Comic: "The Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe"
Published by: Marvel Comics
Written by: Garth Ennis
Artist: Doug Braithwaite
Reviewer: Dr. Boogie
Plot: In an alternate reality, Frank Castle's family is killed in a superhero battle in Central Park. Frank doesn't take the news very well, and wastes a few X-Men on the spot. The act gets him life in prison, but he is freed by a mysterious benefactor who wants him to hunt down and eliminate all superheroes and supervillains. The Punisher obliges.
Review: If guys like Batman can have backup plans in case they need to kill guys like Superman, it stands to reason that one of the most ruthless heroes in the Marvel universe should, at one point or another, start killing superbeings. Sure, many of them probably wouldn't take more than a sniper round to the head, but Garth Ennis manages to pull an interesting story out of it all the same.
Throughout the whole affair, the Punisher stays very much in character: he's not doing what he's doing as part of some greater good. He's just doing it because it's revenge. Some of the heroes/villains go down fairly easily, but the Punisher is forced to consider that maybe he might be a bit out of his league, considering that he's matching energy blasts and power armor with guns and knives. Fortunately, some of the wealthier targets give him access to better equipment, which really helps speed things along.
And when I say speed things along, I'm not kidding. Early on, the Punisher hunts down individual heroes and villains, but after a few of these, the kill rate explodes. Literally. In one scene, the Punisher manages to wipe out a huge number of heroes and villains through the sort of subterfuge that you'd think would not work on many of the gathered superbeings. Finally, by the end, the remaining figures in the Marvel universe are dealt with via a short description by the Punisher.
The story eventually wraps up with a conclusion that you'll probably see coming, but the journey is still enjoyable, particularly the Punisher's encounters with Wolverine and Dr. Doom. Artwork is pretty good for the most part, but at times, Doug Braithwaite gives the characters some very strange facial expressions that'll make you laugh yourself out of the story. It's hard to make the Punisher's raid on Fisk Tower seem serious when he's sporting his “O” face.
But the story itself worked. You could easily see the Punisher doing something like this, even in the Earth 616 universe. While they may not have shown him fighting ridiculously powerful heroes like the Silver Surfer, he does manage to cover the most popular superheroes in a fitting fashion. Villains too, but the main focus seems to be superheroes. And looking back, the world is probably better without them. Heckuva job, Frankie.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
|Spoilers!||Then, when all is said and done, he parts ways with his employer because he's not interested in killing yet unborn superbeings because it was all just revenge, not merely a permanent crusade against all superbeings.|
|Spoilers!||Bruno Costa had been killed before Frank was able to get to him. Frank is upset and says his vengeance is unfulfilled.|
Ennis doesn't really have a good grasp on the character and the old issues really build up a different character than what he portrays.
|Spoilers!||I thought it really hackeyed the way he made it seem like Frank made a deal with the devil, and that in turn allowed up to survive Vietnam, but got his family killed. That was just ridiculous.|
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