Issue(s): Punisher #64, Punisher #65, Punisher #66, Punisher #67, Punisher #68, Punisher #69, Punisher #70
The story begins with the Punisher traveling to London in pursuit of an assassin named Snakebite. At the airport, Interpol agents try to arrest him (Punisher), but he's rescued by a local vigilante (and definitely NOT Microchip).
His rescuer is Nigel Higgins, aka Outlaw. He is basically a Punisher copycat.
The Punisher is not happy about the emulation, saying that Outlaw has a bad choice of role models, and also observing that Outlaw is too "eager". Outlaw thinks the local criminals are bringing in an assassin after him, and when he hears about Snakebite he thinks it might be him, but that's never actually confirmed. Snakebite is actually in London to support the Kingpin, who has a major scheme going on regarding the Chunnel, which is under construction (as a Seinfeld fan, i can't help but find this amusing).
The Punisher and Outlaw go after some weapons dealers that Snakebite is supervising. The Punisher didn't bring any weapons with him to Europe, so he has to borrow from Outlaw and winds up using a gun that he's not used to, and accidentally kills the only weapons runner that knew anything.
But Micro is able to review the guy's notepad and move the plot to the next location. And that is the Chunnel. Snakebite has entered the Chunnel to deal with some workers that are asking questions about some unusual activity.
But when the Punisher and Outlaw show up, Snakebite takes a construction supervisor, Morgan Sinclair, hostage.
But Punisher is hot on his tail, crossing the Chunnel into France.
Snakebite gets Punisher with the old spring-loaded guns in the sleeves trick.
Snakebite leaves, not waiting to make sure that Punisher is dead. Punisher is actually saved by his kevlar, but he and Morgan are arrested by French interpol agents.
Snakebite then gets to his meeting place, where he is joined by a few other agents. That includes a computer hacker named Armand Chauffard and another mercenary named Rapido. I originally hoped the guy might be Montenegro, a character that appeared in a couple issues of Power Man & Iron Fist and would have fit well into this story. But Rapido turns out to be awesome on his own, as we'll see soon.
Also on the team is Batroc. But Snakebite is in charge.
He's lucky to remain in charge after it turns out that Morgan managed to pull a document off of him during their scuffle.
The Kingpin calls a contact in Interpol and tries to have the Punisher assassinated in his cell and the document taken from Morgan. But Punisher is able to defeat the assassin and escape with Morgan. The document turns out to be a list of targets for Snakebite and his mercenaries to assassinate. Morgan knows a few people on the list. Her father, recently killed off in an unexplained "accident", is on there, and so is an uncle in France that is connected with the Chunnel construction. So they go to his mansion and find him killed. Snakebite and Rapido are waiting there.
So yeah. Rapido has a chain gun for an arm. That's why he's awesome.
Batroc is pretty cool too.
But then again he gets taken down by Morgan.
So that's basically the format of the series, with each issue taking place in a different country as Punisher and Morgan (supported by Micro and Outlaw, who remain in Britain) try to get to Snakebite's targets before Snakebite and his mercenaries.
The hit in part three, in Germany, is complicated by a third party: a Romanian revolutionary called the Bear who kills Snakebite's targets for his own reasons.
The Kingpin's master plan is actually stated in the above scans as well. His goal is to create, essentially, a European Union of Crime. And he's killing off the top crime leaders in each country and replacing them with his own men. When the Punisher shows up, the Bear thinks that the Kingpin has sent him, so they get into a fight that results in the Bear's death.
The next issue takes place in Geneva, Switzerland. Batroc has another not-so-great showing.
It was a group of Italian criminals that Snakebite was after in Geneva. When the Punisher catches up with them, he finds that they are protected by the Tarantula.
Tarantula is actually employed by a Spanish criminal that was working with the Italians, so the Punisher and Morgan are brought to Spain. And it turns out that Morgan knows the Spanish crime boss, another uncle. I assume these are all uncles in the sense that one calls a parent's friends "uncle", not blood relations. Morgan and the Punisher try to convince him that he's a target for the Kingpin, but they aren't successful until Snakebite and company show up. While the Punisher fights the assassins, the uncle turns out the Tarantula, thinking him a mole from the Kinpin. But the mole really turns out to be a nephew that the uncle has been grooming. And he is trying out to be a new version of the Daredevil villain Matador (but luckily no one is hiring).
As for Batroc, i really feel like his heart isn't in this.
The Punisher manages to escape with Morgan and the Tarantula by causing a stampede of the bulls that were stored on the uncle's ranch.
To be clear, the Tarantula happens to be working with Spanish criminals, but Tarantula himself is from Central America, so he's as Spanish as i am British. There isn't any indication in the story that Tarantula is anything other than a mercenary that happens to be in Spain, though; he's not presented as "Spanish". That said, this second Tarantula has so far acted only as an agent of his country. This is the first time he's acted as a mercenary, unlike the original Tarantula. Anyway, he remains with the Punisher for the rest of this story.
