COMMENTARY TRACK: "Punisher" #9 by Rick Remender

Writer Rick Remender returns to CBR's THE COMMENTARY TRACK with an insider's look at "Punisher" #9, illustrated by Tan Eng Huat and on sale this week from Marvel Comics.

Since kicking off the new series, Remender has set our man Frank Castle up against Norman Osborn's Dark Reign, the Hood's undead minions, and an "I Love the '80s" team of Avengers. The writer's also introduced Henry, a new partner in the Punisher's war on crime, and it is Henry that Mr. Remender's commentary will focus upon.

And, as always with THE COMMENTARY TRACK, there will be spoilers.

Commentary by Rick Remender

1: Establishing our boy Henry as a kid here. Henry is an amalgam of a few guys I grew up with. Classic latchkey kid.

2: As a child of the '80s and the hardcore/skate punk scene, it's important to me that Henry feel legitimate. It was a specific scene and a specific time that is usually misrepresented in comics. Henry's mom is one of those leftovers/casualties from the sexual revolution, a disco party girl who had a kid too early with the wrong guy. Tan nailed that here.

3. Here comes the old man. Tan does a great job staging all of this so we don't see his face through the sequence 'til the end.

1: Then of course we get a punch in the nose by the brilliant palate of Lee Loughridge. I always say of Lee's work that the first second I see it, when he's really on, it's like licking a battery. He manages to do tacky here while also working in a color scheme that feels wholly unique.

2: Henry's dad going off here is a concept my Mom always talked about. That kids only ever remember the bad stuff growing up, as that is what leaves more of an impression.

1: I had some practice writing Henry's father's dialogue in another Marvel comic I worked on a bit back. It was nice writing the character again here. It was as easy I'd learned his voice.

2: Great use of silhouette here by Tan. He manages to get a lot of mood from the moment.

3: Drowning kittens, never not fun.

And then we have the reveal. Henry's motives are laid out pretty clear here. He's Jigsaw's kid and, as such, wants to make up for the awful shit his old man did. How better to that, and to piss off the old man from his cold grave, than to team up with Frank Castle and fight crime? This obviously has huge consequences moving forward, pick up the issue to see how it all plays out when Frank gets the skinny.

Thanks to Rick Remender for stopping by to discuss these fiery developments in Frank Castle's world. "Punisher" #9 is on sale this week.

As always, if you have any titles or creators you'd like to see in THE COMMENTARY TRACK, or you're a creator with a book coming out that you'd like to talk about in detail, drop us a line. We're especially looking for artists/colorists/letterers who are looking to talk about their craft, as we've had a shortage of those so far. We're busy behind the scenes lining up books for the weeks ahead, but there's always room for more!

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