Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews

PunisherMAX #22PunisherMAX #22
MAX (Marvel Comics)
Aaron, Dillon & Hollingsworth

The finale of the Jason Aaron run on The Punisher is basically a tying up of loose ends as the climax occurred in the previous issue. Once again, Aaron shows how he has mastered putting together an interesting story that combines flashbacks and events in the current time period. Aaron packs a lot of information into this issue but still manages to move the book along at a nice pace. I have loved this run and this issue is no different. I believe if someone only picked up this issue, that they would be compelled to read the rest of the run. Definitely find space in your budget for this issue.

The issue doesn't have much Frank Castle in it. Instead it follows around Nick Fury as he pieces together the war between Castle and Fisk. Fury basically figures out how much of a tortured soul Frank was for all these decades. He covers up Frank's tracks and mistakes and looks out for Frank now that Frank is completely at the end of his rope. Fury manages to build up Castle as a character even more simply by talking about him. It's beautifully done.

The few flashbacks in the book also bring a few more tidbits to Frank that help punctuate the obsession that drove him for so long and they really illustrated how much Fury turned his back on him. Fury has regrets and they are fueled by his perception that Castle failed in his ultimate mission. Fury's inclusion in this issue is essential to complete the Frank Castle tale. The tale needed to be told by outsider that understood Castle from beginning to end and that is Nick Fury.

Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle ReviewsDillon gives his usual stellar effort. The ending of the book is perhaps his best work on this series. As Fury's face begins to soften as he puts together what is happening in the news casts, Dillon really sells the idea that Castle's war was a success. It's just a brilliant artistic display to end this run.

Aaron's Punisher run is a classic. It can never match Garth Ennis' run but as an epilogue to Ennis' run it works perfectly. Aaron includes a letter at the back of the issue to explain his story and how it came about and I found it to be a great pitch that he executed to perfection. Castle faces his greatest adversary, Fisk, as Aaron brings the character down to his lowest point before he drags himself out of the void to fight back. Read the run to see how it ends. You will not be disappointed.

5 out of 5 Geek Goggles