Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Punisher War Journal #25

Overall- This is Part 2 of 2 of Punisher's "Secret Invasion" crossover. The issue opens with Stuart Clarke, the villain formerly known as Rampage, but now Punisher's weapon smith, discovering that Punisher killed his innocent girlfriend several issues back while Punisher was under the Hatemonger's mind control. Frank seems at peace with Rampage's decision to kill him in retribution, since Frank has been harboring guilt over killing the girl for a while now.

Before Clarke can kill Frank, G.W. Bridge and a Skrull crash the party, and the three humans join forces to kill the super powered Skrull. Clarke goes after Frank again, but is halted by a Skrull sniper, who was trying to pick off the three of them. Bridge gets clipped by the sniper's bullet, as does Frank. Clarke, with his Rampage armor realizes that he is the only one of the three who has a chance at getting to the Skrull sniper and makes a break for it while Bridge and Frank lay down cover fire.

While waiting for Clarke to either die or return, Bridge tells Frank that he never imagined that Frank would be working with a cop killer like Clarke. Frank is shocked by this info, and asks what exactly that meant, and Bridge informs Frank that Clarke killed a cop while he was trying to kill Tony Stark. Frank becomes infuriated by this news and rushes after Clarke.

Clarke manages to reach the Skrull sniper and kills him. Clarke then grabs the Skrull sniper gun and tries to find Frank in the street, only finding Bridge though. Frank surprises Clarke and the two battle, with Frank grabbing some exposed live electrical wires and shoving them into Clarke's face. While this is going on, some Skrulls blow up the building Clarke and Frank were battling it out in. Bridge ends up finding Clarke a bloody mess in the street. Clarke faintly asks if Frank was dead, and Bridge tells him that not only wasn't Frank dead, he was still battling the Skrulls.

The issue ends after the Skrull invasion has been put down. Bridge visits Clarke in a prison hospital, and we see that Clarke's face has been horribly scarred thanks to Punisher driving the electrical wires into his head. Clarke sits cuffed to the bed and ominously tells Bridge that he has big plans and that he has his whole life ahead of him to carry them out.

Matt Fraction and Rick Remender have done a pretty good job with the writing of this comic the past few issues. However, I still can't stand the artwork of Howard Chaykin. This issue the artwork looked a little better than usual, but I still believe that the sub par art hurts the overall story in this book. I have 6 issues of this comic book left on my subscription, and I can honestly say that I'm not sure I'll be spending the $20 to renew it. Even though I've been enjoying the last couple of issues, I have to cut some comics, and I get the feeling P.W.J. will be one of the comics I'm currently collecting to end up on the chopping block. Unless of course the next 6 issues absolutely blow me away. For this comic though, I'll give it a score of 7 1/2 out of 10. Once again I did enjoy the story, but the artwork hurt this book for me.


  1. Good review x-man, you make this issue sound like it was really action packed.

    I have one issue of this series with Chaykin art, and I hate it! I noticed how much I disliked his art when he did the Immortal Iron Fist Annual. It really does detract from the story.

    As far as your subscription, did you know they're relaunching this series as part of the dark reign crossover? I guess Frank Castle is going to be a freedom fighter against Norman Osborn now.

  2. Personally, I rarely notice the artwork in a comic, I'm usually more wrapped up in the story, but Chaykin's artwork is just so distractingly bad...

    I didn't know about the series relaunch. That means I'll probably move the remaining issues of this subscription to a series I'm really enjoying, like Captian America!