Does Daredevil Really Want to Stop Frank Castle? The Punisher #3

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Daredevil corners the Punisher on a subway car, but both men now find themselves surrounded by more of Baron Zemo’s assassins. Whether he likes it or not, Matt Murdock must put aside his animosity towards Frank Castle, and the two will have to fight of the forces of Hydra and an experimental super soldier if they are to survive to see another day.

The Punisher #3 cover by Greg Smallwood
The Punisher #3 cover by Greg Smallwood

The Punisher #3 reignites the beloved blood feud between Frank Castle and Daredevil. Both men spend their time knee-deep in the seediest and most deadly parts of New York City, and they each find the other’s methods contemptible.
Well, that is usually the case. Frank seems to find Daredevil more of a nuisance than an ideological rival. To add to that, Daredevil doesn’t do much to stop Frank until the end of the comic. For the most part, he doesn’t even seem aware that the Punisher is tearing through the Hydra agents like a hot knife through butter.
At one point, Matt even takes Frank’s guns away, so the Punisher just pulls out a hunting knife. DD doesn’t even seem to notice this, and Frank kills a lot more people with that knife.
None of this is a deal-breaker; it just diffuses some of the tension that normally exists between Frank and Matt. Regardless, it’s still a hell of a fun comic, as it is always a pleasure to see Daredevil and the Punisher in the same comic when written well. Matthew Rosenberg accomplishes that here.
The way Daredevil gets one-up on the Punisher in the end is surprisingly cutthroat, and I rather liked it.
The Punisher #3 art by Szymon Kudranski, Antonio Fabela, and letterer VC's Cory Petit
The Punisher #3 art by Szymon Kudranski, Antonio Fabela, and letterer VC’s Cory Petit

Szymon Kudranski continues to bring a unique visual design to the Punisher and his world, but the seams show a bit more in this comic. The blurring and texture contrast between characters in the foreground and the environmental surroundings create a bit of a visual dissonance. It doesn’t always look like the characters belong in the same world as the background. This doesn’t kill the otherwise appealing art, but it is distracting at times. Thankfully, Antonio Fabela helps with his varied and captivatingly-balanced color art.
The Punisher #3 reunites Daredevil and the Punisher, and they still mostly hate each other–as they well should. The team brings an action-packed comic this time around, and, despite a few aesthetic hiccups, the art delivers on all the ass-kicking one should expect from such a comic. This one gets a recommendation. Check it out.
The Punisher #3 comes to us from writer Matthew Rosenberg, artist Szymon Kudranski, color artist Antonio Fabela, letterer VC’s Cory Petit, cover artist Greg Smallwood, and variant cover artists Andrea Sorrentino and Mike Zeck with Richard Isanove.

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