Friday, December 02, 2005

Crossdressing Mafioso featuring Punisher and Bulleye (time permitting)

I can think of three things wrong with the title to Punisher vs. Bullseye #1 of 5 The first would be the lack of the Punisher. The second would be the extremely small role given Bullseye. Finally, the "versus" is wildly misleading.

On the plus side this is the first issue, so I will give it credit for being correctly identified as #1. If there do ultimately wind up being five issues, I will also applaud its ability to accurately express the "of 5" as well. Sadly, I don't think many people picked up Punisher vs. Bullseye #1 of 5 because of the accurate numerical depiction of the issue and it's order in the miniseries.

Within the pages of the book, you will find as much of either of the title characters as you find on the cover. The story begins, as so many Punisher tales do, with mobsters worrying about the Punisher and recapping some horrific attack he pulled off against dozens of their men. In this case, he ambushed a bachelor party.

The younger mobster listens to Uncle Fonzie recall the time he escaped the Punisher back in the days of disco and we get our only glimpse of the first title character in the entire issue.
I take it back, Punisher appears again three frames later, aiming an Uzi at an old mob boss. Beyond the flashback, however, Punisher will not be appearing this issue and has no lines.

We learn Uncle Fonzie got away in the crowd by donning a dress and sun hat from the coat check's lost and found box, moved to Connecticut, has been wearing dresses and wigs ever since, and never leaves the house.
No, really.

Oddly, if this book were written by Garth Ennis, I'd be more likely to accept this, but instead with Daniel Way at the helm, it just feels like he's trying too hard to do Ennis. It's kind of like when Suzanne Summers left Three's Company and Cindy, Chrissy's cousin with all the same mannerisms and stupid blonde comments, came to live with Jack and Janet. The art by Steve Dillon actually makes it a little worse because it reminds you so much of the Ennis/Dillon issues of years past you can easily forget Ennis isn't scripting it.

Other families are threatening a big move against Uncle Fonzie's turf, so he decides to put out a half-million dollar hit on the Punisher. His reasoning is when the other families hear about the hit, they'll back off and wait to see what happens, buying him time to ward off any future attacks... or something like that. All that's really important, though it's not said here, is Uncle Fonzie's offer is going to be the impetus for the aforementioned "versus" in the title when Bullseye takes on the contract.

Speaking of Bullseye, he finally shows up on the very last page. He has a confusing phone conversation with a guy who at first appears to be relating news of the hit on the Punisher, but then changes the subject to imply Bullseye kidnapped the man's wife. Bullseye throws something that goes FFFFFSSSSS--WOKK! at the man and breaks the fourth wall for our one and only frame of title subject number two:I picked this up for two reasons. First, I love Steve Dillon's art even though I realize all his characters look similar (I mean, Uncle Fonzie could very easily be Ma Gnucci), and getting another shot at seeing him draw the Punisher was worth three bucks. Second, shortly after that two part Punisher/Daredevil fight that ran in Punisher #10 and Daredevil #257, I began speculating what a Punisher/Bullseye fight would be like and half my lifetime later I finally had the chance to find out... or so I thought. Maybe next issue, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

I know I'll pick up the next issue, but I also know when this five-part series is done one of my first complaints will be "This could have been four [or three] issues long."

Best Moment: Punisher guns down an old mafia boss while his underling pleads, "Not... not Sonny. He's an old man..." BRRRATT! BRRATT-ATT! (That's a direct transcription of the Uzi sound effect.)

Worst Moment: "I know why you gotta wear the dress an' all... but why the hell you wearin' women's underwear, too?" I guess that was supposed to be funny.

Comic Book Goodness: 2/5. I can't give it a one because if Steve Dillon released a sketch book of nothing but different facial expressions, I'd probably give it 2/5.


Blogger Chris said...

So, lemme ask you this: if I have zero interest in Bullseye and minimal interest in the Punisher, is there a reason for me to get this comic?

In other words, given the talent involved, do we stand a reasonable chance of getting at least a good mob tale or crime comic?

Cross-dressing mafiosos nothwithstanding.

11:18 AM  
Blogger Jake said...

Probably not. Next issue, Bullseye will show up to take the contract and spend an issue or two hunting down the Punisher. An issue and a half to two issues after that, the fight will end but be unresolved. In the end, Bullseye and/or the Punisher will kill the cross-dressing Uncle Fonzie and his nephew Nico, probably with some "funny" Mr. Magoo-esque commentary from Fonzie's geriatric, near sighted mother.

Dammit, I hate that I'm going to but the whole thing. And to think I got on this blog to bring some reviews of quality comic books to it and my first one winds up being Punisher vs. Bullseye.


1:38 PM  
Blogger Grotesqueticle said...

I'm with you on the Dillon art, though.

5:22 AM  

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