World War Hulk Review – “Punisher War Journal #12”

This week saw three “World War Hulk” crossover issues. This is a one shot, and has been reviewed. The Heroes For Hire and World War Hulk: Frontline issues each have one issue to come in their story arcs, and will be reviewed when the last issue ships.

General Information

Title: Punisher War Journal #12
Author: Matt Fraction
Illustrator(s): Ariel Olivetti (paint)
Original Publication Date: Cover dated December 2007
Cover Price: $3.99 US, $4.75 Can

Past comic reviews can be found here.


While “the capes” deal with the Hulk directly, Frank Castle does what he can to help the little people, though it puts him at odds with Mung the Inconceivagle, a relative of Warbound Miek.

High Point

“Yes, sweetie. They came from New Jersey.”

Low Point

The latest tech isn’t something Frank would walk away from, and yet it’s the kind of thing that likely won’t appear in later issues of the series.

The Scores

This has an original feel for the World War Hulk event, in that it’s the only crossover that’s about characters other than superheroes. This isn’t about choosing sides with the Hulk, it’s about getting innocent people to safety. In that respect, I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork, as was the case in the Civil War crossover, is easily the best part of the package. Olivetti paints well, and depicts the action and emotion with equal skill. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story is deliberately simple, presumably because Frank Castle sees the world in a simple distillation of right and wrong. Still, it is well told. I give it 4 out of 6.

The characterization is clear, revealing that which sets the Punisher apart from Marvel’s other title characters. He’s nothing more or less than a highly trained and devoted human being. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response was, for me, somewhat bland. The mechanics of the issue are there, as are the artistic details, so the lack of strong emotional response was somewhat confusing. Upon retrospection, I’ve concluded that the problem is largely mine; I am not, and never have been, a fan of the character. Therefore, you may have a very different response to my own. Still, I have to score it based on my own response, so I give it 2 out of 6.

The flow is smooth, fitting into the crossover in such a subtle way that it really could fit anywhere in the entire event. The story even moves well within the issue. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a decent issue. It won’t impact the larger story, but it’s an entertaining read. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Punisher War Journal #12 receives 31 out of 42.

World War Hulk Review Checklist