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Punisher #223: Review

Apr 2018
Matthew Rosenberg, Guiu Vilanova

Story Name:

Punisher: War Machine part 6

Review & Comments

4 stars

Punisher #223 Review by (April 21, 2018)
This issue really showcases how resilient and unstoppable Frank Castle is.

We already knew that Frank was going to keep the War Machine armour for his day job, and have to go up against various superheroes in the next few issues. But Marvel Wiki now has covers which show this series continuing to #228 with the WM armour and then returning to a more conventional Punisher in a new series.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Punisher #223 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Nick Fury Jr. gave Punisher the War Machine armour and sent him to Chernaya where General Petrov had staged a military coup with the help of rogue ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents. Now he's regretting it because the situation has escalated and Frank Castle won't stand down. Petrov's government has been recognised by the United Nations. And now Petrov has launched a nuclear missile as a last ditch defence. And War Machine is chasing it ...

... but he's losing the race. And the armour's AI tells him it's too dangerous to shoot the rocket. So Frank decides to ditch his big guns to go faster, and then non-essential bits of armour too. He catches up with the missile ...

... and the 2 surviving SHIELD Agents, in their versions of the WM armour, see it explode (just the fuel not the atomic warhead). And something plummets to Earth. When they get to the impact crater they find WM/Punisher holding the warhead nosecone over his head (with Nick still kibbitzing in his ear). Castle tells the Agents to remove their armour or he'll set the bomb off killing them all (and Petrov in his nearby bunker). The Agents try to to talk him down but he powers up a gauntlet to carry out his threat ...

... so Fury remote-triggers a failsafe EMP which depowers the armour and also those of the 2 Agents. All the armours fall off so Punisher just hits 1 of the Agents with a rock in his fist and then stamps on his throat. The other Agent attacks him with a knife. Castle takes it off him and stabs him with it.

Taking the knife and a rifle (he finds lying around somewhere) Frank now goes after Petrov. He can't get through the bunker door. But luckily Petrov comes out to meet him. Unluckily he's wearing 1 of the SHIELD War Machine armours - and this 1's working and fully armed.

Punisher hides behind a tank. And when Petrov approaches he throws a tank shell at him. Which Petrov automatically fires at, and the resulting explosion does *him* some damage. Castle then runs up and uses his knife to expose some of the vulnerabilities of the SHIELD version of the WM armour. He prises away an eye-shield and stabs Petrov in the eye. Then he inserts the blade into a chink between a wrist gun and the armoured hand, and severs some arteries. Frank dodges a blast and then chops the hand off completely.

Petrov tries to escape using his boot jets. But Punisher uses the tank as a springboard and grabs an armoured ankle. Using the knife as a piton thrust into armour joints he climbs up Petrov's back. Petrov flies higher expecting Castle to die of cold and lack of oxygen. But Punisher pries open a bit of the front of the armour and yanks something out trailing wires.

Petrov's armour fails and he starts to fall. Punisher falls too, now separated from his target. Frank desperately fiddle with the piece of armour he grabbed. Petrov slams into the ground. But at the last minute Castle gets his object to send a blast towards the ground, slowing his fall. (I guess the bit he has is the equivalent of Iron Man's chest unibeam.)

Later Fury is watching a news report of the incident when he gets a visit from Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers). Fury has to tell her that they haven't found Punisher or James Rhodes' War Machine armour. And Nick doesn't know what Frank will do next.

We see some gangsters having a meeting/meal in the Bronx. Punisher/War Machine smashes his way in and blows them up.

Guiu Vilanova
Guiu Vilanova
Lee Loughridge
Clayton Crain (Cover Penciler)
Clayton Crain (Cover Inker)
Clayton Crain (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Jake Thomas. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel

(Carol Danvers)
Nick Fury Jr.
Nick Fury Jr.

(Marcus Johnson)

Plus: War Machine (Frank Castle).

> Punisher: Book info and issue index

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