Two Soldiers Against An Army: ‘Punisher: Soviet #5’ Reviewed

by Josh Davison

Mild Spoilers Ahead
The Punisher stands guard over Pronchenko’s wife, Zinaida Sebrovna. They chat for a bit about her odds of survival before she jumps off the cliffside. Elsewhere, Pronchenko’s men arrive, with his three sons in tow, to hunt down Frank and Stepanovich. Pronchenko’s men are tracking the device he put in Zinaida, but Stepanovich dropped it onto a truck driving north. Frank and Stepanovich head out to ambush the base of operations. They get the drop on Pronchenko’s men as well as his sons. They kill the guards and take the sons hostage. Unfortunately, another helicopter is on the way and neither Frank nor Stepanovich have a sure way to bring it down.

Punisher: Soviet #5 cover by Paolo Rivera
Punisher: Soviet #5 cover by Paolo Rivera

Punisher: Soviet #5 finds Frank Castle and Valery Stepanovich taking on Pronchenko’s men, this time for an opportunity to capture the crimelord’s sons. 
We also get to see some ideological cracks between Frank and Valery. Namely, the latter wants to take Pronchenko alive, which, needless to say, doesn’t line up with the Punisher’s methods. However, Frank respects Valery and that might be enough to alter Frank’s plans.
The scenes with Pronchenko’s sons are actually pretty funny. The trio are blustering idiots and far from the warriors they think they are.
The climax to the issue is another bloody shootout with a shocking conclusion. 
Punisher: Soviet #5 art by Jacen Burrows, Guillermo Ortego, Nolan Woodard, and letterer Rob Steen
Punisher: Soviet #5 art by Jacen Burrows, Guillermo Ortego, Nolan Woodard, and letterer Rob Steen

Jacen Burrows gives the issue the understated yet effective carnage we’ve come to expect from his style. There is plenty of sudden and brutal bloodshed and it looks damn good. Guillermo Ortego backs it up with great inkwork and color artist Nolan Woodard makes it a surprisingly bright and vibrant comic given the lead character.
Punisher: Soviet #5 is another violent and intense issue with an understated tone and visual style. Garth Ennis once again proves that he probably knows the Punisher better than any other writer alive and he expresses it with this odd-couple partnership between Frank and Stepanovich. It’s another stellar issue and it easily earns a recommendation. Give it a read.
Punisher: Soviet #5 comes to us from writer Garth Ennis, artist Jacen Burrows, inker Guillermo Ortego, color artist Nolan Woodard, letterer Rob Steen, cover artist Paolo Rivera, and variant cover artist Valerio Giangiordano with Nolan Woodard.
Final Score: 9/10

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