It’s a darker world, a grittier world. Superheroes going on adventures is a thing of the past. Now, a vigilante called Skulldigger puts scum down. Not only that, but he’s rescued a boy and is training him to do what he does. In this world, the public and the police love Skulldigger and what he does - all except for one overtly committed detective who doesn’t think Skulldigger should exist. She provides common sense in an otherwise screwed-up world.
Much of this story is told from the rescued boy’s point of view, giving us an interesting perspective on how unhealthy the vigilante lifestyle is as his thoughts start to become warped from the intense training Skulldigger puts him through.
In the 2000s, Garth Ennis wrote two separate runs on The Punisher. In his MAX run, he dissected a lot of who The Punisher was through the lens of dark satire. Lemire is also picking at the vigilante mythos, but in a more psychological way which really interesting to me since The Punisher was one of my favorite comics in the '90s. Bits of foreshadowing are being sprinkled into the story, pointing to something problematic about our anti-hero and his work on the other Black Hammer comics. I’m really curious to see what his final word on this genre will be.
Creative Team: Jeff Lemire (writer), Tonci Zonjic (artist), Steve Wands (letters), Daniel Chabon (editor), Chuck Howitt (assistant editor), Patrick Satterfield (design)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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