WWI vet Frank Castelione lost his wife to cancer, has a son who’s fallen in with hoodlums, and owns a store mobster Dutch Schultz wants to “protect.” This is the setup for Punisher Noir, a four-issue series alternating between 1918, 1928 and 1935. At the center of it is a skull-masked vigilante who’s declared war on Schultz.
It’s easy to take The Punisher model and plug him into different settings (the Wild West, for example) and he’s a natural fit for Marvel’s Noir imprint – so much so that I was worried this would merely be a rehash. But Frank Tieri shakes things up, giving the reader something other than a conventional Punisher story.
As a longtime Punisher fan, it’s interesting to see how Garth Ennis’s Punisher has become definitive. Tieri pulls from Ennis’s Marvel Knights and Max runs, but his versions of characters like Detective Soap and Barracuda don’t feel forced into the Noir setting.