Thursday, March 20, 2014

Today: some perfectly cromulent Punisher comics!

Spinrite has spun my computer rite, er, right; so why not get back on point with a pleasant little comic I paid $1.25 for in 1992 and a quarter for last week: the Punisher #67, "Swiss Timing (Eurohit part 4 of 7)" Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, pencils by Dougie Braithewaite, inks by Al Williamson.

After a Chuck Dixon fill-in, Abnett and Lanning were taking over the main Punisher book from Mike Baron, who had been writing it for five years or so. (I loved Baron's Punisher, although sometimes it seemed the issues were plotted by an elaborate plot wheel: "In...Brunswick...the Punisher kills...heroin smugglers...with...two lead pipes and ten feet of hose? OK, whatever.") And Braithewaite was a new and refreshingly solid artist: not overly flashy, but good, and apparently fast enough to cover the book while it was on sale twice a month. (Your guess is as good as mine how many Punisher comics Marvel would've been putting out a month in 1992; probably between four to six? With guest-spots to boot?)

This was the Punisher's European adventure, as the Kingpin plots to consolidate and then eliminate the major crime families in Europe, then take over. This was coupled with Wilson Fisk controlling interest in the burgeoning Eurotunnel project; but was also undermined by repeated editorial notices that these issues took place prior to Daredevil #300, where the Kingpin was exposed and brought down. (Although not put away, he would be off the board for some time.) Batroc makes a welcome appearance as a mercenary working for the Kingpin's mercenary, Snakebite.

Later in the same issue, Frank also gets kicked in the face by the Tarantula--the second one, not the one that ended up turned into a giant spider. He and Batroc kick it out a couple times over the course of the storyline, with Batroc seemingly outclassing his opponent, but forgetting an important detail.

I read these at the time, but they may have been close to the last regular Punisher books I read for some years, until Garth Ennis brought him back. I found three through seven of Eurohit in a quarter bin, only a pity the first two weren't handy as well.


SallyP said...

Batroc AND the Tarantula? Be still my heart.

Dale Bagwell said...

Early Baithwaite? Nice.

So Frank got to mix it up with Tarantuala and Batroc huh?
I'm assuming he won since he's still around, but damn.

I'm sure at least Batroc could've taken Frank if he wanted to. Frank probably just outsmarts him though.