Sunday, January 14, 2018

PC POST #391: -REVIEW- THE PUNISHER #220







Another great issue of this Punisher series delivered almost flawlessly by Matthew Rosenberg with an engaging story and top-notch action. Guiu's art is polished and fit perfectly into this story.

This issue starts almost like the last one with Frank saving an innocent man from Petrov's troops and while doing that acquiring intel about his whereabouts and waging war to the headquarters of Petrov's but he got the attention of someone with special gear.

Matthew Rosenberg doesn't stop impressing me with his good writing in every issue that it's released. The bar is already high and Rosenberg doesn't seem that is writing is running out of steam.
For every reader, this issue gives us TONS of action with Frank obliterating Petrov's troops and obviously a gorgeous artwork by Vilanova.
The story is compelling and simple. So far, there are no major twists and easy to follow up.
Rosenberg knows how to entertain and this issue gives us that. Entertainment.

The big premise of this arc so far, was seeing Frank against those rogue ex-agents of SHIELD. Energy blasts, flying maneuvers and even simple methods Frank used to try to take down those highly trained rogue agents.
Frank can easily use the suit to obliterate common troops, send vehicles through the air to stop tanks, etc... but when he faces some guys highly trained in their SHIELD armors things change a little bit.
What I'm liking so far is that Frank doesn't control the War Machine armor just yet. He didn't have the time to master it, he's in process of learning how to use it in the proper way.
This "weakness" is what I like about stories of the Punisher, the ability he has to overcome those weaknesses. This process of evolution is what I expect from this run. I have no doubt this process of learning how to master the War Machine armor will lead to something epic.

The art of Vilanova is astonishing. Vilanova is getting used to drawing the War Machine armor, and it's getting better in every issue that it's released. The armor is very well designed and detailed and especially the skull. The skull painted in the armor has a very aggressive look.
The action panels were amazing and dynamic artwork among panels.

Lee Loughridge did a better job on coloring this issue in my humble opinion. Despite some "brownish"colors in some panels overall he did a good job on coloring most of it. During the night scene Loughridge colors just shined.






OVERALL RATE: 9 / 10

Review by Ivo Santos









Wednesday, January 10, 2018

PC POST #390: -REVIEW- THE PUNISHER #219






Matthew Rosenberg continues to impress with this solid story he pulls zero punches when it comes to make the Punisher a bad ass character. Guiu Villanova art keeps improving a lot showing us a more polished War Machine armor on this second issue.


Frank Castle arrived in Chernaya saved an old man named Vakha from being killed by the troops of Petrov's. 
Vakha was a great supporting character, a bit cliché though, but it was great seeing these veterans interacting with each other. For moments I imagined Frank Castle decades before he finishes his "war" (like something like that was possible). But don't know why Vakha reminds me of Frank.


The action of this story was great, most of the action of this comics was the Punisher defending the land of old Vakha from the incursion of Petrov's troops, the funny thing is that Frank doesn't control 100% the armor and he's still learning and improving how to dominate it after a few mistakes especially when Frank is fighting a tank.
A curious fact is the A.I of the armor it's programmed for the previous user and not for Frank it clearly needs some reprogramming for Frank's by the modus operandi. It's hilarious the rant between Frank and the A.I.


The art of Guiu's is getting polished by the issue. The designed of the armor is much better when we compare with the last issue. His drawings are very dynamic and the action scenes very well made. I liked how Guiu focused in what matters while drawing the action scenes, you don't get distracted by the background. Great work Guiu!



About the colors, I'm not a big fan of Loughridge's tone he set for this issue, I didn't like this "brownish" color all over the issue.

The scenario when everything happens had something to do with it but this is the only thing I didn't like so far.


Can't wait to read today's issue THE PUNISHER #220, don't forget to seize your comic book stores!


OVERALL RATE: 8.5 / 10

Review by Ivo Santos

























Tuesday, January 9, 2018

PC POST #389: -REVIEW- PUNISHER: THE PLATOON #3


First of all, I want apologize for the lack of time and updates to the page. It was a very busy December and finally, I can give you full reviews of the past Punisher issues. Platoon #3 and #4 and The Punisher: War Machine #219.

Let's get into business!





Garth Ennis is a genius when he sets the reader into historic events. He told us great stories in BORN, FURY MAX and now THE PLATOON. We have to take off the hat to him because he really does his homework.

