Punisher (Vol. 6) #35

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Mitch Clem


Spider-Man, Daredevil, and the Wolverine are hell-bent on stopping Frank Castle from doing what he does (i.e. killing people all the time as the crime fighting vigilante, the Punisher). Frank eluded them once, but he won't be so lucky next time unless he plays his cards right...

Story Details

  Punisher (Vol. 6) #35
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Arc: Part 3 of 'Confederacy of Dunces' (1-2-3-4-5)
Editor: Joe Quesada
Writer: Garth Ennis
Pencils: John McCrea
Inker: Crimelab Studios

Frank stands in a dark room feeding stew to the sickly looking stranger he "rescued" from auction last issue. There is apparently something ominous in the man's stew, but we aren't told what (oh, and BY THE WAY, if you didn't figure out who this "stranger" is when Frank watched that tape last issue, you'd better hand in your Comic Geek license right now, because all hope is lost for you, my friend).

On the other side of town (while Soap is being beaten up by a team of Girl Scouts), Spidey, Daredevil, and Wolverine discuss the how's and why's of their last run-in with the Punisher. They decide that their lives are not in any real danger from Castle himself, as Frank never kills innocents, and that they should continue trying to bring him to justice (or, at least, justice as they see it).

Later (after Soap's vivid daydream of beheading Kevin the bartender and wielding the disembodied noggin atop the bar, shirt torn to reveal a rippling muscular physique, and screaming "I RULE!!" while gorgeous, scantily clad women flock to him) Frank lures the trio of heroes his way by slitting the throat of an ex-con.

Well, the trio shows all right, and Frank is waiting in a nearby building to fire a bazooka right in Wolverine's direction, destroying his entire midsection from chest to calves (minus the indestructible adimantium skeleton, naturally), and leaving him screaming (somehow...) for help. Spidey makes his way up to the window Frank was just occupying, and steps right onto a pressure detonator in a room full of explosives, rendering him motionless lest he set off a dozen bombs in his every direction (where's that darned spider-sense when you really NEED it, huh?).

And right before Frank has a chance to set off an ultrasonic device to incapacitate Daredevil, DD pops his hand through the wall and breaks Castle's arm. A completely dry and uninteresting fight serving mainly as free filler for about five pages ensues, and Frank decides this was not one of his better ideas.

General Comments

Yawn. It's difficult to believe Garth Ennis, the mastermind writer behind the Preacher series (which remains, to this day, my all time favorite comic series ever) could ever write anything as totally drab as this. It's honestly difficult to put into words how utterly pointless this issue was (I guess that makes me a bad reviewer, eh?), but I'll try.

First, the identity of the man Frank is holding captive is so glaringly obvious I find it insulting. Second, I'm sorry, but healing powers or not, YOU DO NOT HAVE YOUR ENTIRE BODY DESTROYED BY A BAZOOKA AND LIVE. Maybe I missed some important X-Men back issue where they determined that Wolverine's power isn't so much a healing factor as it is complete and utter regenerative capabilities regardless of the circumstance (I mean, what is he, Lobo now?), but I just think he'd be dying in about a hundred different ways here, and I don't see how the ability for scrapes and bruises to seal up quickly is going to affect that (never mind the fact that the ability to speak would be rendered severely difficult without all the proper equipment).

Third, the art here falls somewhere beyond the realm of appalling. If you had handed me a napkin and a crayon, then subsequently blindfolded me, broken both my thumbs, and thrown me off a small building, I would still manage to draw a better comic before hitting the ground. Anyone would. The fact that John McCrea got PAID for this work is a horrible injustice to out of work comic artists everywhere. These are drawings you see hanging on the fridge of the mother of a six-year-old boy, not of a professional artist.

I can't go on, I need to save some negativity for my reviews of the next two issues. Ugh.

Overall Rating

2 webs. I've read worse, but not much.

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Mitch Clem