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Punisher #221: Review

Feb 2018
Matthew Rosenberg, Guiu Vilanova

Story Name:

Punisher: War Machine part 4

Review & Comments

4 stars

Punisher #221 Review by (February 23, 2018)
This is part 4 of the 6-part Punisher: War Machine arc. And the May solicitations show 2 issues which indicate that Castle isn't giving the armour back to Fury anytime soon.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Punisher #221 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Image from Punisher #221
Nick Fury Jr has given Punisher the War Machine armour so he can overthrow the military coup led by Gen'l Petrov that has taken over Chernaya. Fury has his own reason for wanting this. He had set up a SHIELD base in the country. When SHIELD was disbanded the local Agents went rogue and helped Petrov. After dealing with some of the military forces Frank Castle was set upon by these SHIELD Agents in their own (inferior) versions of the WM armour. And Frank ended up in the sea with heavy crippled armour.

Now a Chernayan fishing boat catches him in its net. The fishermen get War Machine's faceplate off as Castle gasps for air. Then he ignores his AI's suggestion that he needs medical attention, and asks the men to take him to shore.

Later we see some Chernayan soldiers trudging through snowfall in a forest, accompanied by 1 of the armoured SHIELD guys. Who goes off to 1 side to take a leak. (He could do it inside the armour but he never liked the idea of it being recycled.) Armourless Punisher sneaks up behind him and threatens his exposed member, getting the Agent to remove his own suit. The guy tells Castle he can't use it because it's biometrically bonded only to him. Frank just wrecks it and makes the Agent come with him as his prisoner.

As Punisher and the nearly-naked SHIELD Agent walk on through the snow we see that Castle now has his own armour in a sack on his back. The Agent claims he can fix Castle's armour at their old SHIELD base. So that's where they go.

When they get in sight Frank leaves his armour and the Agent tied to a tree. He scales a wall, throws a guard off it and 'persuades' another to unlock the gate (before presumably killing him).

Meanwhile a patrolling soldier finds the Agent. But before he can do anything Punisher appears behind him and stabs him through his ear. Castle now takes his armour and leads the shivering Agent into the base. The Agent directs him to the engineering lab, assuring him it won't be guarded. Punisher shoots the 2 guards the Agent 'forgot' about.

Inside they find a scientist having a sandwich. Frank spreads the War Machine armour on a table and tells the Agent he's got 1 hour to fix it. But they're interrupted by a holographic call from Fury. When Frank tells Nick that Agent Saporta (at last he gets a name) is going to mend his armour, Nick informs him that Saporta couldn't fix @#!$. So Punisher shoots the redundant Agent in the head. And he tells the scientist to take over the fixing.

Meanwhile Frank and Nick have a chat. Fury wants to know if Castle is still going after Petrov and the rogue SHIELD Agents. Castle thinks Fury is more worried about being blamed for the activities of the rogues than about Petrov  doing the dictator thing. Fury counters that Punisher's methods aren't exactly compassionate. Frank agrees to continue (he was going to anyway) but wants 2 things from Nick:- A check that the scientist is doing a good job, and info on all the rogue Agents. Fury says they'll have gone to ground, so Castle asks for info on Petrov's right-hand men instead.

Next we see Frank back in the WM armour picking up 1 of those right-hand men. And dropping him from a very great height, as a message to Petrov. Then he finds another 1 in a military vehicle and flies it into a tree at deadly speed. A 3rd is fishing through a hole in an ice-covered lake when War Machine bursts up out of the water. He catches a 4th coming home for the evening with his date, and rips him on 2.

But Fury contacts him again with a video broadcast by Petrov. He's holed up in a missile silo near Vilna and threatens to use the nukes unless Punisher leaves the country immediately. Nick says he's got to get out. But Frank is just happy that he now knows where Petrov is. And jets off in that direction.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Guiu Vilanova
Guiu Vilanova
Lee Loughridge
Clayton Crain (Cover Penciler)
Clayton Crain (Cover Inker)
Clayton Crain (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Jake Thomas.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Nick Fury Jr. (Marcus Johnson), War Machine (Frank Castle).

> Punisher: Book info and issue index

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