Released: September 12th 2017
I couldn’t believe it when I heard there was going to be a Doctor Strange and Punisher team up. I can’t think of many other team ups that would be so amusing and confusing at the same time (ok, I probably could if I put some effort into it, but that’s not the point). Doctor Strange/Punisher: Magic Bullets is intense at times, crazy at times, and at other points downright silly. If you’re a fan of either, or ideally both, you’ll probably enjoy this quick four issue story.
I mentioned that this would be a good read for Doctor Strange or Punisher fans. I happen to be a fan of both, so you can imagine how much I squeed when I found out about this. I’ll admit right off the bat that the art style was better suited for Doctor Strange than for Punisher, but I can also see why finding a compromise may have been difficult.
There are a couple of things worth knowing, for those that don’t follow both characters. Doctor Strange no longer has access to an insane amount of magic. About a year ago (in real life, possibly less in comic life) an alien that hated magic came to earth and basically attacked everyone and everything with magic. We’re still seeing the effects of this, as made obvious by the fact that Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme (and thus literally the strongest magic user on the planet) pretty much has to rely on artifacts to get the job done. Now I personally loved seeing more of the fallout for this, as I really enjoyed that plotline. It was interesting seeing Doctor Strange try to find a way to help the Punisher while also doing it in a manner that the Punisher wouldn’t outright reject.
The other thing one must absolutely remember about the Punisher: he will not pull punches. Frankly (no pun intended) I don’t think he’s capable of it. He’ll allow innocents to live (as evidenced by the fact that he actually wanted to save the victimized monsters in this situation) but has zero tolerance for bad guys and their bull. Admittedly this is probably the least graphic comic I’ve seen about Frank Castle, so there’s that.
There were lots of little things I really liked about this comic. Like the Phantom Eagle references, those were pretty interesting (as was how they found it). The icing on the cake was Doctor Strange making Castle talk to the plane to repair itself. There were so many little events that really let the character’s personalities shine through; Doctor Strange stopping mid-fight to save a woman from bleeding out; Castle being constantly annoyed by Doctor Strange’s refusal to kill unless absolutely necessary (their idea of necessary clearly differs).
I’m so very tempted to keep listing all the parts that I loved, but I really shouldn’t give all the best parts away. Let’s just say that I left out a couple of the particularly funny points. There’s also a moment where the Punisher’s brutality shines through, right at the end. You’ll know it when you see it.
I’m actually a bit sad that this will probably be only one volume; though it’s better to end it early than force it to continue. I really enjoyed seeing the two characters interact, even though that was mostly bickering. Overall I really enjoyed the team up!