Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Marvel Team-Up: Eminem and the Punisher

In anticipation of the May 19 release of Relapse—his first studio album in five years—Eminem is invading the Marvel Universe for Eminem/Punisher: Kill You, a comic book teaming the controversial rapper with Marvel’s bullet-spraying antihero. The first half of the comic is in the June issue of XXL while the second half is available on Marvel.com. The comic is penned by Fred Van Lente (Amazing Spider-Man) with artwork by Salvador Larroca (Invincible Iron Man).

The story itself is pretty much what you might expect. After a concert, Slim Shady is betrayed by a former friend named Barracuda, who has been hired by a censorship group to murder the controversial rapper. The Punisher, literally, is assigned to protect Eminem from censorship. It’s silly, it’s short and it’s kind of dumb, but it’s all in good fun. Plus, we get to see Eminem kill someone with a chainsaw. That’s always a plus, right?

Eminem takes that shocking level of violence to a whole new level in the video for his latest single, “3 A.M.,” which is incredibly bloody and even quite disturbing at times. However, it’s nice to see that Eminem is still pushing boundaries after all these years. It doesn’t hurt that his lyrical construction and delivery are incredibly solid on this track, a major improvement from his previous and decidedly lame effort, “We Made You.” If “3 A.M.” is an indication of things to come, Relapse could be one of the best rap albums in years.

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