Characters Appearing: Punisher
Punisher Back To School Special #1
Issue(s): Punisher Back To School Special #1
For the full length story, the Punisher infiltrates a school, posing as a gym coach while trying to root out the source of cheap guns that the kids are getting (a set-up that is broadly similar to Punisher #14). The incidences of guns in schools have become so prevalent that the mayor is considering installing metal detectors (something that is commonplace today). The best/most awesome/most ridiculous scene is when the Punisher uses a bunch of tied-up books as body armor.
Punisher eventually finds out that the janitor is the one supplying the guns, and he kills him, but not before a pair of kids that were tired of being bullied shoot their nemesis, and one of the kids dies as well.
It's a decent story, about what you'd expect from a regular one-and-done issue of the Punisher. Certainly nothing that merited a "special".
One of the shorter back-ups, written by Tom Brevoort & Mike Kanterovich with art by Alexander Morrissey, has a kid that idolizes the Punisher.
He later runs across the real Punisher.
And he gets caught in the periphery of a grenade blast.
The experience causes him to switch idols to Spider-Man.
I thought maybe the idea of seeing the Punisher shoot and kill real people would be what caused the kid to give up his idol (as opposed to just being personally put in danger), and maybe that's the idea, but it's not exactly clear.
The final back-up, by Barry Dutter and John Ridgeway, shows two kids sneaking out of school to get a job from a drug-dealer, but the Punisher scares them straight.
These Punisher specials aren't so special.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: The headline in the final story says that Spider-Man has captured the Vulture, so i've placed this after Spectacular Spider-Man #186-190.
References: A four page opening segment shows Punisher visiting the graves of his family, who died in the flashback from Marvel Preview #2.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
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