Monday, December 19, 2016

Doctor Strange/Punisher: Magic Bullets #1 Review and *SPOILERS* - Marvel Monday

Weirdest. Team-Up. Ever.

Written By: John Barber
Art By: Andrea Broccardo, Andres Mossa
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: December 14, 2016
Publisher: Marvel

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

This week, one of the weirdest crossover comics of all time came out as we see two of the most unrelated characters teaming up for a 4-issue series. Frankly, I’m not completely familiar with the history of these characters but I think it’s safe to say that they don’t cross paths all too often. However, I would argue that there is no better time for these characters to team up then right now. Normally, I would think that Doctor Strange wouldn’t need any kind of help from the Punisher as he is normally one of the most overpowered characters at Marvel. However, due to the recent events of the Doctor Strange comic (which is fantastic btw), Doctor Strange has been dramatically downgraded in the power department. With most of the magic out of the universe, Doctor Strange may be less capable than the Punisher. But let’s stop talking about this book and just jump into it already.

Our issue begins with a group of young men entering a restaurant which seems to be a front for the Fusilli’s. The group seems to be a bunch of new recruits but one is hiding among them and when they finally enter the back area of the restaurant, he reveals himself to be non-other than the Punisher. He proceeds to slaughter everyone in the area until he comes across the last man who is guarding a final door. The man tries to reason with Castle, warning him about what lies behind the door but he finds himself eating a bullet before too long. Castle opens the door and curses before we cut away to Doctor Strange. Strange has been fighting some kind of invisible monster. He is doing so in front of a group of tourists who seem to think he is simply performing some kind of show. Strange is able to defeat the monster before ending his day.

Doctor Strange rests after his battle but is interrupted by Zelma who informs him that someone has come to see him. He answers the door to find the Punisher. Doctor Strange reluctantly lets him in and Frank tells him about an issue that he is currently dealing with. He knows that it is magical and out of his league. Strange questions the validity of this claim but the Punisher is able to finally get him to join him. We cut to the owners of the restaurant inspecting the carnage that was left by the Punisher. They’ve brought along Mister Mangrove in order to harness the powers of the magical creatures that they’ve been keeping in the backroom and now that the Punisher has attacked, they look take the power immediately.

Back at the Sanctum Sanctorum, Doctor Strange informs Punisher that most of the magic that exists in the world today is held in artifacts and thus the job will not be as simple as Frank believes it should be. The two head off toward the restaurant, unknown to them that they are being followed. One of the new recruits was able to survive Frank’s assault on the restaurant and he’s been following the Punisher since. He calls up Fusilli’s and tells them about Frank’s whereabouts and that he is heading their way again. We cut to the restaurant and see more of the magical prowess of Mister Mangrove. He uses a magical book in order to harness the power of the beasts and he unleashes it all. We cut back to Doctor Strange and Punisher as they attempt to sneak up on the restaurant. However, Frank realizes that they’re already expected and decides to attack outright but before they are able to enter the restaurant, the building explodes and we see various hell beasts heading straight for them. The issue leaves us here.

Although we are treated to some pretty damn phenomenal art, most of this issue is about set up. Not a whole lot is wrong with that, after all it is the first issue but there isn’t a lot of time for this story to get going. There is only four issues and we’ve just spent the entire first issue setting everything else. All I’m saying is that this had better pay off a lot. Something that seems to bother me is that the book spends most of the time introducing The Punisher and Doctor Strange as characters. I’m guessing this is for the readers that read one book but not the other. However, it seems like kind of a waste. Most comic fans understand who these characters are, we don’t need half the issue to introduce them. However, I understand what the creative team is trying to do and I can’t really blame them for it. That said, I can blame them for an issue that is almost exclusively set up and introductory dialogue.

Bits and Pieces

The first issue of this new crossover miniseries does very little to build up the story. Instead we get an introduction to characters that most will already know and the rest of the issue is creating a situation for these two characters to team up. It’s not exactly creative but it gets the job done. Hard to say that this issue is good, but it certainly isn’t bad.


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