THE PUNISHER: FRANKEN-CASTLE (Marvel, 2010; Hardcover)
Collects Dark Reign: The List- The Punisher, The Punisher Nos. 11-16, Franken-Castle Nos. 17-21 and Dark Wolverine Nos. 88, 89 (cover dates December, 2009- November, 2010).
Writers: Rick Remender and Daniel Way
Artists: John Romita, Jr. (DR:TL-P), Mirco Pierfederici, Dan Brereton and others.
The gist- The Punisher is cut to pieces by Daken, Wolverine's ret-conned child. The Punisher is sewn together by the miscast Morbius the Living Vampire. He was a doctor, true, but he was a biochemist. Here, he is miscast as a Dr. Frankenstein type who pieces Frank Castle back together. These continuity discrepancies are the reason that I have been dropping modern Marvel titles like flies. This works for me because of all of these vintage collections of good comics being put out. I only bought this because of my undying loyalty to the '70s undead (Morbius, Werewolf By Night, The Living Mummy, etc.).
|John Romita, Jr. artwork.|
This is why I do more research into all of my purchases these days. I am a sucker for Marvel's Bronze Age monsters, and when I saw those snazzy covers in Marvel Previews, I was like oooh, I will definitely pick that up once it's collected in trade. I now read the solicits more carefully, noting how they list the cover artist credit as being someone different than the interior artist. In this case, the interior artists are vastly inferior. With the exception of John Romita Jr.'s fast paced greatness on Dark Reign: The List- The Punisher, Dan Brereton's occasional painted artwork and Mirco Pierfederici's work on Dark Wolverine, the artwork is horrible. The writing is so bland and uninvolved, and the story has no sense of urgency. I only finished it because the issues read so fast that I was done before I knew it. That, and if I pay for it I must read it. This is an underwhelming read that will find its way on to eBay during my next purging.
The OCD zone- Marvel's over-sized hardcovers have glued binding most of the time. The shocking thing about this book is that it lays flat. I could live with this book if the material didn't suck.