For issue #69, we are back in London. The Kingpin is holding two meetings in a building: one where he's meeting with his legitimate business partners that are funding the Chunnel, and one on a lower floor where he's called together the remaining criminal leaders of Europe with the goal of assassinating them. The Punisher, Tarantula, and Outlaw, with help from Morgan and support from Micro, are there to stop the assassination.
The Punisher winds up facing off against Snakebite in the lower room.
Tarantula faces off against Batroc.
And finally gets to kick someone's ass, knocking Tarantula out a window.
But it turns out that Tarantula managed to tag Batroc with the poison in his boot blade before going out.
Outlaw has to confront Rapido.
Well, not so much confront as "run from", which is what i would do too.
Snakebite flees the Punisher and winds up facing off against Morgan.
The Punisher, chasing Snakebite, finds the Kingpin instead.
Punisher doesn't immediately shoot Kingpin, and then the opportunity is lost when Batroc, trying to get somewhere to cure the poison in his body, comes crashing in and knocks Punisher down. Punisher locates Tarantula and pulls him off the ledge. Punisher sends Tarantula to find Outlaw, who has managed to survive thanks to Rapido's indiscriminate shooting.
Meanwhile, the Punisher tries to locate Morgan, but he doesn't find her until after Snakebite uses his sleeve-guns on her. Snakebite then tries to join the Kingpin on his helicopter, but Kingpin kicks him off. So he's left to defend himself against the Punisher. And he doesn't do too bad a job of it.
But Morgan has survived and gives the Punisher a hand. Snakebite is killed. And then, just to add a final moment of ridiculous awesomeness at the end, Punisher, Outlaw, and Tarantula flee the authorities in wing-gliders.
Morgan is left behind because she's legitimately a Chunnel employee, so she's able to claim that she was attacked by terrorists and she's brought to the hospital for treatment.
In the end, the Kingpin's operations in Europe are said to be set back two years, but he's still there for the Chunnel opening ceremony. Outlaw decides that he's giving up on guns, having seen the Punisher operate up close. The Tarantula offers to help the Punisher if he ever goes up against the Kingpin again; in the meantime he agrees that he'll "stay out of trouble" because he doesn't want the Punisher coming after him. And Punisher is accosted by a Lt. Coldstream of Interpol on his way home, and told to stay out of Europe.
We'll see Outlaw and Rapido again, and this story will be revisited in a future Punisher annual by this same creative team. It's a fun adventure story (and i would totally go see the movie).
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: A footnote in each issue reminds us that this takes place before Daredevil #300. The MCP just pull this arc back in time rather than try to fit all of Punisher #53 (or so) through Punisher #70 prior to Daredevil #300. With the Punisher's mostly standalone stories, that's usually a safe bet, so i'm following that. This story is over a month in duration.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showArmand Chauffard, Batroc, Coldstream, Kingpin, Microchip, Morgan Sinclair, Outlaw, Punisher, Rapido, Tarantula II
Batroc's bald? I like him even more.
Posted by: kveto | October 26, 2015 5:22 PM
This does look like fun and I think Batroc vs. Tarantuala II is a good match up though I'm rooting for Batroc.
Posted by: david banes | October 26, 2015 5:26 PM
Even early Abnett/Lanning is good stuff.
Nice change from and a break for Baron, whose work was starting to slip.
Art's not too bad, either.
Posted by: Bob | October 26, 2015 6:31 PM
I've heard some people complain that it's sexist for readers to use the term "Mary Sue" to describe an extremely competent female character...
Posted by: Michael | October 26, 2015 9:18 PM
I just learned about Outlaw by way of Al Ewing's new 'Contest of Champions' series. Great timing!
Posted by: cullen | October 27, 2015 9:34 AM
I loved this series; I think it would be a fun film too.
I think Batroc is miscast and would actually have liked it better if he and Tarantula swapped places (or if other characters were used). Tarantula is portrayed more of a lovable mercenary when he's basically been always depicted as an asshole government goon, while Batroc has always been depicted as a lovable mercenary type. Also imagine Batroc and Frank Castle working together! It might have also made sense to use Batroc's Brigade as a whole if you're the Kingpin, but then they might have gotten axed I suppose (although only Snakebite dies here).
Rapido is super cool.
Posted by: MikeCheyne | November 19, 2015 4:44 PM
Agreed with MikeCheyne. When I read "Eurohit" in real time, for the most part I enjoyed it, but it also appeared to me that Abnett & Lanning had completely mixed up the personalities of Batroc and Tarantula.
Batroc is typically depicted as a morally ambiguous mercenary with his own individual code of honor someone who occasionally sides with heroes against criminals that even he finds reprehensible. Tarantula, in both the Spider-Man titles and stories in Marvel Comics Present, is shown to be an agent of a brutal Latin American dictatorship, someone who had absolutely no qualms about committing cold-blooded murder. It would have made much more sense for Tarantula to have been the one working for the Kingpin, and for Batroc to be assisting the Punisher.
Posted by: Ben Herman | March 14, 2016 10:35 PM
Just read this in Punisher Epic Collection: Capital Punishment and this is much, much better than I remember Punisher comics from this time being. And how cool is that Batroc/Tarantula fight?
Posted by: bigvis497 | July 6, 2018 11:11 AM
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