[COMIC REVIEW] The Punisher : War Journal #51 Illustrates Many Issues With The 90s
The Punisher hatches a drastic plan to eliminate crime boss Vito Vaducci. But the biggest threat to Punisher : War Journal #51 is the stale stereotypes of the 90s.
The Punisher : War Journal #51 begins with Frank Castle beating down on lowlife criminal scum. Hot on the tail of crime boss Vito Vaducci’s men, Punisher takes out several gang bangers before taking their “beancounter” hostage. What follows is Micro and Punisher interrogating the beancounter. Revealing an upcoming meeting of the minds between all the major crime bosses of North America. Even the Punisher’s minor nemesis, Jigsaw.
The plan? Break into the mob boss’ meeting. A meeting, coincidentally, held to plan what to do with their Frank Castle problem. What follows is a carefully laid out plan (by Punisher and Micro) to break into the near impenetrable skyscraper fortress. Leaving The Punisher with the inescable conclusion of this first partner. A carefully laid trap courtesy of the mobsters and their underpaid cronies.
The Punisher : War Journal #51 is a no-nonsense hallmark to the 80s (where it started) right through to the 90s (where it ended up). Making no apologies with the obvious tropes of masculinity, sexism and racial undertones. We are hit in the face with penciller Todd Foxx’s bastardisation of the ligne clair style. With the introduction of each mob boss’ ethnicity there is the feeling that this issue would’ve looked a whole lot different today. From the introduction of the modernised femme fatale character, weak in the presence of The Punisher, to the avoidance of logic in the face of one man’s pursuit of vengeance.
The hero here is writer Chuck Dixon’s cleverly executed play by play scene that establishes Micro and The Punisher as the perfect team. MVP here is Micro, acting as the advocate for Frank Castle’s deceased family – keeping their wants and desires alive. While ensuring The Punisher stays the course and never crosses to extreme psychopath.
You can find The Punisher : War Journal at your nearest comic book store. Failing that head to ComiXology for the digital version.