Punisher Epic Collection vol. 7: Capital Punishment – Various

5 out of 5

The same pluses as the previous epics: an insane amount of material in a solid, but easily-flippable soft cover binding, for a totally reasonable price. Plus: a table of contents and page numbers; covers and the extras from each issue; back covers on the included prestiges, and a couple bonus blips from some random Punisher magazines.

Contains Punisher: G-Force, Punisher #63-75, , Punisher: Die Hard in the Big Easy, and Punisher/Black Widow: Spinning Doomsday’s Web.

While I could offer the usual criticism that the color reproductions of this era of Marvel on these glossy pages isn’t great – it really brightens things that looked better on paper pages, or the stiffer stock of the prestiges – that’s something that exists across DC, Marvel, and more reprints – not just this book, not just this series – and as we get closer to the 00s, it gets closer and closer to the “truth.” I could also also say that the Black Widow crossover is more of a Black Widow than a Punisher tale, but it needs to be collected somewhere, so here fits.

What pushes this over the line to a 5 instead of a 4? Well – luck of the draw: the sequencing. Abnett and Lanning, our main writers for the series at the time, actually construct several long-running stories / storylines, and that works really well when collected together. I enjoy Baron’s scattershot writing style, but reading back-to-back issues is so up and down that it’s more a collected of convenience than needing to read things sequentially, not to mention previous epics have broken up his run with one-shots and etc. Here, we get a long string of issues, with the specials at the start and end of the trade, so it’s just more of a linear, satisfying read.