Disarming Hydra With The Punisher #5

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

In his attempt to shut down Hydra, the Punisher finds himself at odds with a man armed with two Rings of the Mandarin. Frank is able to disarm (so to speak) the person, and he interrogates the man about the whereabouts of Baron Zemo. This leads to a series of people that claim to be working for someone else with the alleged location of Zemo, leading to what Frank hopes is the actual location of Baron Zemo, current leader of Hydra.

The Punisher #5 cover by Greg Smallwood
The Punisher #5 cover by Greg Smallwood

The Punisher #5 continues Frank Castle’s bloody crusade against the ranks of Hydra.

It’s another banner issue for Frank in terms of carving through legions of neofascist flunkies. He even shows something of a sense of humor about it, which is a strange but entertaining change of pace for the Punisher.

Other heroes do show up in this issue, and, while I won’t say who it is, it’s easily four of my favorite Marvel characters.

Nick Fury shows up in this issue too, and, if you’re a fan of new Nick Fury, you might be disappointed in this issue. That said, I can’t say his actions are completely unreasonable or out of character; it’s just a bit cold and cruel.

It’s an action-heavy issue and a lot of fun, and it feels like a classic Punisher issue despite the change in target and scope.

The Punisher #5 art by Szymon Kudranski, Antonio Fabela, and letterer VC's Cory Petit
The Punisher #5 art by Szymon Kudranski, Antonio Fabela, and letterer VC’s Cory Petit

Szymon Kudranski continues to contribute the art to this comic series, and many of the scenes with the Punisher and the Mandarin acolyte looks quite good. Kudranski knows how to render a super-powered fight well. There are still some uncanny scenes scattered throughout the book, especially when the background is busy. That said, there are more than enough good scenes to balance that out. Antonio Fabela’s color work is a nice balance between the dark tone that usually permeates Frank Castle’s world and the more fantastical elements he brushes up against in this comic.

The Punisher #5 once again shows the versatility in Matthew Rosenberg’s writing. While books like Uncanny X-Men and Multiple Man may have a more winking and upbeat personality, Punisher and Tales of Suspense both show an ability to navigate Marvel’s underworld with skill. This one definitely gets a recommendation. Check it out.

The Punisher #5 comes to us from writer Matthew Rosenberg, artist Szymon Kudranski, color artist Antonio Fabela, letterer VC’s Cory Petit, cover artist Greg Smallwood, and variant cover artists Mike Zeck with Richard Isanove and Marko Djurdjevic.

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