Daredevil and Punisher are two characters that have become closely tied together over the years, no doubt because Daredevil works with the law while the Punisher is an out-and-out vigilante. In Charles Soule, Szymon Kudranski and Mast’s “Daredevil/Punisher” #2, though, there’s very little complexity as Daredevil and Blindspot chase a criminal that the Punisher is trying to kill.
The problem with “Daredevil/Punisher” #2 may be that this was originally part of one of Marvel’s “Infinite Comics,” in which an online comic mimics a bit of movement by having panels shift slightly to build a sense of action, with limbs and word balloons often being the items that move the most. The result is that there’s just not a lot of meat present, even though “Daredevil/Punisher” #2 collects two online issues’ worth of material. Soule finds Daredevil and Blindspot trying to save a criminal from the Punisher’s execution tactics, even as the criminal is evil and tries to evade them, but there’s no real complexity going on here, and nothing that feels different or even inventive about the plot.
Working off of layouts by Mast, Kudranski’s art looks nice, but there’s a repetitive nature because the story is no longer in a format where the backgrounds stay static and the characters move around on them. His Punisher is wonderfully craggy-faced, though; he looks like a thug in a way few artists draw him these days. The only problem is that the Punisher and criminal Antonov are drawn remarkably similar; when they’re on the same page, it’s hard to ignore the fact they have the same build and haircut, just different coloring and clothes. There are a few nice bits, like the silhouettes of the falling Antonov and Punisher against Daredevil’s radar sense; it’s an iconic look and the overall creation works well. But balanced against these moments is Daredevil zipping through the air looking incredibly posed and stiff, and there’s something that just doesn’t quite work from one page to the next.
While I appreciate that Marvel is creating print editions of their online comics, this is one that doesn’t translate well art-wise, and it doesn’t offer much by way of the plot, either. It’s ultimately a bit forgettable, and that’s too bad. Considering that the Punisher appears in the second season of “Daredevil,” there’s a whole new audience who might want to read a “Daredevil/Punisher” miniseries, but this is a little too slight to pull them in.