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Punisher #225: Review

May 2018
Matthew Rosenberg, Guiu Vilanova

Story Name:

Punisher: war criminal part 2

Review & Comments

4 stars

Punisher #225 Review by (June 16, 2018)
3 issues to go before as we know Iron Man will take the War Machine armour back. Will Punisher be able to do anything significant with it before then?


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Punisher #225 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Punisher is using the War Machine armour in his war against criminals .(Nick Fury Jr lent it to him for a job and he didn't give it back.) Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) is unhappy about Frank Castle tarnishing the memory of her dead lover James Rhodes, the real War Machine, so she's organised a troop of superheroes to bring him in. Last issue Hawkeye planted a tracker on the armour and now Carol's group are outside Castle's safehouse calling him out.

Frank has a map of New York on the wall with various locations circled. He tells the armour's AI to memorise the map before he burns it. And then goes out to meet his opponents, but not to surrender.

A grenade scatters them. Captain Marvel flies at him but a flash blinds her and she runs into a wall. Spider-Man (Peter Parker) tags him with a web but War Machine whirls him around his head and throws him into Beast, at the same time downing U.S. Agent with an armoured punch to the shield. Tigra leaps on his back to take his mask off but gets a repulsor blast in the face. Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) congratulates Quake on fracturing the ground beneath Castle's feet, but he just flies into the air where Falcon distracts him while Cannonball slams him back to the ground.

Hercules, Luke Cage and Thing stand over War Machine. Frank blasts Ben Grimm and then rockets into him but Thing just grabs him in a bear hug until WM's shoulder gun peppers his rocky face with bullets. Cage tears the gun off but Castle just jumps on the fallen Thing and jack-hammer pummels him in the face until Herc and Luke pull him off. So Punisher fires stuff at both of them (not doing any harm). Captain Marvel has recovered and knocks War Machine through a wall into the safehouse, which then explodes.

When they clear away some rubble they find that Castle has escaped down an access to the subway tunnels. And we see him in full armour in a subway train.

Next War Machine hits a series of sites that were presumably the ones on the map he burnt. He's looking for someone who can repair his armour. The heroes are still tracking him but he's appearing all over the place so the heroes split up hoping that someone will be near enough to catch him. Captain Marvel coordinates. But they keep arriving too late.

He targets a gang-with hi-tech weapons in the Bronx - Cage gets there to find them all dead. Then an arms-dealer (who presumably supplied them) in Jersey City - Spider-Woman sees a body burnt in his bed. A gang of ninjas in the financial district are next - I think Cannonball takes *them*. Frank stops off for a meal in Harlem and Spider-Man finds it half-eaten. Castle goes looking for the Tinkerer in Staten Island and Quake finds his non-informant burnt up in his car. When Punisher tackles 2-men with big guns and small brains in Long Island City he just leaves them for Cage, Cannonball and U.S. Agent to deal with.

Finally in Brooklyn War Machine gets shot at by a weapon outside of his AI's database. This looks promising. He storms in and finds it to be an AIM base. The young scientists claim to have been recruited recently from college - it's just a job to them. Castle asks them what they studied at school. He shoots all the 1's with useless subjects and takes the 1 who majored in robotics engineering.

6 hours later Punisher has him working on the armour. They're working in the large freezer of a condemned fast-food place. The AIM guy has disabled most of the nanobots that the heroes are tracking and done something else to the armour's GPS system. Frank is satisfied.

In a van in Brooklyn Nick Fury is keeping in touch with the Danvers squad. Falcon reports that War Machine's signal was faint and then stopped. But they managed to track the last location to an old fast-food joint. Sam Wilson can't find any sign of Castle, but Fury suggests checking in the freezer which would have messed up the tracking signal. Falcon reports that he's found the dead body of a very young AIM Agent.

At that point WM breaks into Fury's van by peeling back the roof. Frank takes Nick to the top of the Freedom Tower for a chat. Fury says they won't stop coming after him. He gave Frank the WM armour and now he has to take it back because Castle killed the leader of a country (which is actually what Fury *told* him to do). Danvers wants to stop him using her dead lover's armour to blow people up in broad daylight. At some point he's going to make a mistake and blow up a school or something and there'll be another Superhero Registration Act. And on top of it all during Secret Empire Punisher worked for Hydra - if Fury had done that Frank would have killed him by now.

Castle says he wants to fix that so Fury suggests he surrender or let them kill him. But Punisher wants to go after Hydra. Fury says they've gone into hiding and the only guys who might know where they are is the CIA. So that's where War Machine goes next.

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.


(Hank McCoy)
Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel

(Carol Danvers)

(Sam Wilson)
Luke Cage
Luke Cage

(Power Man)

(Peter Parker)

(Jessica Drew)

(Ben Grimm)

(Greer Nelson)
U.S. Agent
U.S. Agent

(John Walker)

Plus: Cannonball, Nick Fury Jr. (Marcus Johnson), Quake (Daisy Johnson), War Machine (Frank Castle).

> Punisher: Book info and issue index

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