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Review: Franken-Castle #17

Can we get Frank Castle back?

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Morbius scrambles for a way to revive Franken-Castle and put him back on the road of vengeance. 

The Good

Boschi's art is great, packing in great detail and expressiveness to this menagerie of ghouls and crypts while still giving it all enough rough grit to match the dark tone (and, more importantly, always look finished.) He's also got a very strong sense of composition that makes almost every panel very layered and involving. Remender's got a great sense of storytelling and he gives these creatures a true variety of voices. That especially comes out during Franken-Castle's banter with his new " Microchip" (even if the voices don't always seem correct, as I'll get into later.) It's also interesting to see Marvel's "horror corner" being fleshed out into a distinct "universe" the way the cosmic characters are being fleshed out in Thanos Imperative.

The Bad

I just have a hard time shaking how bad an idea Franken-Castle is. I was around when the Punisher became an undead hitman for the angels and remember how poorly-conceived that was, and I think this is really going to join that arc's place in the character's history. It'd be fun to have another character hulking Marvel's supernatural underbelly and bumping heads with other monsters, but this just doesn't feel like the Punisher as he's been redefined after MAX. He's grim and committed, sure, but the pop culture quips he makes really don't sound like Frank, and I really doubt he'd put up with Microchip Jr.'s nonsense for too long before putting him in his place.

The Verdict - 3/5

I really wish this whole Franken-Castle nonsense would end as soon as possible, so we can get back to Punisher as he ought to be. Remender and Boschi have the goods, but I think their talents would shine a lot more in this title if it went back to the War Journal roots and became "distinctly Punisher," once again.