Punisher War Journal #28
Issue(s): Punisher War Journal #28
This is another topical issue, this one taking on the protests against meat and furs. Punisher's logo has apparently been appropriated by the animal rights groups. Puni-Cow?
I wonder about the "Trib. to B.W.S". Barry Windsor-Smith?
Punisher is having lunch with Joy Adams, the woman from the Jigsaw/Belasco story in Punisher #35-40. And he doesn't take kindly to the activists spilling blood on her fur coat.
Joy is now dating a man that runs a sausage factory. And her boyfriend is getting assassination threats from animal rights activists. And he's having trouble from civil rights protestors as well, i assume because of his hiring practices. And he's also having problems with his unions. So Punisher agrees to be "hired" as security for him. There's a sense that he's jealous of the relationship.
But the boyfriend quickly turns out to be a no good guy, and a crack addict. He kills one of the animal rights activists, and then tries to kill the Punisher because the jealousy runs both ways.
Punisher takes care of the guy with some help from Joy.
It's interesting to see the character Joy being brought back, not necessarily because she's interesting (although it's cool to see him rely on her when they're fighting her crack addict boyfriend) but just because it seems like Baron was thinking of creating some kind of relationship for the Punisher. This is Joy's last appearance, though.
I've given up on the idea that Mike Baron was a conservative at the time that he was writing these stories. Or at least i don't see any strong biases in what he's writing. Animal rights activists are easy to demonize, but while he does show them throwing blood on fur coats and getting punches for it, he also gives them a chance to show what they are upset about it. There's no obvious judgement on the matter, one way or the other.
It must have been confusing having Mike Baron writing both this book and the regular Punisher series. It's standard to advertise what's going on in a book's sister title on the lettercol, but this issue advertises the contents of this book in the lettercol in addition to the next issue blurb. As for what's in next issue, why it's the character that's been appearing everywhere.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Mike Baron may very well be a conservative; just because you're a conservative (or a liberal for that matter), you can still make a story that shows two sides of an issue instead of pushing your own beliefs.
Posted by: mikrolik | September 16, 2015 3:37 PM
It can actually be quite a dangerous attitude to assume that the views of characters are that of those who write them. It can even be quite detrimental when that character is written by multiple people. Unfortunately I've seen people take this to quite extreme levels.
Posted by: Max_Spider | September 16, 2015 7:31 PM
I just wanted to make a distinction between this and a writer like, say, Ann Nocenti, who had a known political stance and that was very clear from her comics. The Punisher is inherently a more political book, and on top of that Baron did a lot of stories about hot button topics. So i think it's notable that he did strike a balance.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 16, 2015 11:38 PM
I'm kinda glad you brought up Nocenti fnord, because she really is one of my least favorite writers for that reason.
Full disclosure: my political views tend to run a little more conservative than probably average, so that may influence my opinion on Nocenti somewhat. Take it with as many grains of salt as you need.
However, I'm capable of enjoying stories with liberal points of view if they are written well and subtly. Nocenti seems to use a sledgehammer instead of a scalpel, so to speak, at least for a lot of her stuff. Baron seems to at least recognize that there are at least two sides to every story, and even if you support one view, you can at least acknowledge the other in a respectful way.
Posted by: mikrolik | September 17, 2015 2:43 PM
Hell, I'm as liberal as you get and I don't like Nocenti either, for several reasons, but one among them is definitely the lack of subtlety.
Posted by: Thanos6 | September 17, 2015 5:30 PM
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