Tuesday, March 12, 2013

This would explain "Space Punisher," possibly.

I've been reading Punisher comics on-and-off since the last issue of his first limited series in 1986, but it still often strikes me how there can be subtle variations on the character. Garth Ennis wrote Frank as an unstoppable machine that was generally dead inside, as well as being a man that had been in love with war and paid the price for it. Jason Aaron's run saw the machine starting to break down, with Frank's emotional scars starting to show through. But I still like 80's Punisher, from guys like Mike Baron and Chuck Dixon, where occasionally Frank was written like there were still fragments of a human being left to him, and he would sometimes show a passing interest in something other than firearms and murder.

Which is why I was thrilled to rediscover this page from Punisher Armory #3; where, as Frank narrates, the Punisher explains his love for Lost in Space.

That's hysterical to me in and of itself, since I have a hard time picturing Frank not wanting to shoot Dr. Smith in the face; but Lost in Space was originally broadcast from 1965 to 1968. Frank was probably a little busy then, with a little something called the Vietnam War. OK, Frank could have watched the series when it was in syndication, in the years between Vietnam and his family's deaths; but it's funnier to think of Marine Frank in full gear and camo, coming back to base and fiddling with a pair of rabbit ears once a week...

But it really came back on me later, and this might be a case of Fridge Brilliance, that of course Frank was a Lost in Space fan: because the show was about a family. Sure, the family was in almost constant jeopardy, but they were together, and smart and resourceful enough to get through any threats. I could absolutely see that appealing to Frank, and picture him settling in to catch an episode with his kids and imagining doofy space adventures with his family and a Robot. Frank Castle wanted to be Professor John Robinson. Which just makes Frank's life all the sadder...

Punisher Armory #3 story and art by Eliot R. Brown. And you can read more about the Steyr AUG here.

2 comments:

Pete said...

I strongly, strongly recommend Rucka's run.

Dale Bagwell said...

Never would've expected Frank to be a Lost in Space fan, but I guess as you explained, it makes a lot of sense really.

Wow, that really was unintentionally depressing if you think about it constantly. Gee thanks Goo;)

Does this mean Frank gets those 'Nam flashbacks as he wakes up to the robot going "Danger Frank Castle! Danger!";)