Characters Appearing: Microchip, Punisher, Ron Salazar
Punisher War Journal #11
Issue(s): Punisher War Journal #11
When the Punisher finds out about that, he goes to kill him, but Ron winds up getting arrested first (on an unrelated charge that turns out to not be something Ron did). Then the Punisher sees him copping a plea and goes ballistic, freaking out even Micro.
Two years in prison for the teenaged Ron isn't good enough for the Punisher, and he decides to wait for him and kill him when he gets out. And he's going to get a chance sooner than expected, because Ron signs up for an experimental Shock Incarceration program that will get him out early in exchange for going through a boot camp style discipline program.
I am not sure what i think about a program like that, although i wouldn't be surprised if some people thought it was unconstitutional and others thought it was coddling criminals by shortening their sentences. For the purpose of this story, it works on Ron, and when he gets out he is ready to go to Texas to work on a relative's farm and send the money back to his grandma to take care of his sister. But of course the Punisher doesn't buy it and is ready to assassinate him.
However, Micro feels differently, and he rigs the Punisher's van to stall before the Punisher can reach Ron.
The problem is that the Punisher has his motorcycle in the back of the van.
However, at the last minute, the Punisher decides not to kill Ron after all. He berates himself for getting soft.
In another sign of the Punisher's instability, he considers killing a den of drug users. By deciding not to do it, he again thinks that he's getting soft.
Mixed in with this is a story about police engaging in another experimental program. This one is less on the up-and-up than Shock Incarceration. The police show up somewhere and just gun someone down.
It turns out that it's a Scared Straight program, and the guy they shoot is an actor.
But we see at the end that this has the opposite of the intended effect.
Jim Lee and Klaus Janson are a very strong combination, in my opinion. Gregory Wright's coloring also contributes.
Seeing a disagreement, even if unvoiced, between Micro and Punisher is interesting, and the whole issue is a more thoughtful look at the Punisher's actions than i expected. I have no idea how real the Shock Incarceration and Scared Straight programs really were (they seem over the top) but again i think it's interesting to see what was on people's minds; i'm glad to see the Scared Straight program failing as stupidly as it did.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: This story takes place over "weeks" and then "months" as Punisher waits for Ron Salazar to get out of the Shock Incarceration program. So some of this story may take place directly after Punisher War Journal #9 (which continued directly from #8, which is when Ron Salazar was last seen) with only the final sequence at the end taking place where i've placed this issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
What kind of gun is Frank using anyway? I thought he was carrying a rifle in each hand but looks like he put two guns together. Has someone been watching Aliens?
Posted by: david banes | November 6, 2014 1:15 AM
All i can say is i'm sure it's a real gun of some kind. Because the lettercols are always full of people complaining about nitpicky details of the guns shown. So i'm sure they wouldn't just make up something from scratch; they seem to try to be as realistic as possible to avoid the criticism.
Also in nearly every issue, we have dialogue like, "This new H&K G-11 is really sweet, Microchip. Accurate three round burst with light caseless ammo. I can carry a lot more rounds with no additional weight." That's from this issue, but about a different gun.
Posted by: fnord12 | November 6, 2014 7:52 AM
Should have gotten Chuck Dixon, he's a big gun guy. I was more in rough terms asking, lookins like an M4 with some kind of shotgun beneath.
Posted by: david banes | November 6, 2014 1:55 PM
The "Boot Camp" programs certainly did exist in some states; I'm not sure how they were supposed to prevent recidivism though(exactly how do things like learning to ride a horse stop one from committing crimes in, say, an inner city slum?). I suspect the main supporters were folks who actually believed all the stuff they saw in John Wayne movies. One program in Florida came under heavy fire in the mid-1990s after one teen died after being forced to literally eat dirt and then being denied medical care. I think the program got shut down after that; I have no idea if anything similar still exists today.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 8, 2014 5:36 PM
Wow, I never knew that Klaus Janson inked Jim Lee before. I still can't decide whether or not I like the collaboration, though (I did not like him over Byrne on Wolverine).
Posted by: Vincent Valenti | November 8, 2014 10:45 PM
The boot camp program is a real thing, here in Wyoming about half fail but the other half have a FAR lower recidivism rate and it also provides basic job training and discipline skills. To be honest most first offenders are given the option to go through it
Posted by: Joshua | January 5, 2015 2:52 AM
I enjoyed the revelation on the last page that the tragic and flawed Scared Straight program did end up, by a twist of fate, saving Ron from the Punisher allowing both him a second chance at life. It was the one good thing it caused to happen.
Posted by: Grom | October 3, 2015 12:17 PM
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