The Avengers have tracked down Frank Castle and his War Machine armor. If he’s going to continue his crusade, he must make it past Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. If he can even make it past that, he must find someone to remove the nanite trackers in the suit and Nick Fury.
The battle between the Punisher and the Avengers is awesome. I didn’t even think how great it would be to see this geared-up Frank Castle duke it out with the other heroes. An odd assortment is chosen for the fight too. U.S. Agent and Tigra are among them, and I haven’t seen either of these characters in months. I dig it.
The comic doesn’t shy away from how brutal Frank can be to low-level grunts. It takes some of the fun out of it when the Punisher is executing thugs who don’t pose a threat to him. The comic seems somewhat aware of this and shows that in the finale, but it’s still an uncomfortable middle portion to weather.
The last third of the comic is solid confrontation between the Punisher and Fury, and it is where the comic seems the most self-aware. Fury makes it clear to Castle that he has no one to blame but himself for how hard the Avengers are gunning for him. Plus, Castle and Fury staring each other down is an awesome concept on its own.
Guiu Vilanova’s artwork puts Frank in a world gritty enough to fit his attitude. It’s bleak, grimy, and simplistic enough so that it doesn’t feel over-designed. Lee Loughridge’s color art is cold and dim, adding to that foreboding atmosphere.
Punisher #225 is a hard-bitten and grueling installment of the ever-bloody title. While it does get a bit uncomfortable in the middle portion, the first and last sequences of the book are compelling enough to get past any queasiness at the wanton brutality of it all. This one earns a recommendation. Check it out.
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