When Frank Castle/The Punisher (Brian Bloom) interferes with a S.H.I.E.L.D. operation lead by Black Widow (Jennifer Carpenter, Dexter, Quarantine), he is brought into custody and enlisted by Director Nick Fury (John Eric Bentley) to stop a new threat that somehow has access to S.H.I.E.L.D. technology.
As the duo's investigation begins, they find that their different styles clash a bit. While Black Widow is all about stealth and subtlety, The Punisher goes for a more straightforward approach. Their mission leads them to an organization called Leviathan, and when they get to the head of the black market sellers, Black Widow finds herself facing someone from her past.
While this adventure focuses on Black Widow and The Punisher working together, the story doesn't end without Widow calling in some other Avengers like The Hulk (Fred Tatasciore), Iron Man (Matthew Mercer) and Thor. The result is a fairly impactful and destruction-heavy fight to finish off the last of the notorious Leviathan's operation.
While Marvel Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher doesn't have the "Marvel Anime" label that Madhouse' past projects have boasted, it still feels like it fits in the same world as Blade, Wolverine, X-Men and Iron Man, especially since The Punisher and Black Widow even find themselves on the gangster island of Madripoor. This island is fairly prominently portrayed in the aforementioned Anime releases.
This Blu-ray release contains two featurettes, one that focuses on The Punisher and Black Widow's pasts and how their experiences have lead them each to the point where the film starts. The other featurette is about the two characters' particular talents and how they tackle any issues that come their way. The Blu-ray version of this movie also contains a concept art gallery not found on the DVD release.
While Marvel Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher doesn't live in the same world that the Marvel Cinematic Universe does, it seems like each release like this (and the Anime series) mainly helps to keep the existence of the feature films in the forefront of viewer's minds, especially given the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. slant of this particular animated film. Even so, I found this release very entertaining and it feels just as well produced as the Anime series or, quite frankly, most of Madhouse' other productions.