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One Shot In: Jog on a comic from 10/10 now that 10/17 is tomorrow

Joe McCulloch

I got stuck in traffic today while I was driving home from work. Since I was going nowhere I started looking around me, and I noticed movement from car ahead of me. The man behind the wheel was rocking out to some song. Head bobbing, arms flailing, fists pounding on the wheel… the works. It was great! I was transfixed! But suddenly, he started glancing into his mirror, and I think he noticed me looking at him. And he stopped moving. I think he felt self-conscious about the rock.

So, if you’re somehow reading this, guy in the vehicle in front of me at 5:20 PM… I’m sorry. I didn’t want you to stop rocking.

Never stop rocking.

The Punisher MAX #51: I loved the bit with the doctor this issue (the second part of the current storyline). And not just because artist Goran Parlov gives him a kind of Kevin Nowlan scowl, but because the whole sequence, one of those ‘character is so legendary, the legend alone saves him from trouble’ bits, is the sort of thing you can only get away with if you’ve really built that legend.

Garth Ennis gets away easy; his writing on the series is supremely confident at this point, smacking a desperate fight sequence around between action and aftermath so the reader feels the title character’s frustration, and deftly stretching his themes in quiet ways – do note how Frank’s observation of O’Brien’s sister (“The face I knew, without the mileage.”) evokes the fantasy sequence from last issue. Frank’s out to save a special person, but Ennis hints that he’s really trying to preserve an imagined alternate life, where things were better.

It’s one of the ‘big picture’ storylines that sometimes crop up in this series, playing heavily off of past ‘small picture’ stories, with various returning characters. Not a good place to jump on, but I like how they reinforce Ennis’ downbeat tone, with good people saved, only to later die, and bad folk trying again until they’re dead too; I’d have never guessed de facto archvillain Barracuda could be so versatile without actually changing. Everyone is going to hell in this world, but some will get there quicker than others.

A VERY GOOD issue, juggling the usual near-exploitation cruelty (injury to infants!) and comedy (love that cop’s lazy eye!), while benefiting richly from the presence of the inspired Parlov. That panel of the bleeding kid sitting around dazed while a horrible beating goes down behind her says plenty on its own.

One Response to “ One Shot In: Jog on a comic from 10/10 now that 10/17 is tomorrow ”

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