The Punisher is always one of the first to pick a side, and almost always the first to pull the trigger. Frank Castle’s new crusade against Hydra is especially compelling because it makes the heroes of the world somewhat complicit as they struggle to take Castle off the board in favor of the glacial pace of the justice of the courts and world opinion. The Punisher’s war on Hydra is some of the best writing for the character to date, precisely because it shows how far Castle is truly willing to go. He’s certainly taken just about everyone in the Marvel Universe on, and he never shies away from a fight, even when he’s way out of his weight class. Matthew Rosenberg has taken Castle to the world stage; the whispered gangland legend, now taking out international figures and causing Hydra itself to turn tail and go underground.Read More
Category: IDW Publishing
Being terrified isn’t just for Halloween, and for those unwilling to wait for the sequel to Halloween or The Devil’s Rejects, writer Pornsak Pichetshote has got your number. Infidel is a brilliant exploration of trust, spirituality, family, racism and inner demons, all within its 5-issue arc. It’s a charged and poignant story, with tear-jerking moments and total gut-drops in equal amounts. The most successful horror stories are the ones that ignore the sacred cows of standard survivors and victims. Infidel is a story where almost no one gets out, and it’s a brutal ride to the end.
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There’s a certain joy in the camp that comes parceled with early horror movies, the stuff of drive-in theaters, outsized insects, creaky special effects and bizarre plots. B-movies are a treasured touchstone of American cinema, but they tend to fall flat on the screen, weighed down by canned shrill strings or hamfisted acting. In the first of five books, Rob Guillory’s Farmhand neatly sidesteps that pitfall with beautiful stylistic flair. The plot is pure pulpy Saturday matinee goodness, but Guillory’s writing is offset with his evocative but distinctly loose and cartoonish style. It creates a dissonance in the reader even as they’re reading classic B-movie power moves.
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Leinil Francis Yu’s depiction of Captain America is at times elegiac and could adorn any number of faded propaganda posters as Steve Rogers greets the grim reality of his country with a tight jaw and vibranium-grade resolve. Perhaps it is for the best that the primary antagonist of the series, at least at this early stage, hails from Russia. When faced with an external opposing force, it becomes easier to define one’s own position. Just as Black Panther’s A Nation Under Our Feet showed how tumultuous it can be for a nation’s identity to fall apart, Coates picks up Captain America’s narrative in the aftermath of the collapse, embracing all of the awkward navel-gazing that goes along with the stages of loss. The timing seems appropriate, and if any comic book hero could save a world seized by hopelessness, it’s the measured optimism and hope of Captain America.