Title: Punisher Platoon #3
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writers: Garth Ennis
Artists: Goran Parlov
Story Rating: 10
Art Rating: 10
Color Rating: 10
Overall Rating: 10
Lieutenant Frank Castle and the United States Marines wade through the blood and smoke in Khe Sanh, Vietnam. Marvel Comics continues to follow the militant saga of the Punisher and his fellow man fighting for, honor, justice, and freedom.
Garth Ennis writes the hardships of war outside the battlefield but inside the corrupt systems of military business. On the frontlines the squadron suffers from constant rain and mud jamming the standard M16 combat rifles. The rifles inability to work through harsh conditions forces Frank to take action.
Frank and Sergeant Dryden ditch protocol in an obscure attempt to help the squadron from weapon mishaps. Frank makes a shady deal with the Combat Base in downtown Khe Sanh. Together the squad must collect AK-47s from the Vietcong’s in exchange for better firepower the M14 combat rifle.
Good points from the comic book come in the form of character development, action, stakes, and astonishing artwork. The story does not focus on endless violence but touches base will all aspects of war whether supply, top brass, backdoor business, and even the enemy perspective.
The comic keeps the reader is suspense for everyone is vulnerable in these hardened circumstances of war. A sense of realism drapes over this fictional story for it is clever and handled with well meaning execution and a glimpse into the mind of veterans old and new.
Goran Parlov keeps his mark alive behind the colors and line work. The night skies and fields of fire demonstrate the closest means of a live battlefield in Vietnam without ever touching a blade of grass.
The line work is thin and loose not overstepping in detail but enough to create the proper shape and structure either on characters or specific backgrounds. Color finishes the final visual in a trademark design perfected by Goran Parlov.
Realism is etched into the panels by providing distinct appearances one can differentiate between characters. The blood and flesh soldiers shed when under fire captures the true nature of death.
Parlov favors specific colors of brown, orange, black and pale blues. Every color foreseen within the comic compliments the others as if each scene is seamless and powerful in their own regard.
The conclusion brings a chance of hope as the M14s function properly in the line of duty. Now Frank and the Marines are properly supplied to ward off any Vietcong’s on the ground. Together the platoon aims true with each round praying they will survive to see the sunrise the next day and the next till the war is over.
Walk alongside these men in further issues of Punisher Platoon, as these proud soldiers remain always faithful to each other.