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Avengers Confidential: Black Widow and The Punisher.
on 7 August 2014
When Frank Castle, The Punisher, smashes a criminal arms deal selling high-tech weaponry, he inadvertently finds himself on the radar of SHIELD, who had been tracking and observing the deal in order to trace it back to its origins and the man pulling the strings. Captured, Castle makes a deal with SHIELD director Nick Fury that, in exchange for the information he had come into possession of regarding the location of their target - and enough weaponry to get the job done - he will take them down. Fury agrees, but with one condition - that Castle be accompanied on his mission by SHIELD's number one operative, the Black Widow.
Their mission puts them up against a terrorist orgainisation namd 'Leviathan', and their leader Orion, intent on creating a new breed of super-soldier and selling them to the highest bidder, even if that means selling them to both sides of a given conflict - aided by a former SHIELD scientist, and past love of Natasha Romaniov.
Whilst the story predominantly focuses upon The Punisher and Black Widow, their are also significant appearences from a series of other Marvel characters, including Nick Fury, child-genius Amadeus Cho, the Avengers Hulk, Hawkeye, Ironman, Ms Marvel, Thor and War Machine, as well as brief appearences from villains including Taskmaster, Grim Reaper, Baron Zemo, Graviton and Griffin.
The animation is crisp and smooth, whilst remaining distinctly Japanese in its style, and the English translation excellent. This is an extremely adult anime, with occasional swearing, and the fight scenes and gun-play are brutal, with blood, gore, face-stomping and neck-snapping applenty, and beautifully choreographed.
Theres very little wrong with Avengers Confidential, and it could esily form the basis of a Black Widow solo movie in the Marvel cinematic universe, or alternatively provides an effective and plausable way to introduce the Punisher (whose movie rights now once more reside with Marvel) to the Marvel movie franchise.