Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Punisher Armory, MAX vs. 616

This is probably one of those things that most comics bloggers are going to look down their noses at me for, but I really enjoyed Punisher Armory back in the day. If I'm not mistaken, the whole series was a tour de force for Eliot R. Brown, Marvel's go-to guy for diagrams of things that may or may not be there. Mr. Brown is currently behind the Marvel Atlas project.

The plot for this comic is directly from one of those Armory issues: a training game where the Punisher would put a bunch of random guns picked up from dead criminals onto a little lazy susan, spin it, then grab a gun and fire away. Back in the old issues, Frank always seemed to be getting into fixes that he would have to get out of with whatever was handy. The Marvel MAX Punisher with Garth Ennis writing doesn't seem to get in that kind of corner as often, and seems even moreso like a guy that would bring the right tool for a particular job. (Usually, anyway...)

Back in the regular Marvel Universe, though, you've got Punisher War Journal, which I've only read a couple times, but you've got Frank dressed up in a Captain America-style Punisher outfit and repeatedly asskicking the Rhino. I was thinking about the training game, because the Marvel U. is doubtless chock-full of great guns, but good luck trying to figure them out. Yeah, smarty, most of them are probably point-and-shoot, but how do you reload an A.I.M. issue blaster? Or one of those S.H.I.E.L.D. needle guns? And where do you buy...whatever goes in those?

I had been looking for my Armory issues, but haven't found them yet. Still, I remember the last page of the book was usually a little personal glimpse at Frank's life, like him remembering his family or talking about gun safety, or in one issue, reminiscing about a replica laser pistol from Lost in Space given to him by Microchip.

Of course, such glimpses of humanity are completely hidden in Punisher Max, which is just the stylistic choice Garth Ennis went with. And as such, I had a really, really hard time with the use of Microchip in the first Max arc. In fact, I almost dropped the book. I'm glad I didn't. Ennis starts his last Punisher storyline soon, and he will be missed there.

Oh, and the guns: Aside from the guns lying around, Frank shoots the Road Warrior's shotgun, then S-Mart Ash's from Army of Darkness.

Page two has more guns I don't completely remember, but Frank tries out a Quake rifle (maybe) and, as he mentions, Nick Fury's gun from his fellow Marvel Legend.

On page three, panel one is the infamous button applicator, packed with Dr. Hibbard of the Simpsons, from the episode Lost Our Lisa. Two is from a Masters of the Universe character, probably Man-E-Faces, I think. Three is from a another Quake figure...the female marine, maybe. Four is from some Power Rangers toy my Oldest son got long, long ago, and Five is Fry's from Futurama. Six is Madman's, from the recent Legendary Heroes figure.


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Anonymous said...

He could just use that one gun that shoots swords.

I can't think of a situation where that wouldn't be useful.

googum said...

Agreed, but the sword-gun has to be a pain in the ass to reload. I heard about that one, but hadn't read it. What kind of swords? Rapiers? Broadswords? Cutlasses?

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