Jigsaw Returns To Plague Frank Castle In The Punisher #4

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
The Punisher has been incarcerated and now learns it was partly thanks to the machinations of Jigsaw and the Chameleon, the latter of whom masqueraded as Nick Fury. The two and their men kill every cop in the station. Jigsaw wants Frank dead, but he also wants the bounty from Baron Zemo. He’s willing to compromise on the murder to get the reward from Zemo.

The Punisher #4 cover by Greg Smallwood
The Punisher #4 cover by Greg Smallwood

The Punisher #4 is a reunion between Frank and the only man who could be called his true arch-nemesis–of course that’s only because the rest of Frank’s foes are dead and rotting (though, Billy Russo was supposed to be doing that too).
It is cool to see Jigsaw back and teaming up with a classic Spidey villain like Chameleon. Naturally, the fight between Russo’s people and the Punisher turns into a bloodbath; we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Russo and the Chameleon throw out plenty of one-liners throughout the story, providing most of the jokes. That said, Matthew Rosenberg has a knack for awkward situational humor too.
Frank isn’t giving up his crusade against the remaining components of Hydra either, and that gives the book its momentum in the second half.
The Punisher #4 art by Szymon Kudranski, Antonio Fabela, and letterer VC's Cory Petit
The Punisher #4 art by Szymon Kudranski, Antonio Fabela, and letterer VC’s Cory Petit

Szymon Kudranski continues to render the comic. His work is largely quite good, but it the art comes off as weirdly claustrophobic in this issue. That may be deliberate given the close-quarters combat, but that does leave many scenes difficult to parcel out. Too many close-ups and small panels leave the combat a bit puzzling. There are still a few uncanny moments too, especially as foreground realism is coupled with background blurring. That said, the book still looks damn good in parts, and Antonio Fabela does good work on the color art.
Also, lining the borders between panels with stitches like Jigsaw’s face is really clever.
The Punisher #4 is another brutally fun chapter of Frank’s crusade against Hydra and its fascist members. Castle tears through more mercenaries, murderers, and foot-soldiers, and he proves once again that he is not to be screwed with. Despite some at-times confusing and uncanny art, this one is still worth a recommendation. Check it out.
The Punisher #4 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 artist Mike Zeck with Richard Isanove.

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