Issue(s): Punisher #29
The Punisher definitely gets away with a few liberties, though.
Kristoff is being polite because the Punisher was attacked by the "renegade robot Doom" (aka the real Dr. Doom), and Kristoff wants him to take care of the robot for him.
While discussing it, Kristoff also shows the Punisher a precious painting of his (Doom's) parents.
At the bottom of that panel is the faberge egg that the Punisher originally came here to steal, but now he's got a better idea.
The real Dr. Doom continues to bicker with the Kingpin back home.
I think Doom is talking about the mysterious facilitator (Loki) of the Acts of Vengeance cabal in the panel above when he refers to his assistant. But Loki has been appearing in front of all the Acts of Vengeance arch-villains, so i'm not quite sure.
Beyond that, the Kingpin accuses Doom of selling chemical weapons to dictators. Doom denies that he would do that, and says that it must really be Kristoff. Then, as the tit-for-tat continues, Doom points to a security monitor showing people protesting the Kingpin in the streets.
Captain America shows up before the Kingpin's security forces can beat up the protestors.
Back in Latveria, the Punisher starts a fire in the art room and escapes with the painting during the confusion.
Interesting move, since it just trades one Dr. Doom for another on the Punisher's enemy list even if he's successful in this gambit.
As they flee Latverian airspace, Punisher and Microchip (who was picked up along the way) are interrogated by a West German plane. To get away from them, they use a SHIELD priority code. But that just winds up getting them picked up by SHIELD.
But surprisingly, Nick Fury lets the Punisher go.
Doom, meanwhile, is having doubts about the entire Acts of Vengeance scheme.
The Punisher gets back to the US and has a copy of the painting made. One thing i like about Baron's Punisher is his deadpan humor.
The Punisher tapes the copy of the painting to the roof of his van and heads towards an area where there's reports of a battle between the Avengers and "some of these superhuman career criminals".
The battle is actually against Freedom Force. They must have recovered very quickly after the events of Avengers #312 (the Blob, especially) and came back looking for a rematch. But sucks for them, because now Thor and the Sub-Mariner are with the team (and Quasar, according to the cover). Captain America, who didn't actually participate in the previous battle, is here as well.
As the Punisher wanted, Doom sees the copy of the painting, and goes off after him.
The Punisher negotiates the return of the painting in return for his life. Doom agrees. He's failed in his wager with the Kingpin, but he takes solace in the thought that Kristoff will now have to seek out the Punisher for betraying him. (That won't actually happen, though.)
As he's leaving, Doom talks about having to guide "these dolts" if they're ever going to prevail over "Mr. Fantastic and his ilk".
A lot of irons in the fire, that guy.
This issue and last were interesting. Some of the smartest issues of the Acts of Vengeance crossover, actually. I like that they didn't just send some second rate Spider-Man villains against the Punisher, but i also like that the Punisher doesn't really "win" this fight, in the sense that he doesn't get into a guns-blazing battle with Dr. Doom. He basically bargains for his life. I do have misgivings about Doom losing, more in the sense that that he's losing face to the Kingpin than being outwitted by the Punisher. In isolation it's ok; it's when combined with the story from Daredevil #275-276 that it feels a little wrong. But overall it's nicely done. I kind of picture Mike Baron as a guy that's happy writing the Punisher and not too interested in dealing with super-hero stuff. But he handles Dr. Doom and Nick Fury pretty well. We don't see any specific characterization of the Avengers or Freedom Force (the fact that the battle is a bit of a continuity cluster is not really his fault), but i'd like to have seen him do more super hero stuff to see how he handled it.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: This isn't the same Avengers/Freedom Force fight as the one in Avengers #312 and probably takes place afterwards since that fight didn't seem like a rematch. Quasar's appearance on the cover doesn't count as an appearance.
Crossover: Acts of Vengeance
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (6): show
I took the reference to the statistician who is a master at factoring possibilities as a reference that Doom had hired the Mad Thinker. I can't think of anyone else who fits the bill. Since Loki is serving everyone, it doesn't make sense that the Kingpin would ask who he is. But what do I know? I haven't read this is over twenty years!
Posted by: Chris | April 1, 2015 10:44 PM
But Chris, in Avengers Spotlight 28, it's a plot point that the Thinker wanted nothing to do with Loki's plan because he predicted it would fail.
Posted by: Michael | April 1, 2015 11:32 PM
Man, I am sorry my kids cannot grow up with these great comics. I hate the trash they produce now. We were blessed looking back.
Posted by: Grom | September 14, 2016 11:31 PM
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