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.
Another week and we have another vision of a dystopian future in the 2007 comic The Last Days of American Crime. It is written by Rick Remender with art by Greg Tocchini and was originally published in 2007 as a 3 issue miniseries from Image Comics. This creative team has given us great stories like LOW and Uncanny X-Force. They come with the good stuff in this near future bank heist comic with a twist: the crew has to rob the bank the same day the government starts broadcasting a “anti-crime” signal which “makes it impossible for anyone to knowingly break the law in any way possible”.
The story begins with our main character, Graham Bricke (which is a combination of 2 units of measurement of drugs: Gram and Brick) finding out that one of the dafecracker in his crew has ratted him out to a rival mob. He deals with the problem but several new problems have bubbled up: he needs to find a new safecracker and he only has a week to do it before the American Peace Initiative renders all crime in America obsolete.
The Last Days of Crime in America tells a fast, tight heist story that is full of twists and turns that you don’t know who to trust by the end. It reminded Jon and myself of great heist movies like Thief, Ronin and The Grifters. We highly recommend the comic.
The reason we read the comic was that a movie version was recently released on Netflix. Here is the trailer…
We compare the comic to it’s movie counterpart. Listen to the podcast for the details.
Normally, we would be doing a review of the latest comic related movie this week but Jon and I decided that we were not going to see Dark Phoenix in the theater (we explain why in the podcast) so this week we will be doing a retro review.
We have decided to review the apocalyptic comic, The End League. It is written by Rick Remender with art by Matt Broome. It was published by Dark Horse Comics in 2008 and is collected in trades.
This is a 9 issue series and we review only the first 4 issues. Those 4 issues are collected in a trade called Volume 1: Ballad of Big Nothing.
The story revolves around the last remaining super hero group in a world that is controlled by evil madmen. How did our heroes end up in such a situation? We review why one of the bravest heroes of this world, Astonishman is also one of it’s worst enemies and how his righteous actions condemned the world! Remender and Broome do some great world building in these 4 issues and set the reader up for a ride with heroes that are flawed and villains that are ruthless.
Check out the podcast and then do yourself a favor and check out The End League.
There are new titles coming out every month so we grab a few and read them and then opine on if they are worth your money or not.
The titles we are reviewing this week are (including the time code):
2:27 – Skybourne
13:58 – 7 to Eternity
27:25 – Rebith: Suicide Squad
41:50 – Britannia
These are 4 different types of comics – 1 is an action adventure title, another is an epic magical western story of revenge, another is a superhero (psychotic) buddy comedy and the last is a horror detective story. We break them down and let you know which ones to pick up. Also, you will find out that I cannot say the word “Etruscans” (Ee-Trus-Cans).