The Punisher #228 Review: Undercutting the Satisfaction

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Iron Man has arrived at the prison, and he is not happy about Frank Castle using Rhodey's War Machine armor. Before a fight can ensue, the Punisher traps Iron Man in the prison and chases the prison transport carrying the Hydra Supreme Commander, the evil Steve Rogers. Baron Zemo and Ghost are protecting the transport, and Punisher will need to get through them to kill the evil Steve (Stevil?). Plus, Iron Man won't stay occupied for long.

The Punisher #228 cover by Clayton Crain
The Punisher #228 cover by Clayton Crain

This is the last Punisher issue before the book relaunches at #1, and it's another knock down-drag out with Frank Castle against the forces of Hydra and every superhero in New York.

It's not quite as cathartic as recent issues, as Frank doesn't go very far without Ghost and/or Iron Man holding him down. Frank dressing down both Stark and, later, Nick Fury is some good fun, but it doesn't match the snark Frank threw at Bucky last issue.

How this conflict ends will likely feel less than satisfying for many readers too, as it's someone with little connection to Frank Castle talking him down. They have similar backgrounds, but it's not quite the same as someone who knows Frank personally.

Also, it is a big what-the-hell moment if you haven't been keeping up with one specific other title.

Punisher #228 art by Guiu Vilanova and Lee Loughridge
Punisher #228 art by Guiu Vilanova and Lee Loughridge

Guiu Vilanova returns to the title and delivers some solid artwork. The detailing is extensive once again, and the power armor battle between Frank and Tony looks especially good. Vilanova also makes great use of shadow, and that adds a lot of atmosphere to the book. Lee Loughridge makes use of paler and darker shades to give the book due grittiness.

The Punisher #228 looks great, and it's not a bad ending. It's a little stifling for Frank, but it leaves a nice cliffhanger for the rebooted title. Plus, we do get to see Frank bust some Hydra heads, and that's nice. I can recommend this one to the Punisher devotee, but it's not must-read.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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