In this issue, Frank Castle's Platoon will face a new obstacle that once again will test Frank Castle leadership skills.
Ennis like in the previous issues shows us a Frank Castle committed to the job like he used to show us while being the Punisher. He's willing to take risks for the safety of his Platoon, even if he has to do something illegal and this is pretty much the premise of this issue.
While reading pages we get to know that Frank Castle deeds on previous issues are well known for some US bases on Vietnam. He's a popular marine among the higher ranks.


One thing to that needs to be said is that there is a lack of action. It's in the same vein as issue #1 where Ennis dedicated the pages of this issue to the storytelling. But it was well worth it.




The art of Goran Parlov continues to present us an extreme quality. All the scenes, the background and especially the background are very well designed. With the amazing storytelling and the talented artist such as Parlov, everything goes smooth and pleasant. 


The colors of Jordie Bellaire are in perfect sync with Parlov's art. The tone of this issue overall is great not too colorful but with the perfect dose of color. 

The cover is great showing Frank Castle leading his Platoon ready for action. One thing that I didn't mention is the Punisher skull.The skull designed by Parlov is becoming one of my top 3 of all time.




OVERALL RATE: 8.5 / 10


Review by Ivo Santos












Wednesday, November 29, 2017

PC POST #388: -REVIEW- MARVEL'S THE PUNISHER & Easter Eggs!





Non-Spoiler Review

Ten days have passed and two times I've watched the Marvel's the Punisher and my opinion didn't change at all since the first time... It was brilliant.
I've been waiting years, hoping for a good depiction of the Punisher and it's finally here. I can official say that Jon Bernthal is my Punisher.

Jon Bernthal's portrayal of the character is my favorite of all the movies we know ( Punisher 89', The Punisher 04' and The Punisher War-Zone 08') but it's tricky and might not be likable by Punisher fans from Grant, Dixon and Ennis.
Frank Castle in this series is a violent man. But as a character, if we compare to the comics written by the previous authors I mentioned, he's more sociable in the way he relates to other characters, remembering me a lot of the early runs from Mike Baron and Carl Potts. But make no mistake, the violence of this show can be almost on par with Punisher MAX.
There are details that I didn't like. Sometimes Jon Bernthal portrayed a Frank Castle too emotional in certain circumstances, we get it he's more human but sometimes he needed to be a little tougher. But it's a minor detail and only in two times at most that we have seen him behaving like this.

This series doesn't have non-stop action. Like if we compare to Punisher: War-Zone. But we will have Frank Castle kicking ass for eleven episodes out of thirteen. This series, unlike the movies, had the time to develop Frank's story and the other two subplots.
I felt that it should be space for one episode to show us Frank's family being assassinated and Frank waking up from the coma and trying to fix things using the legal system. It would be important for the audience to understand that he was failed by the system like it was showed in Punisher: Year One.

Marvel's the Punisher wouldn't be good without all the actors and actress that paved the way for its success. Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Micro, Amber Rose Revah as Dinah Madani, Ben Barnes as Billy Russo and Deborah Ann Woll as Karen were the main foundation of these series.
It's unforgettable the moments we had between Frank and Micro, starting with torture and ending with friendship, Dinah Madani a Homeland agent who fought against the system to get the truth, Karen Page who was great help to Frank in providing intel about Micro and of course, Billy Russo who was amazingly played by Ben Barnes. With 25 years of reading Punisher comics, THIS Billy Russo is my favorite portrayal of the character in any media. Take this from a guy who didn't like Billy Russo/Jigsaw as a character in comics.

I have to mentioned and give a shout out to the filming quality image, great colors and it wasn't as dark as Daredevil season 2. Fantastic panorama shots and filmmaking.
Tyler Bates did the score for this series and it's superb! Great fit for the series and those like me who love to appreciate scores, you will get goosebumps when you hear some of them and relate to specific scenes.

The most notorious characters in the series.

Micro - Amazing cast. Just as good as Barnes for Billy Russo. This Micro is an updated version of our days modern ex-NSA analyst going rogue, with a Snowden-ish style. Nowadays the usual nerd isn't the "fat guy" behind the computer who eats trash food.
Micro was the main foundation to help Frank achieving his objectives and primarily while he was doing that he helped Micro achieving his. The bromance between both characters was really good to see. A relationship that began with torture end up like a good friendship. It's impossible not to laugh between the rants of these two characters on many occasions.

