I like these so much more than last month's teaser poster. I get the love for the Punisher's skull emblem, but he is the kind of character that you just need to put in people's faces. Unless you are Superman or Batman, the emblem is nothing unless it is displayed proudly on your muscular, heroic chest.
But the "in your face" aspect is still missing even from these posters. We finally get Ray Stevenson, looking good and badass, but with a barely visible Punisher logo on his chest. In the one pictured above, it's almost entirely hidden by his gun. That's just plain weird. It's like making a Superman poster, but draping his cape around his chest to disguise his S shield.
I'm not trying to be one of those super petty nerds (and when it comes to the Punisher, I am anything but), but this film has an uphill battle ahead of it. Any mention of it draws "Without Thomas Jane, I'm not seeing it!" So why not just let Stevenson own the marketing campaign? These posters are a good start -- but they still feel so timid, like they don't really want anyone to notice they've recast the character. It's too late for that, so you might as well show it, and show it proudly. He's the Punisher. He's unafraid of all criticism -- which I guess makes my complaints moot.
Punisher: War Zone opens December 5th, 2008.