Today is a rather momentous day as far as the Big Two of comics are concerned. Gail Simone's fantastic Secret Six died a bloody death today, and Greg Rucka's shiny new Punisher was born. So you can see I'm existing in a state between sorrow and joy, but it's an ok place to be in. Rucka and Simone are two of my favorite writers--indeed I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to decide between their renditions of Wonder Woman--and their works are always things of beauty.
Secret Six is a comic I'd literally recommend to anyone--well, anyone with a sense of humor. It's a tale of misfit anti-heroes who are sometimes actual villains; it's got a humanoid shark; it's sick and hilarious and sad. And in the 36th issue, the fun times end...with many a literal bang (no kidding: the first scenes are of a rather unlikely coupling, but then nothing's unlikely with this team). With nearly every big-name hero between Gotham and Metropolis arrayed against them, there's no way the Six are getting out with their motley skins intact.
The shiny new Punisher is something to behold, as a shadowy Frank Castle storms through the pages with nary a peep as to his mission or impetus. Of course, everyone already knows the story of Castle--decorated Marine, family slaughtered, on a mission of revenge and five-fingered justice--so Rucka and company are free to jump in face-first. Two new cop characters, Bolt and Clemons, set up the action; I expect interesting things from the Bolt character in particular. Given Rucka's past work on the fantastic Gotham Central police procedural as well as his career as a crime novelist, this view of the Punisher story feels right. Marco Checchetto's artwork is fantastic and very fitting to the Castle character.