Punisher: War Machine Vol. 2 By Eric S Brown

     Punisher: War Machine Vol. 2 collects the issues that end Frank Castle’s time in the armor. At only one hundred and twelve pages, it’s a short, fast read. It is also a very intense and action-packed read. Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) leads a team of heroes that come after the Punisher in a full-out attempt to take him down and put him behind bars. These events take place in the wake of the Marvel event, Secret Empire. Captain Marvel is driven by vengeance seeking to make Frank pay for what he did during that the Secret Empire arc. After an epic battle, the Punisher escapes his first round against the heroes and manages to continue his quest to make those who used him, like Baron Zemo, feel his wrath. By the end of Volume 2, Tony Stark himself comes after Frank and finally takes him down. The Punisher is stripped of his new, ultra high tech suit and taken prisoner. Of course, that doesn’t last very long. Black Widow and the Winter Soldier free Frank so that can use his talent for violence in their own war against what remains of the Secret Empire.

     Overall, the story is compelling and well paced. The art is above par for a lot of books in the current market. And the conclusion, while disappointing perhaps for some, sets the stage for more Punisher adventures to come. Though the story collected in War Machine Vol. 2 is only a few years old, it still takes place before Marvel took the Punisher’s guns and logo away for political reasons and finally “killing” him off. Marvel’s current actions towards Frank Castle and his fans are nothing less than heartbreaking and lame but thankfully, there’s a huge backlog of Punisher tales like this one to enjoy.


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