10 times Punisher smiledPosted: 03/19/2015
Because it’s rare. That dude’s a major sad sack. Since the goal of my blog has always been for us to read comics together in one giant, warm hug of nervous legal ambiguity and definitely not to pad my writing portfolio with that clump of Spider-Man jokes employers are always looking for, today we’ll be taking a look at ten times Frank Castle flashed his pearly whites. I’d like to dedicate this article to a guy who once commented on one of my previous Punisher articles, berating me for daring to call the Punisher smelly – so enjoy these pictures of Marvel’s favorite gun-toting rotting hobo.
Punisher: War Journal #24, volume two, written by Matt Fraction & Rick Remender and drawn by Howard Chaykin
Frank Castle is an a simple man of simple tastes. Seriously, I don’t think the man can even get tumescent without an opera of explosions and gunfire around him. Ladies, if you want to seduce this hunk of murder incarnate, you better bring a Private Saving Ryan DVD if you want to get any further than first base (which for the Punisher is a power drill and a crying mobster – you get to kiss him each time the drill hits bone). The Punisher almost certainly keeps a 50 Shades of Grey torture room in all of his safe houses. He’s the perfect man for a woman if she’s into something kinky and doesn’t mind a dude who won’t wash the blood out of his clothes and smells like a trash bag that came to life.
Punisher #2, volume seven, written by Rick Remender and drawn by Jerome Opena
You’ll notice a bunch of superhero/supervillain gear here. I don’t know how the Punisher will be able to walk around this locker while he’s sporting a full erection. This comic is perfect if you’ve been wondering when the Punisher would stop using all those boring guns and start using something that’s actually deadly, like a bow and arrow (which he uses on the next page to kill bad guys and not just as foreplay as most of us expected). Look, I’m not an expert on the man, but I do know – without a doubt – that one lonely night, Frank Castle must have at least once made sweet love to a rocket launcher.
Punisher #5, volume two, written by Mike Baron and drawn by Klaus Janson
The Punisher looks like he just found out his deceased family faked their deaths to tour the country as a traveling circus troupe, and then – I assume – since the woman stops her shoulder massage in a proud moment of defiance, the Punisher socks her. To be fair, Castle, who smells like a ham and mayo sandwich left out in the sun for a few weeks, received a frying pan to the noggin on the previous page, so a nose punch is only fair. And the Punisher will totally hit girls, because of feminism, I guess. I should probably learn what the word means. Look, everyone in the picture above deserves what they get, because the Punisher – a man who tortures, murders, stalks, manipulates, steals, destroys property, doesn’t give second chances, has a cynical view of society, shoots real bullets at Daredevil, refuses to shower, etc. – is the good guy of our story.
Punisher #54, volume two, written by Mike Baron and drawn by Hugh Haynes
Of course the Punisher loves dogs – he loves anything that can be used to kill people. Though he doesn’t need a security system at all when he reveals his Punisher-mobile on the next page (it has two missile launchers in case he uses up all dozen missiles on the first one), as the only people who steal from installations that look like a military’s wet dream are Grand Theft Auto characters. You know what scares people off faster than a dog? A Batcave but instead of computers and memories and butlers, it’s filled with bullets and bazookas and the shattered dreams of a lonely man who didn’t make a fake woman entirely out of combat knives. But you know what the Punisher’s armory doesn’t have? Soap. He smells like a soup made with nothing but NFL jockstraps and warm bleu cheese. Also, on a related note, if you think I’m putting too much emphasis on the Punisher’s love of guns, I need to direct your attention to a mini-series called The Punisher: Armory, which, I promise this is 100% true, consists solely of close up pictures of weapons while the Punisher comments briefly on each one. For thirty pages each issue. They made ten of these. That’s three hundred pages of weapons. The dude loves killing stuff.
