In the most recent reboot run of The Punisher series, Greg Rucka has chosen to take the tactic of letting Frank Castle’s actions tell the bulk of the story. As he told Comic Book Resources:

We’ve had so many people over the years do an amazing job of getting inside Frank’s head, it seemed to me that nobody needed my take on it because it would just be me aping somebody else really. We know Frank. He’s very straight-forward about what he wants, why he wants it and what he’s willing to do to get it. We ran with him not talking for as long as I think we could get away with in terms of the story. It’s not that we were trying to render him mute as much as, he’s a guy who doesn’t have a lot to say. He’s not the type to talk to hear himself talk. Plus, he doesn’t really surround himself with people that he’s going to converse with.

The rest of the story is told from the point of view of the characters on whom Frank’s actions have had an impact: a police officer, Walter Bolt, who receives a promotion after being perceived as a hero during a shootout in which Frank Castle actually was the one who saved Bolt’s life, a bride, Rachel Alves, who is the only survivor of a massacre that took place on her wedding day, and Norah Winters, who is covering Castle in an attempt to be taken more seriously as a reporter. It’s an interesting choice for Rucka; Castle is so involved in his one man war on crime that he either doesn’t care or have time to acknowledge the impact his actions have on the few people he has around him. Punisher #5 continues in this vein as the characters approach Thanksgiving in the 616.

Spoilers and small children after the jump!

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Crisis On Infinite Midlives is proud to introduce our newest contributor: Pixiestyx. Pixiestyx is relatively new to reading comics, and therefore brings a different perspective to the comics world then Amanda and myself, who have been around the block enough to know who to curse at by name and general description. She’s been leaving great, interesting comments recently, and we’re glad to add her to the Crisis On Infinite Midlives team!

Does the comic industry really want to bring in new readers? If they did, one would think that the publishers would want to make it as easy as possible for a new reader to find a storyline that interests them, as well as figure out where to begin following that storyline. I have been an occasional comic reader for just over two years, yet when it comes to much of the comic world, I feel very much like Hal Jordan, having been told to speak the oath of the Green Lanterns without knowing what that oath is – completely lost.

I know how to do research; how to comparison shop, read reviews, and decide what to buy. However, most of the publishers’ websites have not been very helpful. They are good at listing the new books for this week and what’s coming out next week; but other than great cover art images, they do a very poor job of drawing me in and telling me why I should begin reading a series. They tend to have a busy layout and are unintuitive if you don’t already know what you are looking for. The UserWiki on Marvel’s site offers series background information, but the volume of information is inconsistent – a page and a half on some, non-existent on others. It appears that Marvel’s primary focus is on getting visitors to buy a Toyota Yaris instead of their comics anyway.

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