On November 17th, the punishment begins! That’s the day that fans of the guy with the skull on his chest are waiting for. All 13 Episodes of Marvel’s The Punisher will be available for your binge watching pleasure. The Punisher was a fan favourite in Daredevil Season 2 and Jon Bernthal looks more than ready to take center stage. Over the next few weeks, leading up to the show’s release, I’ll be bringing you all the knowledge on Frank Castle that’s fit to print. You’ll hear about his greatest comic adventures and even his latter day movie sins. So kick back and get ready to learn all about the greatest vigilante in the Marvel U.
The Punisher’s a pretty popular guy. There was a time in the 90s where he turned up as a guest star in almost EVERY Marvel book. Kinda strange for a dude that is supposed to be a loner, right? This has lead to some pretty weird team ups over the years. He’s teamed with Marvel Heroes, DC Heroes, and even celebrities. Did you know that he teamed up with Eminem back in 2009? This guy’s had team ups with everybody! As strange as his pairing with Marshall Mathers was, it’s not the strangest. Here’s 5 of the Punisher’s best Bizarre Team Ups.
Does Whatever A Spider Can (Punisher Vol. 4 #2)
Creative Team: Garth Ennis (Writer) and Steve Dillon (Artist)
I know what you’re thinking. Spider-Man? That’s not bizarre. True. Punisher and Spidey have been a team on multiple occasions. It’s more the circumstances that make this one weird. Punisher has just been thrown off a building by The Russian. Frank had previously killed The Russian, but the brute was rebuilt like the Bionic Man and came back for round two. As Punisher’s falling to his death, Spidey saves him and gets dragged into the fray. The Russian keeps punching Spidey and throwing him out of the way. This gives Frank an idea.
He holds Spidey in front of himself like a human shield. As the Russian beats away on the wall crawler, Punisher finds his web shooters and webs the big man right in his open mouth. As the behemoth chokes on the webbing, Frank pushes him off the building. When Spidey comes to, he asks what the hell happened. Frank’s response? “We had a team up. You were great.”
Acts of Vengence (Punisher Vol. 2 #28 & #29)
Creative Team: Mike Baron (Writer) and Bill Reinhold (Artist)
Okay, so this one is kind of a cheat as Punisher never truly teams up with anyone in this story. This was part of a big cross over event in the late 80s where all the villains took on different heroes. Doctor Doom decides he’s going to show Kingpin how inferior the crime boss is by taking out The Punisher. When Doom starts making life difficult for the vigilante, Frank gets the idea to go to Latveria to steal something the dictator values to bargain with. But when he gets there, a different Doom is on the throne. Each Doom claims the other is a fake.
So there’s two Dooms and we don’t know which is which. So Punisher agrees to team up with Doom to take out Doom, then ends up screwing both Dooms over. So he essentially teams up with no one. Did you get all that? Can you explain it to me?
Shock Absorber (Captain Marvel Vol. 2 #2)
Creative Team: Peter David (Writer) and Crisscross (Artist)
In the early 2000s, Peter David did a revamp on his Captain Marvel run by making the character go insane. During this story line, Cap decides he wants to find out what death and killing is like. So he moves in with the master of murder, The Punisher. Frank becomes a reluctant teacher as the big blue dude job shadows him in his daily routine. When he goes to kill a mob boss, Marvel advises against it. Frank ignores him and ends up killing the guy right in front of his own son. Marvel than uses his cosmic awareness to reveal Punisher’s future because of this action. An odd couple comedy story turns into a morality tale about consequences. A very interesting read.
Lovesick (Punisher / Painkiller Jane)
Creative Team: Garth Ennis (Writer), Joe Jusko and Dave Ross (Artists)
Okay, so this is an odd one. There’s no real explanation as to why Painkiller Jane shows up in this comic. She just does. And when she does, she sees The Punisher threatening a stool pigeon and falls in love. She then follows Frank everywhere he goes. She breaks into his house and tries on his clothes. She even ends up saving him a couple of times from almost certain death. The big problem is that Punisher has no interest in her. But don’t tell Jane that. It’s not like she’ll hear you anyways. Frank tries everything to get rid of her, including hiring a private plane to fly her to Alaska. But nothing works and he eventually has to give in to Jane’s persistence, at least for one night.
When Worlds Collide (The Punisher Meets Archie)
Creative Team: Batton Lash (Writer), John Buscema and Stan Goldberg (Artists)
Hands down, the greatest Punisher team up of all team ups! Melvin Jay, a.k.a. Red Fever, is a criminal on the loose. The feds want this guy so bad, they make a deal with The Punisher to bring him in alive. So the Punisher goes hunting. His destination: Riverdale. That’s where Red Fever is setting up his next big crime operation. The only thing is, Red Fever looks almost identical to Archie Andrews. This leads to a comedy of errors based on mistaken identity. A fun and classic tale that does a great job of not betraying either character. Plus, Microchip and Jughead spark up a fun little friendship based around burgers. This is the only Punisher comic that’s fun for the WHOLE family.
So that was 5 Bizarre Team Ups worth reading. Check ’em out at your local comic shop if you need something to tide you over until the Netflix series drops. Next week, we’ll take a look at the comic book counterparts of the supporting characters in the upcoming Punisher series.
Marvel’s The Punisher debuts on Netflix on Friday, November 18th.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!