Thursday, November 16, 2017

PC POST #387: -REVIEW- THE PUNISHER #218



The first issue of these new Punisher series branded by Legacy was released yesterday. And it was a really good issue, a well-built story by Matthew Rosenberg and a solid art by Guiu Vilanova.

After years of reboots over the years, Marvel decided to renumber all the titles and tie-in with the original titles through the years and here is Punisher #218. 
Matthew Rosenberg planned a well-structured storytelling in this first issue. 


Cover by Clayton Crain
Rosenberg introduced Frank's modus operandi ( the way he works) in the first pages of this comic when we see Frank intercepting some weapons dealers. The character was smart and tactically brilliant on the battlefield in the way he dealt with many guards. Knowing the territory and using the elements in his favor. It was very unbalanced, he was too good for those goons. Not even when they thought they were safe, he already planned the way he would kill them.
There is no inner speech on this issue, but honestly, it wasn't needed. With the art of Guiu's and the way Rosenberg tells his story, you figure it out how things will happen.


For weeks we know that Nick Fury Jr. would be involved in this story. I was a bit uneasy thinking that Fury would control/ manipulate Frank but he wasn't controlled. Rosenberg was pretty convincing in finding a way to make Frank help Fury Jr. in this quest and it worked.
The best part is when Frank is going to get the War Machine armor, with great action in stealth mode with a "no killing" rule. You will know why.





Guiu Vilanova did an amazing job in the artwork of this series and it was a good complement to Rosenberg's storytelling. This creative team seems to be very well aligned with the path they will go with this run.
The splash scenes were really impressing and how Guiu's imprinted a good dynamic in every action scene.
Another thing to add is the resemblance this Frank Castle has with Jon Bernthal. I know that Marvel tends to make his character to look like their cinematic counterparts but to me, it's no big deal. 

The coloring from Lee Loughridge was overall good, but there were some panels that the colors seemed a bit dark or didn't have enough light.
A shout out for Clayton's Crain cover which was beautifully made and of course Tim Bradstreet lenticular cover.





Verdict: I was impressed with the quality and well-structured story, I have hope that this can be a success story for years to come if it handles it in the right way. The secret to it it's not to put Frank in some sort of "chains" and let him be what he is. For the amazing work and the amount of respect Rosenberg has for the character, I know he will do him justice. 


I really don't like to give high scores in the first issue, but this leaves me no chances of doing it.



Overall Rate: 9 out of 10


Review by Ivo Santos ( FB / Twitter )





Wednesday, November 15, 2017

PC POST #386: -REVIEW- THE PUNISHER #17




 Becky Cloonan's 17th issue of her Punisher series comes to an end with a bittersweet taste.

The problem I had with this particular issue is that the Punisher behavior didn't make any sense. And once again he put innocent lives in danger. Like it happened to the homeless veteran a couple of issues ago.

The storytelling of this issue is very compressed and in terms of action is very straightforward while we are constantly being teased for the main event. The fight with the Punisher and Face.
The fight was enjoyable and even the contribute from the supporting characters was very important to the conclusion of this fight. 
I still don't understand why he let that actress and the director be in this fight or even let the director film his own actions to take out Face.



Matt Horak's art continues to keep his own quality, I get the feeling the more he would've worked on this issue the better he would become. 


The splash scenes were good and every panel of the fight between Face and Frank was worth it. There were a few dark panels and like issue #14 I really liked how Horak draws dark pages. Great shadows and pretty detailed despite the lack of "light".

The cover was decent. Not the best I've seen in this run but decent. Different than I am used to seeing in a Punisher comic. I didn't like the pattern of skulls in the back but overall it was a very decent.


Overall Rate: 7 out of 10


The final verdict of the run: Becky Cloonan portrayed one hell of a Frank Castle. Probably the most accurate to the classic stories of the past decades. He punished evildoers with everything he got like Bear traps, swords and all kinds of crazy stuff. I have to give it to Cloonan she imprinted one hell of diversity tools that Frank handle it perfectly. It might not be for everyone's taste but it was good for me. This Frank Castle doesn't mess around with or without weapons.

The best moment of this comic was around issue 13 to 15. I freaking love those one-shot stories, I think this was the best Punisher Cloonan could offer. It was great seeing the Punisher dealt with common problems aside from the "super stuff" like the EMC.
The weak point was the main arc of this comic, I've said it in many reviews that 12 issues for the Condor arc were too much. Long arcs don't work with the Punisher. The formula doesn't need to be reinvented. 5/6 issues one arc. It just took too long to finish this storyline.

