Review: Franken-Castle #21

Published on October 4th, 2010

Even after twenty-one issues I still have not made up my mind about this series. I definitely have to give respect to Rick Remender despite what anybody was saying the guy stuck to his story and saw it through to the end. It’s just one of the oddest comic series I have ever read. Say what you will about Franken-Castle, but this is one comic that I won’t soon forget.

frankencastle21After his somewhat anti-climactic fight with Daken Frank is forced to take some much needed rest. So where do you drop off the reanimated Punisher? The answer is simple, you take him to Monster Island, a wonderful little getaway where you can rest, relax, and fight monsters. Maybe not the ideal family vacation, but perfect for The Punisher. After taking a few weeks to catch his breath the Bloodstone has worked its magic and Frank is back to his old self and there was a sigh of relief from Punisher fans all over the world. The problem is the Bloodstone gives power that equals its possessor’s thirst for revenge, and now the thing is starting to screw with Castle’s mind.

Morbius and the rest of the monsters from New York head to Monster Island to get the stone back from Frank and bring him back home. The Creature from the Black Lagoon tries to reason with Frank and starts to make progress when Ilsa (the daughter of the monster hunter who owned the Bloodstone) decides to just take a shot at Frank. The Punisher goes nuts and starts shooting at his former monster pals. The Legion of Monsters do their best to sop Frank, but come on, he’s The Punisher. Frank easily holds them off until The Mummy is able to talk him down by pointing out that even though The Bloodstone healed Frank, it has taken away his ability to see the difference between killing and killing to protect the innocent. Frank yields and then turns over the Bloodstone, thus ending the tale of Franken-Castle. Weeks later Frank returns to New York and leaves a bloody message to show the criminals of New York that The Punisher is back.

After giving it some thought I’m gonna say that even though Franken-Castle wasn’t the best Punisher story I’ve ever read, it was still entertaining. I think people are drawn to The Punisher because he’s just a normal guy who takes out scumbags. The problem is that it’s a very dark and serious book, and I think some people can take the character too seriously. I think Franken-Castle gave everyone a much needed break. Obviously this was never meant to be a permanent thing and I was skeptical in the beginning, but I gave it a shot. I love the old horror monsters and the art in this issue really captured the feel of the old monster comics. And as strange as it was I thought it was fun to see The Punisher interact with them. I will say that I’m happy Franken-Castle has run its course and I can’t wait for Punisher: In the Blood in November. I look forward to seeing The Punisher going back to what he does best. And Remender must be doing something right because he’s going to be writing the new book as well.

Ken Zeider