Super Types

August 14, 2010

Marvel Reviews: Marvel Universe vs. The Punisher #1

Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Jonathan Maberry
Artist: Goran Parlov
Cover: Goran Parlov

“The Last Gun on Earth pt 1”: You would think that an Earth inhabited by nothing but sadistic, vicious cannibals would be the perfect place for the Punisher to just cut loose and enjoy himself. No more moral dilemmas or grey areas to worry about here, if he sees you and you are one of the cannibals running around, then BANG! You get a bullet or ten and then on to the next one. However, that’s not entirely the case here, as things are never that easy for Frank Castle aka the Punisher.

We find Frank in the midst of this horrible new world hunting Deadpool for the thirty-third time, and hoping that this will be the last one. After putting a few rounds in Deadpool’s face and chopping up the body, Frank reflects on how things got this way.  From Spider-Man’s fight with the Rhino, which ended up with him tearing into Rhino’s chest like it was a buffet, to the failed research of Mr. Fantastic and other brilliant men. Then finally to the chaos spread panic as everyday citizens began killing and eating each other with no end to the plague in sight. How Frank was able to remain uninfected all this time is also touched on, as we are given a little more background on the virus. Though as much hunting as the Punisher is doing, he is also being hunted by Zero. According to Punisher, Zero is smarter than the rest, and this has helped him to escape death at the hands of the man who is hell bent on saving the world.

When I first read the premise to this story, I was immediately reminded of The Last Man on Earth, which in turn was adapted from I Am Legend (the original, not the Will Smith version). I wondered how Maberry was going to pull this type of story off with the Punisher, and not just treat us to page after page of spectacular fights and violent splash pages. Well, I was pretty happy with what I read in the first issue, as it’s a very dialog driven start told from Frank’s point of view, with the action happening in flashback to help the story along. Maberry took the time to make this more than a simple shoot ’em up, and the Punisher is a lot more interesting when a writer expands the character past the simple vigilante premise.

Parlov’s visuals are pretty good, though some of his panels reflect the mood of the story better than others. And though his style isn’t one I prefer, I wasn’t turned off completely by it as I thought I would be when I first saw the preview pages. His last two-page spread of the Punisher surrounded by the heads of his victims is pretty sick though!

Marvel Universe vs. The Punisher is a four issue mini-series, and it was good enough to have me wanting to know more immediately, and wishing the first issue was a double sized one just so I’d have a few more pages to turn. I want to find out more about the virus, and which of the super heroes/villains he’ll have to get through to kill Zero. Hell, I’m even wondering if the Punisher will even live through the entire series!

Till next time!

Check out our interview with series writer Jonathan Maberry here!

Infinite Speech



  1. Kristin

    When was this drawn? It looks so old fashioned.

  2. InfiniteSpeech

    This issue came out last week Kris and I did get an old school feel while looking through the book as well.

  3. Billy

    No Franken-Castle in this one? lol

  4. InfiniteSpeech

    God no! That version might have made it in the 90s but I’m not too fond of it lol Man franken-castle is just corny lol

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