Punisher #26, volume four, written by Garth Ennis and drawn by Tom Mandrake
I love the Punisher, but we can’t deny the man is someone who happily amuses himself with the thought of massacring 10% of the world’s fifth largest city. No, seriously, look into his eyes again. You’re peering into the fictional soul of a man daydreaming about massacring two million people. No, seriously again, why are we okay with the Punisher? Like sure, he only goes after bad guys, but if a dude gave billions to charity yet just so happened to deal a little drugs to inner city school children – boom, Punisher kills him. No arguments or questions. I’m not saying I’m unnerved by the moral forgiveness we give the Punisher, but he clearly deserves each and every single one of the literally hundreds of bullet and stab wounds he’s gotten over his four decades in comics.
Spider-Man vs. Punisher, written by Joseph Harris & Michael Lopez and drawn by Lopez
Guys, I’ve really been thinking about this. Kids read these comics, and we know if they’re able to find porn, they can find Punisher comics. Frank Castle is smiling because he’s about to flay open a criminal or mobster or civilian who pushed down an old lady back when he was in tenth grade. We all gleefully applaud the Punisher – a man who smells like a backpack stuffed with burning rubber and feral cats – whenever he murders anybody in the New York City metroplex (and sometimes Jersey). But the Punisher doesn’t need our sales, he needs our help. What about a new miniseries titled The Punisher Sits Down and Thinks About What He’s Done? I can’t write this article anymore. I’m done.
Punisher: Holiday Special #2, written by George Caragonne & Eric Fein and drawn by J. J. Birch
Never mind, I’m back. Impalement on a Christmas tree sucks way more than a few lumps of coal. And just so you know, the Punisher isn’t wearing a Santa suit, that’s just how much blood has spilled on his uniform. Every Christmas-themed issue, the Punisher wears a Santa costume. I guess because it’s somewhat ironic when the jolliest man on the planet unloads his machine gun into the mafia’s sourest. Also, don’t read any of the Punisher’s Christmas stories actually around Christmas time. Spoiler alert: they’re all super depressing because y’know, Frank Castle is far less likely to hang around rascally school children than say, battered prostitutes.
Punisher #5, volume three, written by John Ostrander and drawn by Tom Lyle, Chris Ivy, & Art Nichols
You just witnessed Daredevil crack a joke because the unconscious bad guy is Jigsaw, a dude who’s face is already scarred and gross. But by now you’ve definitely realized why I chose this panel – trust me, I had plenty of panels to pick from. Castle creepily smiles far more than just ten times over his forty year history of hitting pimps with baseball bats and so on. It’s that ponytail. For ten issues, the Punisher had a ponytail. No one can be the scariest man alive when he also has to tie his hair back with a scrunchie. Eventually, the ponytail disappears from one issue to the next and never gets brought up again, as all ponytails should be. But unfortunately for Frank Castle, comics books live on forever – he has to sit forever in the Terrible Comic Books Haircuts Hall of Fame next to Superman’s mullet and Nightwing’s mullet and Quasar’s mullet and Longshot’s mullet and anytime a superhero has a mullet.
Punisher: Born #4, written by Garth Ennis and drawn by Darick Robertson
Finally, there‘s the Punisher that lives deep within his own broken soul. Every time Frank Castle tosses a Molotov cocktail through the window of a diner the mafia uses to launder money, we see this face. Every time Frank Castle breaks up a drug dealer’s block party by holding a machete outside the window of a moving car, we see this face. Every time Frank Castle refuses to shower, continuing his quest to one day exude a smell similar to a sewage facility coated in a thick layer of farts from a meal consumed only of undercooked beef and hard-boiled eggs, we see this face. Look deep within the eyes of your superhero, my friends. See his pain. Feel his rage. Taste his hatred. Hear his anguish. But never, ever smell him.
Punisher #60, volume two, written by Mike Baron & Marcus McLaurin and drawn by Val Mayerik
I have no jokes to add. I just want you all to know that for three issues in the early ’90s, the Punisher received an injection that turned him into a black man. He then teamed up with Luke Cage to fight poverty and violence in the crack-stricken inner city. I’d figured you’d like to know.
Another exciting article on Monday! See you then!