Issue(s): Punisher #24, Punisher #25
He gets to the local town where the Yakamotos live, and starts walking up the trail to their house when he's attacked by an assassin, and helped out by Kathryn's father.
Master Yakamoto tells Punisher that the assassin was from the Eternal Sun (which i guess is the same thing as the Sunrise Society, which is what it was called earlier). He also has an expectation that the Punisher will become his disciple and open up a branch teaching his style of martial arts in the United States. Obviously the Punisher is skeptical about that latter bit.
Then the Shadowmasters show up. Punisher recognizes them, but he doesn't really know them. He's surprisingly not suspicious about it.
Philip, Yuriko, and Manzo.
Whoops, looks like Master Yakamoto has mixed up Manzo and Yuriko. I can sympathize; i can barely remember who these character are either. And i swear Philip's hair color keeps changing.
Anyway, more Sunrise troops show up.
When the soldiers are all dead, they decide to press their advantage and attack the local Eternal Sun base. It turns out that Congressman Abe Hargreaves, who Punisher met at Scully's Ninja Camp in the previous arc, is corrupt and working with Sunrise. So Philip decides to pretend to be Hargreaves' assistant and Yuriko his translator, and they go for a visit. We learn that Eternal Sun's local rep is none other than Iris Green.
Man, she's weird looking!
Philip manages to get through his subterfuge without commenting on how Iris' hair doesn't look like it's attached to her head.
When he goes to the bathroom he plants a bomb that he subsequently detonates. Then the Shadowmasters attack Iris, and Erik Larsen has a little sideboob for you.
My favorite scene, though, is when Manzo uses a grenade launcher to just blast all the color off the page.
Punisher and the Shadowmasters manage to blow up the Eternal Sun's computers and disrupt the meeting with Hargreaves, so it's a minor victory on their part, but hardly a decisive blow. Back in the States, Congressman Hargreaves shows that he's... well, actually he's a pretty normal politician by today's standards.
It turns out that it was Master Yakamoto, not Scully's Ninja Camp or the Eternal Sun people, that trained Iris Green in the use of the poison that she uses. But while Yakamoto is confessing that, he's assassinated.
Punisher had briefly been feeling like he liked the Shadowmaster people, but after Yakamoto is killed, he figures he's in charge, and Philip and Yuriko decide they don't like that and they split.
Things get weirder when Punisher and Kathryn Yakamoto crash a party that Harvgreaves and Iris Green are attending at a campaign contributor and defense contractor called Faxtech Aerospace. Faxtech is about to debut a flex-wing fighter jet that Eternal Sun wants.
Arrgh, stop it!
When Punisher and Kathryn show up at the party, Iris recognizes them and tries to convince the Punisher to join them.
When that fails, they get to fighting, and what's weird about it is how quickly the women wind up fighting in their lingerie.
Kathryn eventually blows up the hanger jet where they're fighting, killing Hargreaves and Green. Punisher starts making the moves on Kathryn.
It turns out the Shadowmasters characters showed up to help again, but they all disappear at the end, including Kathryn, leaving Punisher to write a "Dear War Journal, I think I'm in love" entry.
And that is the last we'll see of any of the Shadowmasters, including Kathryn. I can only imagine the outpouring of apathy that came to Marvel over these characters to cause them to disappear so suddenly (well, they are ninjas!) without their storyline even getting wrapped up. It's not that they're horrible; they're just very bland and certainly don't add anything to the Punisher's book. As Michael notes in the comments, we will get another appearance by Rikichi, who isn't in this story and wasn't part of the Shadowmasters limited series.
This particular storyline does drag down Mike Baron's usually economical plotting and scripting, and i also think Erik Larsen is much better suited to Spider-Man than the Punisher.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: At the start of this issue, Punisher has given up on his search for Iris Green after "months of searching".
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showHatsu Yakamoto, Iris Green, Kathryn Yakamoto, Manzo, Philip Richards, Punisher, Yuriko Ezaki
Either Larsen has catered his penciling to the title, or the inker has done a wonderful job of keeping the art in sync with Portacio's style.
Posted by: cullen | November 4, 2014 5:26 PM
The first issue (24) is inked by Scott Williams (and it's obvious), probably helps in keeping it with the style of Lee and Portacio.
Posted by: Mark Black | November 4, 2014 7:17 PM
Rikichi does appear after this in Punisher War Journal 17-20.
Posted by: Michael | November 4, 2014 10:52 PM
"My favorite scene, though, is when Manzo uses a grenade launcher to just blast all the color off the page." Ha ha. Brilliant! I did notice the colorist started colouring a hand, though.
Posted by: JSfan | November 5, 2014 6:35 AM
Larsen's original last page to #25 was printed in Comics Interview #85.
Larsen stated that Baron's stories were "dopey" and that he had the Punisher pulling weapons out of nowhere with no prior setup(the worst example being the Punisher holding a raccoon in his coat for 2 hours).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | May 29, 2015 8:46 PM
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