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.


Friday, October 13, 2017

PC POST #382: Fan Theory: Marvel's the Punisher might have leaked the release date weeks ago.




We live in an age that there is a lot of "fan theories". Some more accurate and others completely out of nonsense.
Well, I wouldn't be here if I considered this one a nonsense, it's a stretch, but it might lead us to something.
Today I was reached out from a fan called Hayden Vance on Punisher HQ. who claimed that he could possibly find out the release date for Marvel's the Punisher.

IF Hayden Vance is right, the release date has been "hid" in plain sight through promos that were leaked by the official accounts in the past weeks.

Let's start with the most recent promo


If you zoom into the word "TAKEN" you will see three lines and the last says "SAT 12-16".




If you check out your calendars if we take into consideration that 12 is the month and 16 is the day. you will see that it's a SATurday. ( SAT 12-16).



I know it's a stretch. And personally, I've been looking forward to seeing evidence that leads us to November and mid-December is way too many weeks of waiting for it. But this would be one of kind of coincidence that they pick randomly this (SAT 12-16).
Netflix doesn't release new series on Saturdays but this could be some sort of surprise drop.



It's even in this short video and many other promos too.

Again, this is a fan theory nothing official, I still have my personal opinion that it will be on Nov. 10 or Nov. 17.
But I found this very interesting to be taken into consideration.

Thank you, Hayden Vance for this awesome theory.



Posted by Ivo Santos



Saturday, October 7, 2017

PC POST #381: LOOK who's already seen Marvel's the Punisher!




A few weeks ago I received a tip in Punisher HQ from a fan who informed me that Howard Stern mentioned on his own show that he was seeing Marvel's the Punisher.
 So I looked into his shows from September and found out what he said about the show recorded at 18th September.

Howard Stern revealed that he got an advanced copy from Ted Sarandos ( Chief Content Officer for Netflix) from Marvel's the Punisher.

"I'm watching Punisher and I'm like... You know... This is the greatest #$?!ing thing. America has perfected entertainment!"
Later on the show, Stern finishes his opinion about the Punisher series:

"... I told you that I watched multiple episodes of the Punisher and it's pretty good. I like that guy... Who plays the Punisher... from the Walking Dead.. He's pretty good. The only critique I have is that it should even have more people getting killed. That's not enough death. But it's good..."


I know that Howard Stern is a comic book fan. This doesn't reveal much but at least we got a bit of spoiler-free review of what to expect.


Posted by Ivo Santos








PC POST #380: -REVIEW- PUNISHER: THE PLATOON #1




After four years on hold, this project came to life. Welcome to the Platoon! The first tour of Frank Castle that excelled the expectations.


Before starting this review I want to share how I miss Garth Ennis writing. Over the years we have been presented with some mediocre writers that don't get the character at all. 
But Ennis was born for the Punisher and despite one or two mistakes he did for the character ( in my opinion), he is by far the best Punisher writer of this new century.



Here is a good issue that reminds us that before all the retcon Marvel did in 2012 to the war origins of Frank Castle, he was a Vietnam veteran. This story guide us to his first tour when he has zero combat experience.
I was expecting to see a rookie Frank Castle but Ennis avoided that kind of cliché. Frank Castle has indeed zero experience but he's a genius in the battlefield being two or three steps forward from the rest of the Platoon.
If you liked "Valley Forge, Valley Forge", this book is for you. Ennis did show us some POV views about Frank and sent us directly to the past. We basically travel through time from present to the past. Frank's story is being told by someone who knows him well.

The success of this first issue had the hands of Goran Parlov and Jordie Bellaire. I would even risk saying that this is his best work in a Punisher book.
Great visuals, not too fancy but great. He has the ability to makes the readers focus on what matters. I really liked how he portrayed Frank Castle. Frank has a huge built and his body stands out the rest of the Platoon.
His expression was well caught. Despite the apparent lack of experience, his eyes reveal a huge self-confidence and an unbreakable will. 


This issue is a set up for all the upcoming issues, don't expect action in it but the storytelling did all the work that I didn't feel the need for action and expect some comeback characters from Punisher MAX and Fury Max!


Overall Rate: 8.5 / 10

Posted by Ivo Santos 








Tuesday, October 3, 2017

PC POST #379: -REVIEW- THE PUNISHER #16




Penultimate issue is out and puts together old foes. The Punisher and Face... With many updates to his own skillset!


Sadly Becky Cloonan's Punisher run is coming to an end. One more issue to go right when she found the perfect formula for her to portray the character. But she will not tap out until she wrapped up an old settle between Frank and Face. 



This issue is fast paced and the Punisher was conveniently placed in the right spot of the action meaning in the hospital that Face was recovering.
Most of this issue is about the Punisher vs Face and what an upgrade Face had. His face is now shaped like a skull and his body assimilated the overdose of EMC that will make him stronger and faster by default.



