The Small Lebowski:
Characters Appearing: Microchip, Punisher
Issue(s): Punisher #89, Punisher #90, Punisher #91, Punisher #92
This story begins with Navy seals capturing General Carranza, the drug lord leader of a fictional banana republic called Bosqueverra who is wanted in the US for his drug crimes.
Meanwhile, the Punisher is in New Jersey, shooting up the gang of a drug lord named Solomon Garland (who is from "the islands").
Garland gets away, but Punisher runs into a woman, Felicia McBride, who is managing his money.
He lets her go, showing a surprising lack of his usual equal opportunity vigilantism ("She could be as dirty as the others... But she's somebody's daughter. Somebody's sister. She was once somebody's little girl.").
Punisher later runs into another shipment of Garland's cocaine, and tracks down McBride to get more info on him. McBride says that Garland is in Florida, so Punisher brings her to a safehouse that Micro has in Fort Lauderdale. Garland is in Miami, but while the Punisher has been after Garland, General Carranza's troops have been causing mayhem in Miami trying to get Carranza released, and Miami is therefore currently under martial law. Punisher leaves McBride with Micro, and infiltrates Miami. He finds that Garland is allied with Carranza's men, who are disguised as national guardsmen. Punisher contacts Micro, asking for help, but then Micro is knocked out by McBride.
Punisher later returns to see what happened to Micro, and then heads out after McBride, who has left to rejoin Garland. Garland actually has no interest in McBride coming back to him, and is about to kill her when the Punisher shows up and saves her (who wonders to himself why he keeps helping/sparing her). Garland tries to bargain with the Punisher by telling him that Carranza is about to get sprung from prison, but then McBride shoots Garland, killing him.
That's the last we see of McBride, so to the extent that she's been developed (and/or Punisher's interest in her is developed), not much comes of it, and from here on in it's a very standard story of the Punisher mowing his way through various troops, including a trip to Bosqueverra after Carrava manages to escape there.
As to the Punisher's position on the question of supply & demand in the drug trade, it's (unsurprisingly) kill 'em all.
Pretty bland, storywise. It's interesting to see Golden Ager Russ Heath on Punisher art (not for the first time), but the art is pretty staid too. Overall, a very bland follow-up to Suicide Run, although i guess i should be happy that the out-of-sequence nature of it gives me something to do for my project.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place before Suicide Run (i.e., out of sequence, before Punisher #85). The key consideration is that he's working with Microchip here.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Something to whet our appetite for 1994. This is around the time I stopped collecting too. I liked Chuck Dixon as a writer, but his Punisher stuff was lousy, other than that first storyline in Punisher War Zone.
Posted by: Mquinn1976 | September 13, 2017 7:42 PM
That lady in the red bikini has her stomach weirdly colored in.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 13, 2017 7:50 PM
The art here... isn't terrible.
For as many books as Punisher had in 1994, it's kind of strange nobody ever talks about this stuff, anywhere. In fact outside of the big titles, you can say that about all of 1994 Marvel. You'll find plenty of analysis on what went wrong with the industry in 1994 but rarely any analysis of the actual books. I realize there's a reason for this, but that's why I love this site. Bring on Blackwulf! Fantastic Force! Nightwatch! One things for sure, this year is going to look VERY different come December.
I'm pumped for 1994!
Posted by: bigvis497 | September 14, 2017 9:21 AM
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