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Comic Reviews January 2007 – Punisher #42 Man of Stone Part 6 of 6

Posted by Adrian on January 2, 2007

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Punisher #42 Man of Stone Part 6 of 6

Man of Stone wasn’t the best Garth Ennis Punisher story arc. As I mentioned in the review of Punisher #41, the ending was somewhat an anti climax, unfortunately this anti climax carries on into #42. The rogue Russian General Nikolai Alexandrovich Zakharov ‘Man of Stone’ lying flat on his back (presumably broken neck), after being pushed out of the helicopter by Rawlins. Rawlins able to slice the throat of the General’s henchman, he is now next to the General bleeding out in the Afghan desert. The Punisher finds his way to them, after leaving the dead Kathrine O’brien. He promises that he would fulfil her wishes before he leaves Afghanistan. So one of the most unlikeable comic characters I have read in a long time – Rawlins, is able find his way to Istanbul to make his way back to Russia, which the dead henchman’s papers. Obviously using the Russian henchman’s identity and info to get back into Russia. I wonder why Ennis made Rawlins so resourceful, I mean he is such a pathetic character. Suffice to say, after the Punisher meets up with his old English friend based with the SAS in Afghanistan. He gives the Punisher the info required to track down the people that O’brien wanted dead. The story goes off on tandem a bit, as the Punisher takes care of the head of a Harem with 12 yo girls, and associates contacted with the Harem. Then finally the Punisher catches up with Rawlins in an Istanbul airport toilet. Rawlins is urinating as the Punisher enters the toilet, Rawlins attempts to get his knife ready when the Punisher slices his hand off, which was the hand holding the knife. Rawlins pleads, asks the Punisher to bring his ex -wife (O’brien) in, so he can somehow bargain his way out, but the Punisher explains she is dead. This issue ends, with Rawlins holding an arm without a hand on it. We presume he bleeds out and dies, but I suspect Ennis is going to have him return again.

Man of Stone lost momentum for me. Great characters like the General (although he was evil) and Kathrine O’brien seem to be snuffed out very quickly. The underlying political context of the failure the West has made with Afghanistan, yet Ennis’s paradox is that some Afghanistan’s need to be ‘Punished’ (proprietors of Harem’s with 12 yo girls). Shows the complexity in democratising or changing government’s in the middle eastern world. Commentary by Punisher’s English contact in Afghanistan, about the pointlessness of the English presence in Afghanistan and Afghanistan is a conflict instigated by ‘vested’ interests. The Afghan story is complex and history orientated, I thought Ennis’s ‘303’ comic handled that well. As it had a single purpose in the comic. But Man of Stone had too many issues running through the story arc, a lot of focal point characters interacting at the same time. For a shortish run of 6 issues, just not enough time – for such a complex setting and characters. Hence the quick culling of various main characters and the inevitable end to the story. Before the Punisher kills the General in the desert, we see the General explain what Rawlins is, which is a Parasite feeding off conflicts for momentary gain. Really the Punishers main villain was Rawlins not the General – ‘Man of Stone’. Yet the General get’s his head smashed in, and Rawlins only get’s a hand cut off?

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One Response to “Comic Reviews January 2007 – Punisher #42 Man of Stone Part 6 of 6”

  1. gabriel MAX said

    actually at the end in the final image rawlings is screaming and facing up like looking at the punisher scared cos he gona finish him

    you socka

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