These two had a great fight in several pages being Face physically superior but Frank tactically smart to overcome that lack of strength.
The dialogue was good and the bit of humor was on point, without turning this issue into a comedy. I have to give credit to Cloonan for making Face a more interesting character than it was for 12 issues and my only regret is that she could make all these changes way back and make the first two arcs way more interesting than it was in the first place.
On the other hand, I'm glad she could catch up with good quality issues and now we will wrap up this story with a bang, next issue.




Matt Horak's art was really good. Since the last issue, the artwork seems to improved a lot. The battle between Frank and Face was graphically on top with great colors and especially the fight that occurred in the flames.
Now, I will give credits to Horak to make Face one of the most creepy Punisher villains I've ever seen. He remembered me a lot of another Punisher villain called Deke Wainscroft back into the graphic novel P.O.V.


Derrick Wainscroft
Face





















The cover was once again superb with Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire delivering a creepy tooth of Face. With of course a skull in between the front teeth. It's curious, in every Punisher cover they draw always a skull. Sometimes it's not so visible but it's always there. Great touch by these two writers!



Overall Rate: 8.5 / 10






Review by Ivo Santos ( FB / Twitter )

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

PC POST #378: -OPINION- THE PUNISHER TRAILER + Details



It took me awhile to write this article but finally let's start to talk a bit in about the newest Punisher trailer who got us all pumped up!

Check it out below!



After seeing the trailer this is nothing like we have ever seen before. It's emotionally intense and with an amazing action that makes the viewers stuck to the screen. To add to this amazing equation Netflix decided to call upon nostalgia and give to the trailer soundtrack "One" by Metallica.
This trailer does give to every viewer the direction Netflix/Marvel wants for the character and they were pretty convincing, also gives us some sort of plot keys to what's going to happen, Frank Castle is being hunted by Homeland, FBI, etc..

There have been some myths that were built around this trailer and some controversy. Based in MY OPINION i will try to clear that out.


Maria Castle wasn't killed in the bedroom with Frank



Like it was mentioned in Daredevil season 2, Castle's family were killed in Central Park during a meet with three gangs, the Mexican Cartel, the Irish and Dogs of Hell. This meeting was set up by Blacksmith. But looks like it didn't end here, Blacksmith was just the guy who arranged the meeting. This particular image is a dream sequence that turns out to be a nightmare for Frank.



Who/What is Zubair?


"Zubair" seems to be a vital element for everything that went "wrong" with this covert operation that Frank Castle was part of.
So what is/who Zubair? Zubair is the guy who's being tortured in the video that Frank is watching.

We don't know yet who he is but a few days ago one of the official accounts from the Punisher series leaked this image.




Rawlins


Rawlins is a Punisher comic book character and was also a CIA operator. In this portrayal, he is more than just a single operator he is the man in charge of CIA.
We don't know yet what went wrong in that covert operation I mentioned above but Rawlins and Frank shared a past together back in the day.
In the first trailer was shown both characters fighting and we saw Rawlins with a serious injured in the eye.



Aside from being the head of CIA and want to take out Frank for something that happened in the past, I believe we will be seeing some sort of grudge about Frank that will make it personal for that injury.


Micro


Micro, another character that belongs to the Punisher comics, created by Mike Baron. This take seems to be a little different from the comics. From what I have seen in the trailer both characters have a common goal, getting rid of the guys who are after Frank and probably him too.
It's still a clue why he will be joining Frank, Micro doesn't seem to have a son but he has a wife, maybe something bad will happen to her...



FBI, Homeland & CIA

There's been a lot of people saying that the government is after Frank. Well, it's not the government. It's a guy who has a grudge against Frank who runs the CIA and he sees him as a loose end he should have died when his family was killed. 

FBI and Homeland Security because he's a fugitive. In case you forgot he escaped from prison in Daredevil season 2. He's a wanted man.


Not to mention those mercs from ANVIL, the military private corporation that is owned by Billy Russo that was probably contracted to get rid of Frank. 

So basically it's the Punisher vs the World.

There's still no official release date for this series but more and more I'm thinking that they will release all the episodes by surprise.




Posted by Ivo Santos ( FB / Twitter)

















































































Monday, September 18, 2017

PC POST #377: New Marvel's the Punisher promo and some thoughts about the soldiers who are hunting down Frank.




Another promo is out and this one is bloody and violent. It's 30 seconds of pure mayhem when we see Frank in the hoods killing some soldiers one by one.

It was amazing how they developed these specific fighting scenes when we see Frank Castle pull off some amazing guerrilla warfare techniques to beat those soldiers to the ground permanently. While seeing Frank Castle in this specific situation it gave me some sort of nostalgia from the classic film "FIRST BLOOD" ( Rambo I).

Check out the teaser:


Here is the question who are these soldiers? Well, one thing is almost certain, these are not soldiers from the government. These soldiers are from some sort of private military company and they might belong to Anvil Corporation that was founded and headed by Billy Russo.

On the other side, these soldiers seem to have the same gear as we see Frank using in this picture.




"I'm coming for you." These are the words from Frank Castle in this short teaser but to who he is talking about? Rawlins or Russo? Or both?

Despite that, we don't have a release date. I guess we will find out to whom Frank was threatening somewhere in the upcoming months.

Ivo Santos [FB/Twitter]