By Mathew Rosenberg, Guiu Vilanova and Lee Loughridge
The Punisher is by far one of Marvels most violent and graphic books. There’s no denying that in a world that envies Steve Rogers, every now and then it’s good to see a Frank Castle doing the dirty work. Matthew Rosenberg has been letting us see what happens when Frank gets his hands on a war machine suit, and if I’m being honest – it’s been glorious. This is the most exciting the Punisher has been in a long while. Seeing Frank going overseas and taking out terrible world leaders is great. Frank is showing that he can be the hero that people need. That is until the actual heroes, Carol Danvers and her crew get a hold of him. Vigilante justice doesn’t seem to have much of a place in the Marvel universe these days, but don’t tell that to Frank Castle.
It’s hard to root against the Punisher, but Matthew Rosenberg has put him in a position where you have to. While we always love that Frank is taking out bad guys, he’s going a little overboard with the suit. Like Carol Danvers or not, her team is right; he can’t keep going around killing important people because he feels they’re bad. There’s a really good talk in this issue between Nick Fury and Frank where Nick pretty much tells Frank why he’s wrong. It’s spot on and perhaps a self-reflective moment for Fury too. Rosenberg also continues to show us how ruthless Frank is as he goes off on pretty much everyone he sees. A few panels with some A.I.M. workers come to mind to show that Frank is taking things too far and losing control. Rosenberg has been doing a great job on this title and it’s a book that should be at the top of your read pile.
The pencils this issue are handled by Guiu Vilanova with colors by Lee Loughridge. Vilanova’s art is outstanding here. An early page in the book has Punisher looking at a group of heroes as his back faces the reader. Quality from all the characters is still high, even though it’s a busy page. The action sequences are well done, too. A panel where Frank flies into U.S. Agent’s shield looks marvelous, as does Cannonball smashing into The Punisher.
The colors by Lee Loughridge are amazing this issue as well. His dark, moody colors really capture the essence of the book. There is a bunch of shading, like when the Punisher opens the door to greet the heroes. Half of his suit is shaded and the other half is in the light. These little touches by Loughridge matter and it’s a huge reason why the art in this issue works.
The Punisher #225 was another really good entry into this series. Matthew Rosenberg and the art team have done an excellent job on this title and they continue to bring quality every month. If you haven’t read The Punisher in a while, this is a story arc that can reel you back into the franchise.