither commercially or creatively.

So when it was announced that there was a new Punisher coming to Marvel Comics, it would be safe to feel that saying so long to Frank Castle was going to be a bad idea. However, in the hands of writer David Pepose and artist Dave Wachter, Punisher #1 is a total success, introducing a new vengeance driven character that takes shape from the original with some serious differences.

Other than revealing to you that this new Punisher’s name is Joe Garrison, and that he was a background with S.H.I.E.L.D, I don’t want to tell you anything else. I went in blind, and I do believe that’s the best way to experience this new book. I will say that the log line comparing Punisher #1 to John Wick is spot on, and you don’t need much background with either the previous Punisher or Marvel Comics as a whole to enjoy this book. It delivers a great combination of action and character development that’s sometimes a rarity in mainstream comics these days.

Punisher #1 is available now and is well-worth reading.

Is this the return of Frank Castle – or the start of something else? Frank Castle has disappeared, but evil will always need to be punished. With all-new threats rising to claim innocent victims, criminals will need to beware of a dangerous vigilante hunting them from the shadows. Who is the new Punisher? What put him on his path of vengeance? And when the smoke clears, will he even make it out alive? It’s John Wick meets The Fugitive in this action-packed new saga from Ringo Award-winning writer David Pepose (SAVAGE AVENGERS, MOON KNIGHT: CITY OF THE DEAD) and Eisner and Harvey Award-nominated artist Dave Wachter (PLANET OF THE APES, X-MEN LEGENDS), as the Marvel Universe meets the next generation of punishment!

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