Ravencroft is a miniseries that makes a lot of sense — if DC Comics has Arkham, why doesn’t Marvel have a famous prison with a storied past? The series has been touch and go for me (though the last issue was quite good), but can the creative team stick the landing with a great finale? The answer is a mix of both yes and no.
Ravencroft #5 opens where we left off as Punisher and Misty Knight are fighting off hoards of monsters. The issue balances Punisher and Misty fighting with John Jameson and Harry Osborn getting interrogated well enough. Ultimately the back and forth feels unnecessary past a point, which is made more evident when the epilogue ends up being the best part of the issue. It’s a lot of noise that clouding a reveal that you won’t see coming, but that’s part of the problem. The issue hinges on a reveal that has no bearing on the actions of the characters at the moment.
Angel Unzueta continues to do amazing work with the monsters, especially the leader who has a goblin vibe with stretched skin that only a mother would love. Frank Castle has a bit too much of a caveman look to his face, but just go with it. The action is intense and detailed and the digital look to the art suits the messed up characters on the page. Rachelle Rosenberg colors this issue getting skin tones just right and blending the streaking backgrounds well.
But back to the epilogue, which runs about six pages long. In these scenes, writer Frank Tieri sets up some interesting threads to be explored later along with some nice reveals. It’s a satisfying conclusion thanks to a lot of what we learn at the end, positioning Ravencroft itself as an important place. It’s unfortunate these details weren’t woven into the narrative, but I guess that’s because this series narrative was more of a fast-paced action sequence with dramatic turns to get in closer with the heroes.
Overall, this is a good finale thanks to an excellent last few pages. Ravencroft is an idea that can work and this issue proves that, but it does take a while to get there through some pointless shooting and interesting. Read this knowing the last few pages are rich with ideas.