Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Punisher War Journal 24

Not another "Secret Invasion" crossover...
Story- Stuart Clarke was the super villain formerly known as Rampage, but reformed and had been assisting the Punisher up until Frank's incarceration. However, Clarke finally discovers that the Punisher murdered his girlfriend in Mexico during a mission a while back. Of course, what Clarke doesn't know is that Frank was brainwashed at the time and didn't have a choice when it came to the murder. Clarke decides that now he has to hunt Frank down and kill him in retribution. He remakes his old Rampage armor, and wades through the streets of New York, killing Skrulls as he goes, figuring he'll find Frank where ever the largest explosions are.
When the Skrulls invade and destroy all of Tony Stark's technology, Frank's prison shuts down and he walks out, since the jail was fully automated. Seeing the Skrull ships filling the skies, Frank realizes that it is time for the Punisher to return to punish the Skrulls.
While this is occurring, SHIELD tells GW Bridge that since he is the resident expert on Frank Castle, they need him to recapture Frank, before he causes anymore deaths. Bridge catches up to Frank, by following his trail of destruction, but the two are forced to fight side by side against the Skrull legions. Just as things are looking bleak for Frank and Bridge, Rampage arrives to destroy the Skrulls who were about to kill Frank and Bridge. Rampage then demands to know what Frank did to his girlfriend in Mexico.

Overall- AAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!! Not Skrulls in this comic too!!!!! I just can't seem to escape this damn "Secret Invasion"! To make things even funnier, the cover of this comic didn't even have the "Secret Invasion" banner on top, so I didn't even realize it was a tie-in until I started reading it! The story was good, except for the needless appearance of the Skrulls, and I was glad to see the writer, Matt Fraction, finally allow Clarke to discover exactly what Frank did to his girl in Mexico. I actually have the old Champions trade paperbacks, so it was cool to see Clarke don his circa 1970's Rampage armor. I always liked GW Bridge and enjoy his interaction with Frank, so I was happy to see them fighting together again.
One complaint(besides the Skrulls!)is the artwork. Howard Chaykin's artwork just hasn't grown on me like I kept hoping it would. I guess he's going for a gritty look, since the Punisher's world is a gritty, dirty place, but I just don't like the scratchy way the artwork looks here.
Other than that, I liked this issue, and I look forward to Rampage's confrontation with Frank next issue.

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