Punisher Summer Special #1
Issue(s): Punisher Summer Special #1
The first has the Punisher at a weapons show where he notices a Colonel De Sade, and like his namesake he is into sadism.
Punisher follows De Sade, who robs a bank with a gang of thugs. De Sade gets delayed when he can't help torture one of the hostages.
Punisher later traces De Sade back to his home, where he hits him with the barbed wire projector that he bought earlier.
And De Sade loves it.
De Sade actually doesn't die here. He'll be back for next year's Summer Special.
The second story is written by Peter David and has art by Mark Texeira (finished and inked by Michael Bair), and while that's not a bad creative team, it's still not necessary. Punisher stakes out a restaurant where a racketeer father and son team are eating out. The son has arranged a hit on his father, and Punisher is caught in the explosion. The twist is that the son has recognized the Punisher and helps him out of the building, so the Punisher feels indebted to him, and he protects him when it turns out that one of the father's goons has also survived the explosion.
The son also has a family that loves him, which makes the Punisher not want to kill him. So he just gives him a warning (a warning that probably gives his kids nightmares for the rest of their lives).
David's humor helps elevate the story somewhat.
The third story is written by Dan Slott, but it's notable for being mostly silent, showcasing the art by Mike Harris and Jimmy Palmiotti and Joe Rosas' colors.
Basically a cop chases down a criminal but gets injured. So at his recovery party, he finds that the Punisher has mailed him the guy's thumb.
Probably the best of the bunch just for Slott's restraint, letting the art team tell the story.
The final story is the most controversial. It is about a terror cell in the US.
I don't know why Baghdad and Iraq's names have been changed. It's not like we're fooling anyone.
The message of the story is that America's wimpy Fourth Amendment protections make us weak.
So they go to Disneyland (or "Whizzyland") to shoot up a crowd on Flag Day in retaliation for the US' involvement in the Gulf War.
The group is depicted as hapless, like when they mistake a FedEx truck for Federal government agents.
And the story has a weirdly comedic tone, like when they're able to pass off their attack on the truck as them setting off fireworks...
...or when they seemingly legitimately wonder why Whizzyland isn't protected by anti-aircraft weaponry.
But they do very much gun down actual people at the amusement park (and notice the security guard saying that he won't be authorized to shoot until they kill more people).
Our hero, the Punisher, is not bound by our wimpy civil rights protections, so he is the only one that can save us from these terrorists.
I write this not long after the 2015 shooting in Paris that was a lot like what the terrorists did here except on an even larger scale. I don't agree at all with the message of this story, but it is an argument that a lot of people are making after the attack, and you can therefore see the wish fulfillment appeal that the Punisher had with some people (although, to be geeky about it, this really should have been a Solo story; terrorists are his beat). This story is deliberately polemic - the security guard's reaction is ridiculous, for example - so it's not going to change anyone's mind. And it's also a weird mix of tones, like when one of the terrorists goes from being goofily pleased for being charged the children's price to being willing to martyr himself. Even by the standards of Punisher stories this is pretty... let's say 'polarizing', and i'm surprised that it was ok'd.
Also in this issue is a two-page ad for a Jim Lee/Gregory Wright graphic novel called Punisher/Nick Fury: Rules of the Game. The book is promised for "late '91", but it was never finished.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
How many of the Punisher's former platoon became supervillains?
Posted by: MikeCheyne | November 18, 2015 2:15 PM
real missed opportunity with Punisher not popping out of a Mickey Mouse suit.
Posted by: JP | November 18, 2015 2:57 PM
Yeah, I'm pretty sure cops have the right to shoot people that are actively shooting civilians or stating their intent to do so, or at the very least in self-defense. Granted, sometimes cops get a little over-zealous as to what constitutes "self-defense", but the Fourth Amendment does not mean the cops have to just stand around and let terrorists kill everyone before civilly taking them in, reading them their rights, and giving them comfortable jail cells.
...I've just sparked a political debate that will completely take over these comments, haven't I?
Posted by: Morgan Wick | November 18, 2015 8:08 PM
Morgan, that was a security guard not a cop. Note his reference to "management rules." Some pretty weird rules, too, since he has to wait until they slaughter MORE innocent people before he can shoot them.
Posted by: Robert | November 18, 2015 8:35 PM
The terrorist story is old time political polemic, like comics and cartoons in the 1930s/1940s that portrayed Nazis both as buffoons and villains. If you're not familiar with that style of storytelling then I can see why the tone of that story would look like it's all over the place.
Posted by: Red Comet | November 18, 2015 10:35 PM
I was mostly referring to the terrorists' talking at the beginning.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | November 18, 2015 11:25 PM
"I don't know why Baghdad and Iraq's names have been changed. It's not like we're fooling anyone."
Because "thinly-veiled" is still "veiled", Fnord12. (At least in the eyes of Marvel's legal team, who probably recommended the change as a precaution.)
But wow, it's weird how "timely" a lot of these stories around this time end up being! I think I would have hated the final story even if i had read it back then, but ooh boy do I LOATHE it now. Particularly cringe-worthy is the implication that the carnage at fake Disneyland happened in part because we gave "those people" opportunities for a better life, like a college education.
Actually, I'd hate that story simply for the sub-Mad Magazine calibur names. "Bombadad?" Ugh!
Actually there seems to be a lot of dumb villains in this story? Didn't Frank usually go after mob bosses and corrupt policeman on the take rather than petty and stupid criminals? I don't generally read any Punisher books, so I wouldn't know. But didn't Frank want to topple criminal empires and not just criminals?
Posted by: Jon Dubya | November 19, 2015 12:30 AM
I recall PAD posting sumwhere on his blog dat by his own admission he simply could never get his head into the Punisher and dat dis was a mediocre story.
Posted by: JC | November 19, 2015 3:29 AM
Even for the era, calling Baghdad "Bombadad" is amazingly bigoted. The equivalent would be a comic made in Iraq that takes place in the capital of the Unites States, Slavington.
Posted by: Tuomas | November 19, 2015 3:50 AM
@JC- I think this is the posting you're referring to:
Posted by: Michael | November 19, 2015 8:01 AM
@Tuomas A voice actor apparently left the original Transformers cartoon because it featured a country called "Carbombia." Although from what I hear, the name wasn't the only problem with that depiction.
In defense of the security guy, the case could be made that shooting them would be unnecessary if they'd surrender. Although in this case he wasn't convincingly showing that he could back up his position of power. Although its questionable if that would have mattered, seeing how it seems a little ambiguous as to wherever they believed the Punisher could actually go through with his threats.
Posted by: Max_Spider | November 19, 2015 1:25 PM
In the last story, taking away all of the comedic buffoonery, unfortunately, the plot of the terrorists is pretty much the same as the Paris attack.
Posted by: kveto | November 19, 2015 2:37 PM
Now we know who reads my entries and who just looks at the scans. ;-)
Posted by: fnord12 | November 19, 2015 2:51 PM
I read it fnord, just trying to take credit for your insight:-)
Posted by: kveto | November 19, 2015 3:06 PM
Who are you again?
Posted by: kveto | November 19, 2015 3:07 PM
So Iraq's name must be changed, but Kuwait is just fine the way it is? I guess the lesson here is "worry about the invaders getting angry, but don't mind the invadees"?
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 20, 2015 4:05 PM
Comments are now closed.
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