Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Although I loved Ennis and Dillon's first limited series, I almost stopped reading Punisher: MAX after the first story arc, when (spoiler alert!) Frank kills his old partner Microchip for turning on him. I foolishly thought after all their time working together, Frank might give him a pass; but he's not exactly the type to do that, is he? And even if Ennis wasn't strictly bound by continuity, Frank may have still been pissed about this one: from 1995, Punisher #100, "The Cage" Written by Chuck Dixon, pencils by Rod Whigham, inks by Rudy Nebres, Elman Brown, Mike Higgins, Scott Elmer, Mick Gray, Tim Tuohy, and Phil Sheehy.

Feeling Frank was out of control, Microship not only was working with a replacement Punisher, but goes a step further and traps Frank in the basement of an abandoned factory. (Micro had bought it years prior, presumably for use as a hideout or safehouse.) He's also reconstructed, as best he could from old photos, Frank's old house, where he lived with his wife and children before they were murdered. Micro left videotaped messages for Frank, in several locations, since Frank keeps blowing out the screens; but he wants Frank to see his old home movies and remember his family. (I am not positive what Micro thought this was going to do for Frank, but it's pretty apparent he thinks Frank was pretty far gone.)

Meanwhile, Microchip was running support for new, and helmeted, Punisher Carlos "C.C." Cruz; as they made multiple attempts on a surprisingly persistent Punisher foe, mob princess boss Rosalie Carbone. She had been introduced early in the Punisher: War Zone run, and had survived multiple encounters with Frank. Here, even though other mob bosses intended to take her out, she still manages to get out again; while C.C. is pushed off a cruise ship by one of Rosalie's bodyguards. Microchip calls Frank for help, but hears a shotgun blast on the other end...!

Rosalie Carbone was a Frank Dixon creation, with John Romita Jr, and would survive this run of Punisher titles; but would be killed off early in the next series by a guy who knew a little something about taking out characters, former Suicide Squad writer John Ostrander. She had terrible fashion sense, we've seen before, but Rosalie was pretty good about not taking any crap from the other mob bosses, you had to give her that. And along with a really shiny cover, this issue also had the Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation: Paid circulation, actual number of copies of single issue published nearest to filing date; 75,300.


Dale Bagwell said...

Never saw the mob chick, but the idea of Microchip betraying Frank has been done quite a few times, shit wasn't there a time recently during Rucka's run where Microchip or his son, betrayed Frank?

googum said...

Maybe? I think it's writers thinking it would be dramatic if Frank were betrayed, but the poor guy doesn't have a lot of friends, so it's Microchip every time...