Punisher annual #2
Issue(s): Punisher annual #2
Atlantis Attacks may not be very good, but the fact that it exists made the scene below possible, and for that alone it gets a pass.
It's the helpless outrage of Marc Spector (Moon Knight), as he looks in through the pet store window (why was he doing that) that really sells the scene for me. But his question at the end, "Why does it set off all my emergency alarm bells?", is great too. No idea why that would make you freak out, Marc.
Marc trails the guy to an old mansion taken over by a group called Save Our Society. The Punisher similarly tracks some random drug dealer to a Save Our Society clinic, which purports to exist to help drug addicts.
The name Leona Hiss sets off all my emergency alarm bells. According to Micro, she's a member of the RNC and a philanthropist, but Punisher and Micro both think something's wrong about her story.
While scoping out the place, Punisher and Moon Knight bump into each other, and unlike everyone else that Moon Knight has been meeting in his own book lately, the Punisher actually knows him.
Things get well out of the Punisher's normal milieu pretty quickly.
But he adapts quickly, realizing that the snake people are slow in the cold.
After fighting their way out, they decide to stick together to figure out their next move. If it weren't for the gerbil eating scene, this "boys and their toys" sequence would be the best in the book, with the Moon Knight gleefully showing off his cool stuff to the Punisher, who probably really isn't all that impressed and is maybe a little bit put off by the extravagance of it all.
They figure out that Viper is behind Save Our Society and using the same formula she used during her attack on Washington.
You can kind of see the Punisher not so sure what he's getting himself into.
By the way, Viper wants to be Madame Viper now, ok? I guess it's partially a callback to her Madame Hydra days.
I love her so calmly asking which snake people want which rodents.
She's apparently been out of the loop and doesn't know that SHIELD is defunct. I'm also surprised to see her using "Set knows" as a "God knows" kind of phrase. If she's really a believer you'd think it would be blasphemous, but i also don't really see her as a believer despite her previous association with the serpent crown. She's a crazy nihilist, not really a religious type.
Anyway, Moon Knight and Punisher track her down, and then the Punisher gets injected with the snake serum.
But instead of a snake, it turns him into Arthur Brown.
Moon Knight is able to take care of the Snake Men, and the Viper abandons them, declaring that they're useless under 80 degrees.
After fighting his way past a particularly big Snake Man...
...he somehow manages to hypnotize the Punisher...
...and bring him back to his mansion for treatment. It takes two days, but the Punisher finally beats the serum. Then the Punisher beats a hasty retreat from the clingy Moon Knight. Look dude, you've got some fancy gear, but i work alone.
A backup story has Micro helping out some friends that run a local Vietnamese restaurant that are facing a protection racket. There's poetic justice in what he's doing in the end, but it still shows that Micro can get pretty brutal.
A second back-up feature shows "Punisher's Fighting Techniques", and there's also a couple of pin-ups.
And then of course the Saga of the Serpent Crown segment, which in this issue covers the story of Thoth-Amon and Conan and a story about the related but inferior Cobra Crown as well as a scene showing the Egyptian god Seth subverting and taking control of the followers of Set. I won't be including footnotes for any of that since the Conan portion is outside the scope of my project and i think the Seth portion is all new material just used to explain why Set lost his followers on Earth.
The main story has very little to do with the larger Atlantis Attacks storyline, but it's fun seeing the Punisher team up with Moon Knight to fight Viper and her Snake People. Bill Reinhold's faces can get a little weird, but it's ok since he's mostly drawing Snake Men.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part five of Atlantis Attacks; part six takes place in Spectacular Spider-Man annual #9. This story takes place over the course of at least two days. Both the Punisher and Moon Knight live in pretty context-free worlds, so their appearances should be able to fit in any reasonable break in their regular series(es).
Crossover: Atlantis Attacks
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): show
Viper--ssssorry, Madame Viper--has a way with Elder Gods. She's had the Serpent Crown before, then there was whatever Cththon connection Claremont established, so in a way I'm ok with her making random allusions to Set. As a former Crown wearer, she might even be indirectly under his influence.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | October 17, 2014 5:19 PM
The dialogue implies Leona Hiss was a real person. One has to wonder how many people Viper's goons went through before they found a sufficiently snakelike name.
Posted by: Michael | October 17, 2014 9:45 PM
This is my favorite of the Atlantic Attack annuals. Good writing and art. Plus I just love the camaraderie of the Punisher and Moon Knight. No misunderstanding fight. Mutual respect. I really wanted to see these two team up on an ongoing, but irregular basis. Makes me wonder if Mike Baron would have been a good choice for regular series writer for MK.
Posted by: Chris | October 17, 2014 11:04 PM
Their mutual attitude was certainly unusual. But it felt just so wrong to me. Punisher is not someone the average Marvel hero would not put in jail. Once the decision to give him his own book was made, Marvel should have kept him outside the main continuity. This scene just marked Moon Knight as a character not to get too attached to when I read this annual.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | October 17, 2014 11:17 PM
For good or worse, this third Moon Knight series made a point of presenting Marc as something of a middle ground between Punisher (who "goes too far" according to Moon Knight) and Spider-Man ("who does not go far enough").
I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time. But it falls flat once one realizes that the Punisher has no business being at large in a world with Spider-Man.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | October 17, 2014 11:19 PM
Luis- Marc is not the average hero. He's got considerable blood on his hands as a result of being a mercenary.
Posted by: Michael | October 17, 2014 11:19 PM
That is true, I suppose. But he is not usually written in that way, and I understand that by this point he had last been presented that way back in the Hulk Magazine back-ups.
In any case, I think presenting him as a bridge that should not exist weakens the character further - and makes it that much more difficult to decide what to expect from him.
A curious case, Moon Knight is. He will end up having more variations than even Batman.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | October 17, 2014 11:30 PM
Luis, I agree that one must be very careful about using the Punisher with other characters. However, I think he works well with "street level" heroes. I also agree that MK has not been written consistently, however, I like the balance here: someone who may not use the Punisher's methods himself, but someone he sees as a potential ally in certain circumstances.
Both are pulpish characters as opposed to the traditional 4-color kind. I think they work well together. But to each their own.
Posted by: Chris | October 18, 2014 12:37 AM
The sequence with the snake-eyed guy eating the gerbil may be a reference to a similar scene in the cult classic TV miniseries V, from 1987.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | November 2, 2015 7:04 PM
That Punisher/Moon Knight meeting was dope.
Posted by: will | December 10, 2017 1:03 PM
In the Punisher-turns-into-Arthur-Brown scene, the Viper panel seems to be a tiny homage to the Steranko’s Madame Hydra.
Posted by: Everton from Brazil | February 18, 2018 7:55 AM
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