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DVD Review: Avengers Confidential – Black Widow & Punisher

Avengers Confidential Black Widow Punisher

Avengers Confidential – Black Widow & Punisher (12A) / Director: Kenichi Shimizu / Screenplay: Mitstaka Hirota / Starring: Brian Bloom, Jennifer Carpenter, John Eric Bentley, Grant George / Released: Out Now

The latest Marvel effort to be animated by the guys at Madhouse, Avengers Confidential looks to give some attention to Black Widow (Carpenter) and The Punisher (Bloom), two characters often left in the shadows of Captain America, Iron Man, et al. After Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, interferes in a S.H.I.E.L.D. mission, he’s taken prisoner by Nick Fury (Bentley) and his organisation. Then, when the Leviathan terrorist group gets hold of some S.H.I.E.L.D. plans, Fury’s only option is to team The Punisher up with Black Widow in the hope that the feisty duo can save the day.

Avengers Confidential is a feature that certainly shows some promise, although it ultimately feels a little flat when all is said and done. Key to the film’s charm, though, is the use of erratic, violent lone-wolf Frank Castle. After appearing in a supporting role in last year’s Iron Man: Rise of Technovore, also from Madhouse, Castle gets to take centre-stage here. And with Black Widow thrown in for good measure, this animated fare shows off two of the darker heroes that reside within the Marvel world. Whilst Widow has a few moments to shine, it’s the dirty, brutal, and trigger-happy Punisher who steals the show. Widow takes her orders from Fury, whereas Castle has no hesitation in giving S.H.I.E.L.D. the finger.

The dynamic between The Punisher and Black Widow works relatively well, and Castle’s anti-authoritarianism and single focus makes for a refreshing change in a Marvel movie…

For the full review, head over to Starburst Magazine.

 

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4 thoughts on “DVD Review: Avengers Confidential – Black Widow & Punisher

  1. Nice review mate. I have a somewhat related question that I am just going to plonk here. Think you might be able to point me in the right direction. I am looking to get into an animated comic book TV show. There seem to be a whole bunch and confusing continuity going on. Got a good suggestion or three for me?

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    • If I’m taking the Q in the right way, you want some new, meaty animated show to get into? One that has superhero/comic book ties?

      Firstly, the classic, the all-time brilliance of Batman: The Animated Series. There is some sort of continuity there, although there’s no major season-long arcs or anything on display. Still, it’s just a stunning show.

      Secondly, The Spectacular Spider-Man. Loved it. Ridiculously it only managed two seasons, which was largely due to the decision to go with the Ultimate Spider-Man show instead. Spectacular is an interesting take on Peter Parker’s high school years, complete with Gwen, Harry, Flash, et al. MJ is there, but Gwen is the bigger love. Fluid, constant continuity and long story arcs make it rewarding and compulsive, just a shame it got the boot after just two seasons.

      Others worth a watch are Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the always cool (if not starting to get slightly dated and a bit too kid-friendly) ’90s Fox shows of X-Men: The Animated Series and Spider-Man: The Animated Series. Both really cool, full of characters, and with surprisingly long story arcs for the time. Big gripe with the Fox shows is that nobody could be killed, death was referred to as “destroyed,” and most violence was minimal.

      Have heard really good things about the more modern Thundercats show and Avengers Assemble shows. If you need anything else, just give me a shout 🙂

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      • Hey man. So sorry for the sluggish reply. Some awesome suggestions, thanks so much. Going to see what I can track down. Have heard so many people talk about Batman: The Animated series so might start with that.

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      • Haha, no worries, man. Let me know how you get on. On the Batman front, I’ve recently watched the Assault on Arkham animated movie. A lot better than I thought. It’s set in the same world as the Arkham games.

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