The Punisher #5
Winslow blasts Frank with the rings of the Mandarin. They exchange blows and Frank eventually takes the rings off of Winslow’s hands.
Winslow is understandably less than grateful, but he gives Frank a lead. The Punisher goes on a killing spree that leads him to an office, where The Winter Soldier, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Gentleman-Hawkeye and Nick Fury (the real one this time) are waiting, intent on bringing him in. The numbers tell and Frank is finally subdued.
Unbeknownst to the actual heroes, Fury’s agents hand Frank over to Hydra. After travelling in planes, trains and automobiles (well, a van, a boat and a helicopter) he is brought face to face with Baron Zemo. Twenty quid says that smelly Zemo will regret providing The Punisher with an all expenses paid trip to Bagalia.
As with other issues, the action starts early and doesn’t let up. We’re straight back into it with a full page splash panel. The seven page battle between Frank and Winslow is fantastic.
It really feels like one of those fights where two people have given everything they’ve got and strength of will is the only thing left. This is of course one of the strengths of the series, it shows Frank’s determination through action.
This issue also effectively and concisely reminds us where this relentless drive comes from, making sense of and humanizing Frank to some extent.
Early on there’s also some nice pride before the fall foreshadowing with smelly Zemo claiming to be perfectly safe in Bagalia (uhuh, right…)
Szymon Kudranski’s art is great as always, though this book isn’t quite as spectacular as some of the previous issues. It’s not the funniest book in the series either, though there is still some appropriately dark humour.
Once again though my major gripe with this series is its repeated presentation of torture being used to gain accurate information. I’ve already written about this in my reviews of issues two and four so I won’t flog a dead horse here because though that might not be cruel, it certainly would be unusual.
A very mixed bag, the issue starts with a fight so well-achieved as to be almost transcendental while the middle of the book is essentially torture porn, so… yeah, uneven would be putting it mildly.
The Punisher #5: The Lord Of The Rings Of The Mandarin
- Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
- Storyline - 6.25/106.3/10
- Art - 8.75/108.8/10
- Color - 8.75/108.8/10
- Cover Art - 9.25/109.3/10
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