Review: Punisher War Journal: Blitz (2022)

It’s been more or less 16 years since Marvel gave a War Journal title to Punisher fans, but this time it’s three one-shots, not a limited series. These one-shots are prequels to the main storyline.


Artwork by Lan Medina

Storyline:

Torunn Grønbekk delivered a very decent take on Frank Castle, at his present state as the leader of the Hand. The story unfolds in the past and present and shows that Hate-Monger was on Frank’s hit list for a long time. Making Frank go after someone like Hate-Monger is a no-brainer. As a matter of fact, in the previous War Journal (2006) run by Matt Fraction, Frank went after the third incarnation of the Hate-Monger.


The action was good and we got Frank’s most wanted inner monologue back. Although Frank talked a bit too much for my taste, reading Frank’s thoughts was a welcome surprise considering his silence in modern runs.


This Hate-Monger was a good villain with a good background. Despite his losses with Frank obliterating his operations, he was also a formidable villain who delivered heavy casualties in the Hand forces.


Torunn did a great job telling the backstory of the first encounter with the Hate-Monger and the Punisher. It really gave a good depth to her storytelling and explored a bit of Frank’s humanity.

Not everything were “roses” with this storyline

Under heavy fire, Frank chose to fight with only his sword. I don’t have nothing against swords, but this is a tactical mistake for by Frank’s standards as a realist. Seeing him flying through windows using his sword and stabbing bad people is a bit off for me, especially considering their highly armed state.


Another odd thing I have to mention is the fact that Frank conceals his skull logo during flashbacks, even at moments when he did not need to. More and more, I get the feeling that this High Slayer/ Fist of the Beast storyline is a way to reorient Frank away from the skull and firearms.


At the moment, these changes to Frank feel unnatural. If it’s properly explained down the road, I would have no issues with these changes. At the moment, these changes remained unanswered.

Artwork:

Kind of hit or miss by Lan Medina. I had high expectations for his artwork, especially knowing him for the work that he did back in Punisher MAX: Widowmaker. This felt rushed and with a lack of detail. There are good panels, but overall it was a pale shadow of what Medina has done before.



I really liked what Torunn did with this story. It was good, well structured and entertained me. I didn’t like the excessive use of the sword in unrealistic moments where he clearly should have used a gun for efficiency.


Apart from this, this issue is worth a shot and so far, this was the best Punisher issue (storywise) of this entire arc of the Punisher as leader of the Hand.

Overall Rate: 7 / 10

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1 thought on “Review: Punisher War Journal: Blitz (2022)”

  1. […] The question about Frank’s lack of firearms continues to be a major problem. Frank goes against heavily armed foes with just a katana and the practicality of this is nonsense. Despite this bit of a “problem”, the story was well structured and was very entertaining. So far, this is the best War Journal one shot for this current run, if we compare it with “Blitz” already reviewed here. […]

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