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Punisher: Franken-Castle (Punisher (Unnumbered)) Hardcover – 1 Dec 2010
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Top customer reviews
The story goes thus. Frank Castle is dead - dismembered by Wolverines errant son Daken during the 'Dark Reign' storyline that essentially starred Marvels inmates getting the keys to the asylum so to speak. His remains are collected and then reassembled into a hulking monster by the Vampire Morbius and Hammer-horror themed super team, the Legion of Monsters in the hope that Franks military experience can help them overcome a society that wishes to hunt them down.
In fairness 'Dark Reign: The List. Punisher' which is included in this volume and depicts the final fateful battle between Daken and Frank is terrific and shows Frank at his toughest. Had he remained dead it would have been a fitting end for him.
#11-16 that make up the rest of the collection however I would rather forget as it took Frank into the kind of territory that hasnt been tread since a misguided storyline from the late 90's in which the Punisher was resurrected as an avenging angel of death. That idea tanked as ultimately so did this one.
Objectively the style and tone of the story is probably more of a problem if you are a long standing fan of the Punisher like myself. If you havent had any previous exposure to the character then you may very well get some enjoyment from what is a ridiculous, fantastical adventure about monsters, which is why I gave it three stars instead of two. Simply put it was basically an idea that didnt speak to me at all and was everything I *didnt* want from a Punisher comic - so much so that I was inclined to put pen to paper and write to Rick Remender himself (who actually published my letter in #15). Tony Moore's (of Fear Agent, Venom and Walking Dead fame) art is however very good as usual.
So what we have is an idea that youre either going to love or hate. As a Punisher fan of some years I found that it really isolated me, and I found it especially disappointing considering just how good writer Rick Remenders work had been in #1-10.
Its not a terrible story, its just a terrible Punisher story.
Tony Moore's art is sublime and lends an at times comical, but more often than not delightfully gross feel to proceedings. Though a thick volume 'Franken-Castle' reads at a fair clip; there is little fat here, just lean storytelling.