The fact that Steve Dillon passed away was a huge blow to this comic. Matt Horak dealt with his own way which was good but no one can be Dillon and like no one can be Matt Horak.
Horak gives his best and I think, honestly he was up to the task. But, Steve Dillon was born for this kind of storyline that Cloonan wanted to tell.

My only regrets for this run was that I haven't seen Cloonan's interior art and didn't have a good amount of one-shot stories, those good "domestic" storylines that I grow up with.

Overall Rate for the Run: 7.5 out of 10.










Tuesday, November 14, 2017

PC POST #385: -REVIEW- PUNISHER: THE PLATOON #2






Platoon #2 was a blast and Garth Ennis once again just delivered an amazing story and show a Frank Castle in action for the first time with zero experience.

If Garth Ennis had a seal of quality this story would be branded by it. Again. 

Ennis tell us a war story that only a very few can deliver with such intense and detailed description.


Ennis presents us the two points of view from both sides of the war, the American and the Vietnamese. Not for you to take a side but to think about both sides.


The leadership skills of Frank Castle continues to be tested by his Platoon but this time under attack by tons of Vietnamese troops, this will mark the very first time Frank Castle is in action and the first kill.
This comic has a huge amount of violence and gore like a good story delivered by Ennis, he shows us how dirty and savage war can be and we will see Frank's Platoon fighting for their lives with everything they have just to survive.

Most of the credit goes to Goran Parlov who delivered a really good artwork and amazing panels with great colors.
The splash scenes are simply amazing with the usual quality from Parlov books that we are used to.
Explosions, shootouts, violence and the expressions of the characters is another detail that Parlov nailed it, he almost didn't need that Ennis could write any dialogue into the script, their expressions said it all.


The cover is amazing with a strong stare and that look we as Punisher fans have seen somewhere. And for the epic posture, Frank is on the cover.
Parlov needs to share his success with Jordie Bellaire as colorist not only for the cover but to the interiors of the comic. She really gave more depth to the tone of this series.

You can't go wrong with this series. If you are Ennis fan or The Punisher's classic MAX stories you will love it. It's Ennis and I don't remember him writing a bad Punisher story.





Overall Rate: 8.5 /10








Tuesday, October 24, 2017

PC POST #384: -PREVIEW- PUNISHER #218 and tons of Variant Covers!







In the last days it was released a few pages of the artwork and bits of the story of this new Punisher run by Matthew Rosenberg and on pencils Guiu Villanova that it will begin on 15th of November, two days before Marvel's the Punisher.

Cover by Clayton Crain


FRANK CASTLE: WAR MACHINE  Part 1
For years, Frank Castle has been fighting a one-man war against criminals who endanger the innocent, but when a certain one-eyed operative offers him the tools to take his fight global...how could he say no? Find out how Frank found his way into the WAR MACHINE Armor! PLUS: Includes 3 bonus MARVEL PRIMER PAGES!















Variant Covers!

TV Variant

Tim Bradstreet

Greg Smallwood

Mike McKone


Leinil Yu

So far, the art of Guiu made me want that I could see a bit more of the Punisher without the War Machine armor. These preview splash pages are very well developed and it's pure straight up 90's action. Not to mention how the Punisher looks exactly like Jon Bernthal!

Can't wait for November, it will be a great month for us, Punisher fans!

Tomorrow don't forget to pick up Punisher #17 and Punisher: Platoon #2!


Posted by Ivo Santos 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

PC POST #383: PUNISHER Solicitations for January 2018





Finally, it was revealed the solicitations of the next Punisher issues in January of 2018...

Punisher: The Platoon #5 ( out of 6)


Garth Ennis ( W ) & Goran Parlov (A & CA)
 

"The Platoon goes on a devastating mission that goes bad to worse. Viet Cong soldier Li Quang has been after Frank and his men for months. Her chance to get them has arrived."


The Punisher #220

(W) Matthew Rosenberg / (A) Guiu Villanova / (CA) Clayton Cray
"Frank’s torn through General Petrov’s soldiers and tanks, but an even deadlier force has Frank in their sights. A trap is set, with innocent lives on the line. Can Frank save the endangered civilians? Can he even save himself?"

I really can't wait for these issues to come out in January. About the Punisher with the War Machine suit, it looks he's going to travel around the globe and clearly be more hero-ish than the past run.
Since the Punisher (2014) that the Punisher has been a little tweaked in his own mindset and sometimes, I get the feeling he's been a little "tone down" regarding, for example, the Marvel Knights Punisher by Ennis set in the Marvel Universe.
But I'm really curious to see how Matthew Rosenberg will make this book and how he will develop the character.