The Punisher #219
War Machine part 2
Frank Castle has entered a war zone in The Punisher #219. A rogue general has taken over an Eastern European state, Chernaya, using technology and weapons from a defunct S.H.I.E.L.D. outpost in the area. General Petrov has taken over the state with an iron fist and is asserting his rule over the people with brute force. Obviously, Nick Fury is not happy about this and knows there is one man that can solve the problem: Frank Castle, the Punisher. But this may be too much for even the Punisher to handle. That is when Nick Fury lends Castle a helping hand with the War Machine armor!
The Punisher #219 was a fantastic read and has me hooked into this story arc. I will start off by saying I have not read a Punisher story in a long time and have not been following this series, but I did just finish The Punisher Netflix series (which was excellent) so I had an itch for more Frank Castle. The Punisher #219 scratched that itch.
I was really impressed with how I was able to jump right in on this storyline (which started in the last issue). Matthew Rosenberg did a great job of continuing the story, but also not leaving me to feel lost or confused at any point. The recap at the beginning obviously helped a lot and, yeah, maybe there was a spot or two I was a little lost, but overall, all you really need to know is what I summarized at the top to jump in on this story.
The Punisher #219 basically has Frank going into enemy territory and ending up on a guy’s farm. I will keep this spoiler-free, but Rosenberg does a great job of fleshing this farmer character out in a very short amount of time. Rosenberg also balances the issue well; yes, there is a lot of violence and action, but he puts in some quiet humorous spots throughout the story, and some more emotional beats as well. Rosenberg does a great job of making The Punisher #219 feel longer than it actually is. I am not saying it dragged on. It just felt like a longer story with a lot of things in it, and that is a great credit to his writing, that he can make a 22 to 24-page story feel so full and alive!
Now, this is my first exposure to Guiu Vilanova’s art and I was very impressed. I love his landscapes and attention to detail in the backgrounds; it really made The Punisher #219 come alive. Vilanova has a detailed style, but it also feels rough at the same time, and that is the perfect fit for this story and a character like the Punisher. He does draw Frank Castle with a resemblance to Jon Bernthal–it is not an exact likeness, but it is there. That is not a bad thing, as Bernthal was perfect casting for Frank Castle. I love the heft and weight Vilanova gives to the War Machine armor, and it really does look awesome with the Punisher logo painted on it. Vilanova does great work on all the action sequences throughout The Punisher #219; they are structured superbly well and look amazing.
Lee Loughridge does some fantastic coloring work as well; the yellow hue he gives the farm during sunset and the off-blue/grey color he gives the War Machine armor are just brilliant.
I was a little skeptical about having Frank Castle in the War Machine armor and how that was going to be, but the story really makes it reasonable why Castle needs the armor. As someone who is not a regular The Punisher reader and just jumped in with this issue I was super impressed with the whole creative team and how much I liked this story. If you watched The Punisher series on Netflix and want some more Frank Castle with a little bit more comic-book twist then you should definitely check out this series!
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