Comics : Spider-Man, Punisher, Sabretooth

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Worst of the Worst

This review was first published on: 2002.

Background...

This is a one-shot by Terry Kavanagh, famous for robots, guns, armour, and plots that a six year old Pokemon fan might write after drinking six bottles of coke one day when staying home from school with the measles.

In Detail...

Spider-Man, Punisher, Sabretooth
Year 1993 : SM Title
Editor:  Danny Fingeroth
Writer:  Terry Kavanagh
Pencils:  Scott McDaniel
Inker:  Keith Williams
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Articles: The Punisher

Peter parker is in a lab at ESU, working late. He makes a mistake, and something goes boom. He starts cleaning up, and co-incidentally discovers that the lab animals next door have been slaughtered. He follows a trail of blood, and assumes some monster did it.

He figures out that the security guard was in on things, and hacks the school computer system, tracks the guy down and beat a confession out of him. Sabretooth turns up. Punisher turns up. Some guy has bought in a costumed hit squad to burn people out of buildings so he can turn them into up-market real-estate. Is it related to the monster? I don't think so. Maybe. I didn't care enough to figure it out.

Punisher turns up. He fights with the goon squad, then with Sabretooth. Spidey turns up. They fights some more. And some more. Then some lions turn up. Spidey fights Punisher. They both fight Sabretooth again. The Punisher has lots of guns, but Spidey doesn't let him kill anybody. The bad guys are revealed, it's Roxxon, big corporate baddies doing scientific experiments. They can merge genes, but they can't grow their own laboratory animals... that's why they had to risk the whole Billion dollar (perfectly legal) project by commiting a pointless crime, and paying off a security guard who was bound to blab.

Punisher tracks down the main lab with help from Microchip, and Spidey has a tracer on Frank. They both fight their way into the building. Goons with guns, electrified floors, laser defence systems, smoke, more guys with guns. Spidey still doesn't let Punisher kill anybody. There's a scientist, and a monster made from part human (the scientist's brother, who had cancer) mixed with some other animals. They all fight. Spidey doesn't let Punisher kill the monster. More goons, more guns, some more robots. Sabretooth turns up. Explosives, guns. Saved from explosives. SWAT team turns up. Punisher leaves. Sabretooth leaves. Spidey leaves. Spidey says "if Punisher and I meet again, I'll have to try and stop him!"

Actually, I don't think anybody at Roxxon commited a crime other than perhaps a little clumbsy on-site vivisection. Of course, the whole plot is full of holes you could drive the Punisher's Battle-Van through, and that minor plot flaw is fairly insignificant in the scheme of things.

In General...

Terry Kavanagh... dear, dear, dear. What will we do with this lad? This mind-numbing escapade comes pretty close to making Facade look good. This is an $8.95 glossy, square bound trade paperback with 64 pages and no ads. In ecological terms, the guy who decided to print this drivel commited a far greater crime than Roxxon ever did!

The plot is a ham-fisted, facile rip-off of a dozen stories that were cliched long before that unhappy day when Kavanagh first picked up a pencil. I couldn't muster up enough interest to even figure out who was who among the bad guys. This childish drivel is a classic example of why Marvel was in so much trouble in the early 1990's.

If you're a dedicated enough Spidey collector to need to own this comic - then please take my advice and don't waste time reading it!

Overall Rating...

They really don't get much worse than this. This is the yardstick by which all bad Spider-Man stories should be measured.