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The X-Axis by Paul O'Brien (

Marvel Knights: Double-Shot #1

MARVEL KNIGHTS DOUBLE-SHOT was originally meant to be out months ago, but got put back for some unexplained reason. Hey, at least this time they went to the trouble of cancelling and resoliciting it.

Two stories here, both clocking in at around the 11-page mark. The first is a Punisher story by Garth Ennis, with a rare art job from Joe Quesada. Ennis recognises the strengths and limitations of an 11-page format, and goes for the classic approach - one good, strong idea, running for its natural length.

The good, strong idea is that the Punisher straps a criminal to a dentist's chair and then tortures him with dental equipment for 11 pages while the camera watches from within his mouth. It's thoroughly nauseating, which is precisely the intended effect. I really feel for Joe Quesada, who must have spent a lengthy amount of time staring at this stuff. I'm squeamish. Personally, I hope never to lay eyes on it again.

Now, in context, that's a compliment. But it should be equally obvious to you that this is not going to be to all tastes. We're talking truly sick here. It's up to you whether you take that as a recommendation or not.

The back-up strip is a Rob Haynes Daredevil story, which also has one joke, but it's not a strong enough joke to carry a story. The Kingpin has great big underpants. Oh, the hilarity.

If you like the Punisher story, it's worth it for that alone, though. You're certainly not likely to forget it in a hurry.

Grade: A-