Monday, September 07, 2015

The longest-running Punisher series began in 1987, but flipping though an issue it seemed the title had a couple odd assumptions that may have ended with its run: first, that the Punisher absolutely had to have tech support. Second, that there absolutely had to be a Punisher. From 1995, Punisher #98, "Armies of the Night" Written by Chuck Dixon, pencils by Rod Whigham, inks by Rudy Nebres and L-Man. (Per the GCD, Elman Brown.)

Frank is trying to bring down scary druglord Cringe, who wears a leather gimp mask because his face was burnt off in a drug lab explosion, which seems like a setback in becoming a druglord. Cringe does have the underworld too scared to talk to Frank, so he's trying another angle; hitting a mob computer-slash-cash counting room. There, he meets Pony and Mouse, two young and self-admittedly kind of dumb hackers; and Frank offers them a better job. (Well, better in the sense that he won't shoot them right there, anyway.)

Microchip, Frank's long-time partner, was currently not working with him; although I'm not sure why from this issue. Still, he seems to feel there's still a need for a Punisher, and has been trying to recruit his own; former Navy Seal C.C. Initially, C.C. wants no part of it, so of course he returns home to find his nephew killed by a drive-by. He returns to Micro to see if the job's still open...

Lynn Michaels was mentioned in passing this issue as well, and I believe she was headlining one of the other Punisher titles of the time. (On or around Punisher War Journal #75. She's not well-remembered, possibly because this was out of the Punisher's heyday; and her costume shows a bit more skin than it probably should; but at least she was just the Punisher and not Lady Punisher or Ms. Punisher or She-Punisher...) The title seemed to be hinting that Frank might go too far, as Microchip believed, or was pushing himself too hard and getting too old to survive as the Punisher. Or it could be a feint, like Batman and Superman stories from the same period, where replacement heroes are never as good. Still, all three Punisher titles would wrap about six months after this one, leading up to Punisher: Double Edge: Alpha. Which was like Avengers: the Crossing for the Punisher: a big shake-up that was supposed to revitalize the character, but was instead all kinds of awful.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Yeah I remember all those fake Punishers during that period. Ennis would have his own take on Punisher-wannabes, but these first ones were horrible. This was when sales on Frank's books were at their worst, thus why they all got cancelled. And Frank killing that Nick Fury LMD....smh.
Whatever happened to CC and Lynn Michaels? I know, I know, I could find out, but I'm sure they're probably dead.

Was CC's resemblance to Frank, not to mention similar military background intentional? Probably yeah, but damn, CC and Frank look too much alike, like twins.

Yeah Microchip and Frank had a falling out, about Frank's methods I think, and then he betrays Frank, but makes it up to Frank before dying. And then Frank got his son to help him out for awhile there. Weird huh?