Review: 'Trial of the Punisher' #2 is the Punisher done right.

A comic review article by: Bill Janzen

All of us have a desire for revenge at times. Sometimes it's not even for ourselves. We hear of a great injustice on the news, someone horribly victimized, and we want someone to pay. Someone should pay. That's the appeal of the Punisher. Through him we know the dirt bags are punished despite our broken legal system. 

Trial of the Punisher #2

The Trial of the Punisher is the Punisher done right. Even though it's a tiny mini series at just 2 issues I don't think I've enjoyed any other Punisher story more. It was like seeing the Punisher thrown into an episode of Law & Order. In this issue the Punisher isn't just a gun-toting psycho rampaging through thugs with guns blazing. He's cold, calculating, strategic. It's a Punisher story with style and intelligence along with the vengeance and violence. 

In issue one we saw the puzzling beginning as Frank Castle dropped a body at a police station and confessed to murdering a district attorney. In this issue the mystery continues as writer Marc Guggenheim strings us along, as lost to Frank's motives as everyone around him is, including his lawyer. But as the story continues the pieces all fall into place leaving a very satisfying conclusion.  

Trial of the Punisher #2

Artist Mico Suayan contributes with an art style that's similar to that of the probably more well known Leinil Yu, at least as far as the faces go. Yu interestingly enough, also did the cover art which I appreciate since the cover art being completely different from the interiors is a pet peeve of mine. Suayan's artwork is excellent. Whether it's in the zoomed back imagery of the courtroom, or the montage of some of Frank's grisly past work, or the close-ups of the deadly look in his eyes, the artwork is done so well it pulls you in and along from panel to panel and through the story. Suayan takes what could have easily been a visually stale story (given the amount of courtroom scenes) and makes it visually interesting from beginning to end. 

If you're a fan of the some intense Punisher action don't worry, that's in here too. Some of it is in flashbacks and some not, but Guggenheim doesn't leave us disappointed. And Suayan shows it off well. One example is a page with a flash back to a past fight between Frank and Daredevil. As the main frame of the page shows them crashing through a window together Suayan draws in the two smaller panels, having them seem to slightly collapse like fragments of the collapsing glass. 

Trial of the Punisher #2

In case it wasn't obvious enough already, yes I highly recommend this comic (and issue #1 along with it). Guggeheim has taken a character with a lot of potential who is unfortunately often poorly used and has used him in the best way possible. I loved it and I'll no doubt read it again. 

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