Welcome back to the conclusion of the Franken-Castle storyline from 2010. It was originally published by Marvel as The Punisher Vol. 3 and became the title Franken-Castle with issue #17 until the series ended with issue #21. Rick Remender was the writer of the series. The majority of the art was done by Tony Moore with Roland Boschi doing some fill-in issues. Dan Brereton painted 2 issues (The origin of Hellsgaard and the final issue) and John Romita Jr did the art for a one-shot.
Last week we discussed how the Punisher was murdered and dismembered and how Morbius, the living vampire stitched Frank back together to help fight the Hunter of Monsters.
In the podcast this week, I talk about the origin story of Robert Hellsgaard and why he hates monsters so much. We also uncover the artifact that Hellsgaard is searching for and why he wants it so bad. This leads to the conflict between Frank Castle AKA Franken-Castle and Hellsgaard and how that conflict is finally resolved.
Once Frank takes care of that problem, he goes on a revenge tour and one of the stops is Daken (the guy that killed him). This leads to a 4 part cross-over event between Franken-Castle and Dark Wolverine. I posted the cover of the Franken-Castle #19 which is part 2. This 4 part event is essentially a 4 issue fight.
We end on issue #21 that explains how Frank Castle gets his old body back and returns to the status quo of the Punisher again.
I end the podcast with previous attempt at telling a different Punisher story with the 4 part miniseries – Punisher: Purgatory. Even though this series had fantastic art by Bernie Wrightson, everyone (including myself) hates this miniseries and I try to explain why.
This week we are going to review a Punisher comic storyline that will cause fans of the franchise to either be happy to talk about it or shun it with shame. I am always ecstatic to talk about Franken-Castle.
Rick Remender wrote the Volume 3 of Marvel’s Punisher comic in 2010. His run ran from issue 1 to the final issue 21 and there was a limited series Punisher: In the Blood that followed. He had several very talented artists helping him on these books which include: Jerome Opena, Tan Eng Huat, Tony Moore, Roland Boschi, John Romita Jr and Dan Brereton.
We will be talking specifically about the storyline that started in an Invasion one shot called: Dark Reign: The List – Punisher #1 and ran through issues #11 – 21 of the Punisher. This is know as the Franken-Castle storyline.
To sum up the story: Frank Castle AKA The Punisher is killed by Dark Wolverine AKA Daken (illegitimate psychotic son of Logan), Castle is then revived by Morbius, the living vampire to help defend the Legion of Monsters from the group called Hunters of Monsters Special Force lead by the fanatical Robert Hellsgaard. This is just the beginning of the story.
The storyline can be divisive based on how hardcore a fan you are of the Punisher. If you think Punisher stories should always be grim, gritty and realistic as possible then you are going to hate this story. But if you are like me, you know the Punisher lives in the Marvel Universe where crazy and insane things happen all the time so why can’t those nutty things happen to the Punisher? If you feel this way then you will love this story.
I broke this storyline down into 2 podcasts. It starts with this one 295 and will end next week with 296. In 295, I cover why Dark Wolverine killed Frank Castle, why Frank initially refuses to help Morbius and why he changes his mind and we get to know Hellsgaard a little. I will go into more detail on Hellsgaard in 296. There are spoilers in this and next week’s podcasts and I highly recommend you go purchase the trade paperback called Franken-Castle. I also go over a little writing history of Rick Remender and the Marvel characters he worked on from 2010 to 2012. I highly recommend picking these trades up as well.