Punisher: attack of the Jigsaws, Pt. 2

The Punisher, thoroughly shocked (physically and mentally), lies at the mercy of the Jigsaws and former tech guy Henry.  Will they kill him?  Probably.  But first, nothing like some scarring emotional torture first.

Not exactly Spider-Man’s rogue gallery.  The Green Goblin has never locked up Mary Jane and then seduced her on video while Spider-Man watches.  Norman Osborn’s modus operandi involves less intimacy and more throwing women off bridges.

If you’ve forgotten what happened yesterday, let me quickly get you caught up.  The two Jigsaws convinced Jigsaw 1’s son Henry to join their cause to kill the Punisher.  They also captured Microchip, Castle’s old tech guy and current pain in the butt.  Finally, they doused the Punisher’s resurrected wife from being torched and now she wants to kill Castle too.  Easy, right?

For all their Saw-esque tendencies, at least the Jigsaws understand the value of entertainment. Well, not entertainment you or I would enjoy.

Loose end #1 tied up.  Only four antagonists left versus one angry, vengeful old man.  Next up:

Did you know the Punisher’s sort of suicidal?  I mean, he ain’t going to purposely bleed out from a gangster’s bullet or anything, but the guy’s been around forever, doesn’t have any loved ones, and totally accepts death as the only eventuality.  One could argue that Frank Castle’s soul perished that day in the park with his family and now he’s just killing time until his body catches up.  And if he has to go? The target of his beloved wife that he totally and absolutely wronged will do perfectly.  Except for one problem.

Now what to do with Henry?  Obviously he’s not cut out to be a supervillain.  That takes a certain grit that the kindly boy doesn’t possess.  Though you know what would further enrage/guilt Castle? Slicing up the only person in his life who currently cares about him would be a great first step.

Why the sudden change in Jigsaw 1’s attitude?  Look, the supervillain oozes psychopath, but poor Stuart Clarke forgot the most important detail about defenseless do-gooder Henry.

Finally, Henry rejoined the Punisher’s side and both Fake Maria and Jigsaw 2 died in similarly horrifying ways to how they lived.  But you and I both knew it’d end up this way.  Batman’s final fight will always be with the Joker, not Harley Quinn.

As last scene of the arc takes place exactly as how every good action movie should do it, Jigsaw brings up a fantastic point.  Too bad the Punisher ain’t much of a philosopher.

So the Punisher torched his resurrected family back to death, but Jigsaw took drastic measures to save his.  Yet, Jigsaw’s totally the supervillain here.  How does Castle justify his vicious actions?  Will it be eloquent and deep?

Nope.  And as for the explanation?  About as verbose as the Punisher normally gets:

The Punisher lives in a black and white world.  Hence why he shoots everyone from murderers to drug dealers to thieves equally.  Gray area doesn’t exist in his bloody, good vs. evil world.

Y’know, I just thought of something.  The Punisher’s mindset came from the burrows of war, fighting in the traumatic trenches of Vietnam.  Yet Captain America developed from a similar experience, and he’s quite a firm believer in second chances and the law.  Maybe the captain always had to stay in the guidelines of his symbolism and patriotism, while Castle accepted the brutality as he lived the grunt life within the unforgiving and cruel jungles.  My theory?  Steve Rogers’ personality and moral compass, from the time he popped out of the womb, sided with justice, kindness, and bravery.  Castle developed a killer’s desire deep inside him from the beginning of his life, and the Marvel universe should just be glad he decided to take this murderer’s need and continue to use it for good.  Like an angrier, blatant Dexter.

Oh, and Jigsaw’s supervillainy?  Dude embraces it fully.

How does this rooftop rumble end?  Exactly as it should:

Henry hasn’t been seen since this miniseries wrapped up.  I’ll assume a happy ending for the kid.

Actually, Henry and Castle’s relationship has a bittersweet ending moment after this that I’m not including.  You can read it yourself.  My dear readers, satisfied with how everything turned out?  I am, and Remender’s run on the Punisher cemented the superhero in my top five favorites after Batman and before Daredevil.  Maybe tied with Daredevil.

Okay, no more grudge matches for a while.  Tomorrow, we’ll get back to saving humanity from world-threatening catastrophes like superheroes should.

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