PunisherMAX vol. 2: Bullseye

They say he’s the deadliest assassin the world has ever known. Though his methods may seem unorthodox, even insane, they say he’s never failed to kill a single target. No one knows where he comes from or why he does it. No one knows his name. They all just call him Bullseye. And now he’s come to New York City, with his sights set on Frank Castle.

After introducing The Kingpin in the previous volume, Jason Aaron now set his sights on re-introducing the classic villain Bullseye into the Marvel Max Universe. Wilson Fisk, now firmly established as The Kingpin, hires Bullseye to kill The Punisher. In keeping with the “real world” aspect of Marvel Max, this version of Bullseye doesn’t wear a skintight costume (although he is bald and does have a tattoo of a bullseye on his forehead) and he doesn’t have super-human aim (that aspect is mocked in the opening pages, when he says that he’s going to kill someone by throwing a toothpick at him). He’s just a really really really obsessive assassin. Once he takes a job, he does whatever it takes, for how long it takes, to kill his target. Even if it means shoving a gun up his own asshole so that he’ll still have a weapon on him after he’s been caught and strip searched (seriously).

So this arc is about two hunters. The Punisher is hunting Wilson Fisk, and Bullseye is hunting The Punisher. Both of their paths take them through a lot of pain, but Bullseye is particularly interesting here. The man is brilliantly insane, in order to find and kill The Punisher he feels he needs to know how his mind works, and so he strives to experience everything that The Punisher has experienced. This includes kidnapping an innocent family and using them to re-enact the killing of The Punisher’s family. As the bodycount of innocent people who get in Bullseye’s way rises, even The Kingpin starts to have second thoughts about this man that he’s hired. Plus, the sacrifice Fisk made at the end of the last arc comes back to haunt him, and he finds that gaining power and maintaining his power are two different things. Meanwhile The Punisher finds himself at a crossroads when, for the first time ever, he crosses the line and kills a cop, something he’d never done before no matter how crooked the cop was. But this cop was so bad, that Punisher did it, which now sets the whole NYPD against him. Soon he’s stripped of all of his safe houses, his arsenal and money, and the arc climaxes with a battle between him and Bullseye at the top of Fisk Tower with The Kingpin looking on. Not all three of them will survive…

Once again, Jason Aaron brings the thunder, his portrayal of Bullseye is one of the best villains I’ve ever seen in a comic-book, and the way he uses the character to hint at something deeper behind the motivations of The Punisher is brilliant. And with artist Steve Dillon continuing to illustrate the violence in all its glory, this is another excellent collection for any Punisher fan. Chacebook rating FIVE STARS


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