The War of the Realms: The Punisher
Eric S Brown
War of the Realms was an event which spanned the entire Marvel Universe. Malekith, the king of the Dark Elves, declared war on Midgard, and all of the horrors of Asgard pilled onto the Earth – and into the streets of New York where Frank Castle, the Punisher, found himself fighting actual monsters while protecting the city’s innocents.
The main storyline of Punisher: War of the Realms features Frank freeing a bus load of convicted criminals in order to use them as soldiers while desperately trying to guard the fleeing staff and residents of a hospital. As he battles trolls, hell hounds, and more, the former prisoners get the upper hand on him and force him to swear to let them live if they, and those they are protecting, make it out of the city. Frank agrees but by the time the group escapes New York, only one prisoner is still alive. Frank breaks his oath and kills him anyway in a powerful moment that shows just how lost the Punisher is when it comes to his own humanity. This story is packed with action and a lot of emotion but the bonus story that concludes the book somehow manages to top it.
The War of the Realms: The Punisher also includes a rather unexpected Dr. Doom tale. It’s told from a small child’s point of view, a child who, having grown up under Doom’s rule, sees him both as a hero and a monster. The tale shows vividly the horrors that Doom and Latveria have suffered during the War of the Realms. It appears as if Latveria will fall to the unearthly monsters invading it but at the last moment, Doom saves the day, protecting those that he has sworn to and who belong to him. The child is left both in awe and fear of Doom. . . but deep down knows that Latveria will always be protected so long as its king lives.