Marvel’s Always Trying to Keep a Brother Down

The Punisher is and pretty much has always been my favorite comic book character. I’ve never been a fan of the “leaders” or the really super powered heroes. I mean what’s the point? Is it really bravery or heroic if you’re bulletproof, can fly, blow stuff up, throw cars into the air, and shoot lasers out of your eyes? I don’t know, I’ve always been more into the more “realistic” heroes. Batman, Punisher, Spider-man, I know, I know he’s got powers but he also has a lot of real world problems and shit just never seems to go his way.

I also know the Punisher’s more of an anti-hero, and in some stories and according to some heroes, he’s a straight up villain. I just think his reasons, his motivation, is second to none. His methods can’t be argued against, well the results can’t be argued against, I mean why lock up the Rhino for the 100th time, you know he’s just going to get out again. But I digress…I’m here to tell you all about the greatest, and by greatest I mean worst, issue of The Punisher ever. Maybe.

I know Marvel and DC, hell comics in general love messing with characters. Retcon-ing storylines, killing characters and bringing them back to life, but has anyone been f’ed with as much as poor Francis Castiglione. First off, they throw him into Vietnam, then after going through that, he comes home only to see his family murdered in front of his eyes. Okay, so we needed that for him to become the Punisher, fine. He kicks ass for a while and then they kill him off. Or he kills himself off if I remember correctly. He comes back as a weirdo angel and that doesn’t last long. He’s back to being himself for a while again. Now in the last year he gets sliced and diced by Wolverine’s son only to be brought back to life as a friggin’ Frankenstein…err…Frankencastle monster. (That storyline is actually pretty good)

Anyway, in the middle of all that, this might be the worst thing that they’ve done to the Punisher.

 No, it’s not that they made him black you jerks, it’s that they put him in this story. I mean, the whole pigment thing is pretty stupid but whatever. If I remember correctly a few issues later it kind of just wears off or something. Oh before this he was cut up by his buddy Jigsaw and somehow a junkie in a first aid station fixed him up, but let’s just move on…

Before this particular issue Frank had been blackmailed by the Kingpin, thrown in jail, and cut up by Jigsaw. He escaped, but went on the run, Microchip hooked him with some ex-junkie/hooker/plastic surgeon who fixes Frank up. However, the Kingpin is still after Frank so he decides to head to…as he puts it…to “Chi-town.”


Really Marvel? Okay maybe he would have called it Chi-town even if he was still white or an angel or whatever. Moving on…

So Frank drives about nineteen hours straight to get to Chicago. The hooker/junkie/doctor gave him some speed if he needed it, but do you think that the Punisher is going to use trucker’s speed, hell no, he’s too hardcore for that. However, he’s not hardcore enough to keep from dozing off and getting pulled over by…Alabama’s finest?

Now remember, this is supposed to be Chicago. Granted this takes place about twenty years ago, but it’s still Chicago. In 1991.

Although 1991 was the year Rodney King got beat down, hmm…maybe the writers were trying to make some kind of point?

I think my scanner is also trying to make a point, the most racist parts got edited out, but basically the cop pulls Frank over for swerving and asks him for his ID. Frank doesn’t have any so he just keeps quiet, at this point the cops says, and I am not joking:

What’s the matter, boy? Cat got your tongue?

Maybe the coon’s got his tongue!

Answer me when I’m talkin’ at you son!

You know the Punisher isn’t going to take that crap from anyone. He gets into a melee that he’s not going to win, but as luck would have it Power Man, Luke Cage…er…I mean Cage shows up and saves the day.

They get the hell out and head to the South Side. Frank passes out for a while, I guess major plastic surgery, driving for nineteen hours, and getting beat down by cops can do that to you. He wakes up, tells Cage that he recognizes him, and then makes him an offer he can’t refuse.

Cash money? Umm…is it me? Maybe it’s me, I don’t know, maybe I’m reading these lines with some sort of bias or prejudice, but I don’t know. There are a few more in this issue, Frank starts out every other sentence with man. Man, I just want to keep them away from the gangs. Man, this used to be a fine hotel. Or maybe Frank is just trying to act or talk the way he thinks he needs to or perceives…hmm…I don’t know. Anyway, moving on…

The deal is, Frank knows about a stash at some hotel. Full of guns and money. Cage gets the “cash money” and Frank gets the hardware. Cage reluctantly agrees, they battle some El Rukens or El Rubens, depending on who you ask or what page you’re on, and they make it to Frank’s stash. Problem is that the money is long gone, but the guns are still there. Cage got played and he’s not too happy about it. However, he needs some backup cleaning up the ‘hood and I guess the A-Team is too busy or whatever so he makes another deal with Castle.

Let’s rock. I don’t know what else to say, oh notice how there’s like duct tape all over where his skull usually is. I’m speechless. I know that I bought this comic when it originally came out so I must have the next issue somewhere. The only reason I read it this week is because it was one of the free comics my dealer gave out on Saturday. Well, I think I’ve wasted enough of your time but I’ll leave you with another doozy from this issue.


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