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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.

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Sir Duke

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Edited By Sir Duke

It's almost becoming a hobby seeing how much I disagree with these reviews.  If you want regular old Frank Castle Punisher, Punisher MAX is still there and still an amazing series.  Franken-Castle is a wildly different take, not afraid to take risks and have fun with itself.  Comic fans complain all day about how tired they are of the same old characters with the same old premises.  And then once a real change to a character is made, these same fans whine and complain about it on forums.  This issue was definitely a low for the Franken-Castle adventures, but decrying the whole concept?  Learn to let go, and enjoy this great concept for what it is.  I'm glad Marvel is sticking with the concept and really letting creativity shine over safe and boring ideas.

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SuperCoonce

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Edited By SuperCoonce

great review zack - way to break it down :)

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Caligula

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Edited By Caligula
@Sir Duke said:
" It's almost becoming a hobby seeing how much I disagree with these reviews.  If you want regular old Frank Castle Punisher, Punisher MAX is still there and still an amazing series.  Franken-Castle is a wildly different take, not afraid to take risks and have fun with itself.  Comic fans complain all day about how tired they are of the same old characters with the same old premises.  And then once a real change to a character is made, these same fans whine and complain about it on forums.  This series was definitely a low for the Franken-Castle adventures, but decrying the whole concept?  Learn to let go, and enjoy this great concept for what it is.  I'm glad Marvel is sticking with the concept and really letting creativity shine over safe and boring ideas. "
i agree
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Magian

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Edited By Magian
@Sir Duke:
I agree with you.
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FoxxFireArt

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Edited By FoxxFireArt

I think Franken-castle is a good example of what you get when a book maybe has gone on for too long. You have to keep stretching so much so far.
 
I understand the feeling of wanting this over. That whole Marvel vampire crap hasn't even started yet and I already want it over with.
That cover image is pretty nice though. I like the use of color and cool tones.

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nutzac4888

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Edited By nutzac4888

At first I kind of enjoyed the idea of Franken-caste, but the more the series drags on the less I like the idea.  I mean sure it would work like Old-man Logan did, but the series is set to continue this way for quite some time.  Quite frankly, and that pun is intended, I'm sick of Franken-caste and want just regular old hard ass Frank Castle.  Is that too much to ask? I don't think that it is and maybe Marvel could bang their collective heads together and think of something new for him to do.  Maybe a new enemy that doesn't fit the mold like a lot of his other villains do.  I have also been reading the Punishermax that has recently started and am thorough enjoying it, granted it gets to take a few more liberties due to the MAX imprint, but I would like to see this book get off the whole Franken-castle idea soon and let Frank do what he has always done.

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jamesewelch

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Edited By jamesewelch

I've been a Punisher fan for a long time and I have only read some of the Fraken-castle issues (via previews and in store browsing), but not purchased any. I purchased all of the 616 Punisher title up until his death in the Annual. I've purchased all of the Punisher:MAX series so far. 
 
I like Remender and all of the artists on the Frankencastle arcs, but I don't like the concept as part of continuity. I would have bought an out-of-continuity mini-series of 4 or 5 issues of Frankencastle, but having Frankencastle for 2 years (at minimum), is a bit much for me.
 
I don't remember saying how sick or tired I was of the latest Punisher series. I was rather enjoying it and the Dark Reign fallout. I think Remender did a great job of the pre-Frankecastle issues. 
 
Turning Frank into Frankenstien was an affront to Punisher fans, just like if Spider-Man turned into a sparkling vampire, Wolverine turned into a werewolf, and Hulk into a leprechaun. How do you think their fans would react to that? Having change isn't bad, but I don't really see that as change - that's an entirely new concept - a re-invention of the character rather than a change.
 
Heck, having Frank's arm or head cut off and reattached to another body or mechanical parts added would have been a welcome change. He could have continued on, but just be upgraded. The Frankencastle story has went off into supernatural territory and as the reviewer stated, the dialogue doesn't sound like Frank. It's as if, he's a completely different character now.
 
The concept is fine and I think Marvel could use some more supernatural characters, but Frankencastle would have been better suited as a new character rather than bringing Frank into the supernatural world. Frank lives in the criminal underbelly world, not with vampires and monsters. It just goes too far against his character basis.
 
As far as MAX vs 616, I do like MAX version of Punisher, but it's a bit too "MAX" for my taste. I like Punisher in the 616 universe interacting with low-powered super villains and mobsters with maybe some guest appearances from superheroes. I like seeing Punisher (a non-superpowered non-mutant) playing with the big dogs (mutants, super-powered). In MAX, since there's no mutants/super-powered, he's a raw Punisher and I think the battle versus people with greater abilities is quite diminished. He's more of a soldier in MAX than in 616 where's he's more of a strategist.
 
It would be nice if this thread could be tagged with Punisher, so the Punisher fans will see it in their favs.

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InnerVenom123

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Edited By InnerVenom123

MAX is cool, but I want my 616 Punisher back! They were doing a great job with him until he started messing with The Hood! 
 
Seriously, the salvaging old weapons was epic! Anyone remember when he shrunk himself down on a piece of pizza and grew inside of the guy? 
 
And then they ruined it with Franken-Castle.

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LT1085

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Edited By LT1085

  

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InnerVenom123

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Edited By InnerVenom123
@LT1085 said:
"    "
Truth.
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CleggSmith

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Edited By CleggSmith

You hit it!  This insanity is JUST LIKE Fonz jumping the damn shark!  This IS NOT Frank Castle, this IS NOT The Punisher, this is insanity.  It's a completely different character.  I like the whole world of monsters concept, but c'mon, don't screw with The Punisher.