Billy Russo - What a role... and cast. Ben Barnes fit perfectly to the role. Not to mention the twist Netflix give this classic Punisher character. He isn't some hitman from the mafia. like he is portrayed in the comics, he is Frank's friend and possesses the same skillset as Frank due to his experience in the Marines corp. Finally Frank might have a true nemesis.





OVERALL RATE: 9 out of 10



Now let's go into the easter eggs and watch OUT for the SPOILERS!!





Easter Eggs & Punisher references

Some easter eggs you will see featured in this article you won't see it anywhere. I will only mention the easter eggs that are related to the Punisher source material. References or things outside this won't be mentioned. There are some references I did in a previous article.

In the episodes list we have two references to the comics...

Ep.9 Front Toward the Enemy


Name of the Punisher MAX comic book written by Ennis

Ep.13 Memento Mori
The name of the first issue of Edmondson's and Gerads run.



In the first episode, we get some references to the comics.

Frank's look in the series just like the Punisher run from Greg Rucka 


The Sledgehammer fight is a clear homage to PunisherMAX 11.

The Gnuccis

Was a gang led by Ma Gnucci in the comics. Ma didn't appear in the series but the door was left open to a possible plot in the upcoming Punisher season ( If we have one) when she can avenge the death of her own member or maybe he has some with familial ties.




"Welcome Back, Frank"
During the end of the first episode, when Micro is trying to track down Frank and spot him. He says "Welcome Back, Frank". That's a reference from the first Punisher miniseries written by Garth Ennis.






Kandahar scenes / Punisher: BORN

On episode 3 we got an amazing scene when certainly is an homage to Punisher: Born. Frank's platoon is being cornered and Frank goes alone into a warehouse in "one man army" mode and wastes all the hostiles by himself.




Pinball Machine

Seen on episode four when Frank kills the mook and put him above a pinball machine, a clear easter from this classic figure.



Flamethrower

We continue on episode four and Frank gets into a van full of weapons of the Homeland Security, he scares the agents with a flamethrower. 
Frank used a similar maneuver in the comics by Ennis but he did actually burn the criminals to a crisp.  




Curtis Hoyle

The same name, different characters. Both knew Frank in the war. The MCU version is one of the most trustable people Frank know and a good friend. The comics version cross paths with Frank in the Vietnam but he started working with a crooked general Van Tran's, tried to kill Frank, but Frank threw him out of the helicopter.





Battlevan

After a long absence from comics and the movies, the Battlevan is back. In the comics, it was literally a walking tank. Equipped by Microchip with all sorts of guns and gadgets to aid the Punisher in his missions. 
The MCU version is a regular van where they use only for mobility.



Senator Ori

Ori appeared in the Punisher comics back into the 90's in the War Journal run. Ori was a senator with ties with the mob and he began a quest for vengeance because Frank killed his crooked nephew. In the series, Ori is a senator who defends gun control and tries to frame Frank accusing him of being attacking the hotel with Lewis.




Pete Castiglione

In the comics, Castiglione is the original of Frank Castle. He changed his name to  Frank Castle just to make another tour in Vietnam. In the series, Frank Castle was known to the public as a dead man, he adopted the name of Pete Castiglione and tried to live a normal life... for a while.


Fight Ali vs Foreman



This fight was mentioned in episode 5. Where the father of Lewis emphasizes the date (1974) give us a hint of the first appearance of the Punisher in the comics. In Amazing Spider-Man #129.


Barracuda Reference

On the seventh episode after Frank Castle took the data from Bennet's cell phone. Billy Russo said to Bennet that if it wasn't for himself, Frank Castle would probably have Bennet's testicles hooked up to a car battery. Pretty much what Frank did to Barracuda.


Painted Face

Another reference to the comics when Frank is prepping himself to face ANVIL he paints the face just like in the YEAR ONE comics when he was ready to hit Billy Russo's headquarters.


 Shooting the Head

Another reference but now for Punisher MAX. In comics version, this scene is when he's killing Microchip, they used the same shot when he's executing one of the ANVIL's agents.


Billy Russo / Jigsaw

The final fight between Frank and Russo was superb. In the final scenes, we saw the same scenes from the panels of PUNISHER: YEAR ONE comic. When Frank puts Russo in front of the mirror and smashes his face into it.


 Finally I could complete this review, almost two weeks after the show. A bit late but didn't want to spoil anyone. I hope you enjoy it.


Done by Ivo Santos (twitter)

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 )