Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Geez, it's not like steroids killed the Punisher's family...


Like me, you probably never thought you would hear the Punisher talk about "flexing in his underpants." Thankfully, he's against it.

One of books I picked up in the pile the other day was the second of the three Punisher Back to School specials, with the lead story "No Pain" Written by Mike Lackey, pencils by Ernie Stiner, inks by Frank Percy.

As you can guess from the title of the story (or the post!) the Punisher's investigating "a chain of illegal steroids" being run out of a ratty gym. Frank wasn't sure if steroid abuse fell under the purview of crimes the Punisher would shoot you in the face for; but he feels like the situation is escalating, with high school athletes "freaking out on the playing field." After stopping an admittedly convenient steroid freakout, Frank moves into Razor Emmanuel's gym-slash-steroid emporium, where dirty cops, wrestler wannabes, and skinny kids alike are stocking up.

Sleazy, but a relatively straight-forward Punisher story so far. Frank goes after the doctor supplying the steroids, but since the doctor is a blubbering crybaby, he (somewhat surprisingly) takes pity and tells him to treat steroid abuse cases. Then he goes back to the gym, where he easily kills two of Razor's thugs, but then things start to go south: a young girl named Tisa proves more than just a wannabe, but surprisingly well-trained, and begins pummeling the tar out of Frank. Working on Frank's injured knee, Tisa actually has Frank on the ropes for a bit; until Frank manages to knock them both into a pool. Underwater, Frank gets her with a thumb in the eye to distract her, then ties her hair to a ladder, leaving her to drown! A surprisingly brutal kill, from out of nowhere.


In bad shape (and sopping wet) Frank then has to face Razor, who uses straight razors because of course he does. It reminds me a bit of something they used to say on Deadliest Warrior, though: Razor can hurt Frank, but Frank can kill Razor. Slicing Razor's throat, he's probably done for, but Frank holds him down, staring in his eyes until he bleeds out. OK, that seems a little psycho.

Frank checks back on the doctor, who's still good and scared and making good. But the Punisher wonders if he's doing the right thing. The kills were a little harsh in this one: more like a Saw movie than the traditional action movie deaths. But not unentertaining, for fifty cents!

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Gotta' love Frank for being so hardcore like that. But hey, that chick deserved it. Frank might have some serious trouble, if he didn't play dirty, and that's one of the things I love about him; he;s not afraid to play dirty, 'cause he plays for keeps;)