The Punisher #221 Review: Surviving by Chance, but Still Coming Out on Top

The Punisher #221


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Writer: Matthew Rosenberg,

Artist: Guiu Vilanova,

Color Artist: Lee Loughridge,

Letters: VC’s Cory Petit,

Cover by: Clayton Crain,

Special Thanks: Mitch Montgomery,

Designer: Anthony Gambino,

Editor: Jake Thomas,

Associate Editor: Mark Basso,

Publisher: Marvel Comics,

Release Date: Out Now,

Price: $3.99

The Punisher and his War Machine armor are accidentally recovered by a fishing boat. He is able to remove the powerless armor and has the fisherman return him to the mainland. He ambushes one of Petrov’s patrols and finds an engineer who claims he can fix the War Machine armor. It’s not long after that Nick Fury contacts the Punisher.

The Punisher #221 cover by Clayton CrainThe Punisher #221 cover by Clayton Crain

I’m kind of torn on the concept of Frank only surviving on happenstance at the beginning of this book. On one hand, having your hero survive on pure chance can make them less engaging. However, the Punisher is such a reckless and haphazard character that it kind of follows that he is frankly a benefactor of random chance. Plus, it kind of subverts his hyper-macho “prepared for anything” veneer, though it’s questionable how intentional that would be.

In the end, it doesn’t bother me that much as a plot point.

From there on out, it’s another violent and brutal issue of Punisher. He cuts, shoots, and detonates Petrov’s men. He abuses that engineer needlessly, though you could argue this violent occupier deserved it.

Frank also makes a couple of jokes with Fury, which is a subtle and enjoyable slight humanization of Frankie boy. The two characters play off of each other well. Neither is accustomed to tolerating BS, but Fury also frequently employs BS. This creates a natural tension in the dialogue, making it that much more engaging.

The Punisher #221 art by Guiu Vilanova and Lee LoughridgeThe Punisher #221 art by Guiu Vilanova and Lee Loughridge

Guiu Vilanova’s artwork continues the streak of grittiness and shadowing that make his style ideal for a Punisher title. He also gets to play a bit in the finale as Frank tears his way once more through Petrov’s army. On top of that, Lee Loughridge’s color work adds grim and dim layer over all of this, making it look even better.

Punisher #221 is another brutally fun comic in Frank’s saga. He is beaten but gets back up to take vengeance on Petrov’s people. Vilanova and Loughridge bring great art to the book. I recommend this one too. Give it a try.

As an addendum, I was torn on whether or not to cover this book given the Parkland school shooting last week. Cards on the table, talking about this book at all still feels like a lapse of tact. Frank Castle, though I like him, his still a hero-like character who employs arsenals of killing machines to deal with crime and evil. I don’t prescribe to the “good guy with the gun argument.” What I tell myself to justify this review at all is that I’m contributing to the wider cultural conversation about guns and the extent to which we should have the right to be armed, if only on a tiny, tiny, minute and miniscule level. At least, that’s what I tell myself.

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The post The Punisher #221 Review: Surviving by Chance, but Still Coming Out on Top appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

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