Punisher War Journal #48-49,51
Issue(s): Punisher War Journal #48, Punisher War Journal #49,Punisher War Journal #51
Granted the guy is actually a killer, but that's the sort of perception that i wrongly remembered the whole series being like: turning every random street criminal into a superpredator. As we'll see, even in this story the Punisher is really going after more traditional mobsters for the most part.
Punisher is spotted by a beat cop after he kills his target, but he convinces the cop to let him go and take credit for the kill.
I didn't know where this story was going, and i really expected that, instead of the cop getting accolades for the kill, the incident would blowback and trigger protests from an Al Sharpton analogue for shooting someone in the back, or something like that. But i was dead wrong. The cop, Eddie Dyson, got the Gold Shield for "his" actions, and began working his way up the ranks of the police force. That was two years ago. Six months ago, Dyson reached out to the Punisher because he'd been put on a squad that got corrupted by the mob. They were forcing local construction contractors to put mob deadbeats on the payroll and use mob-run cement supplies. Punisher told him that he would take care of the mobsters, but only if Dyson would go to Internal Affairs and rat on his cop peers. After some reluctance, Dyson agreed to that.
Here's the Punisher taking care of the mobsters, which i show to illustrate how Chuck Dixon loves to highlight the hardware that the Punisher uses.
Dyson was ostracized by the force after that, and it turns out that Punisher didn't go high enough up the mob chain, so Dyson's family is subsequently killed.
The Punisher naturally thinks, "Hey, family murdered by the mob, he's practically a Punisher in waiting!". But it doesn't quite work out like that.
In fact, Dyson winds up going crazy and becoming an anti-Punisher called Payback.
The Punisher, meanwhile, is belatedly working his way up the construction mob chain. He gets shot in the foot.
He still manages to kill most of the mobsters. Then Payback shows up.
It turns out that Payback is the one that put Punisher on the mob's trail. Punisher tells him that they haven't gotten the boss yet.
Punisher calls white people mutts too.
They don't get any information out of that guy. But Payback still wants to team up with Punisher. The Punisher, who doesn't know who Payback is, isn't interested.
Punisher heads back to Micro, who puts his foot in a cast. He then goes after the mob boss, who lives on a boat off the coast of Florida. Payback also winds up there.
Payback kills the mob boss but spares his little daughter.
It's only in the end that Punisher realizes that Payback is Eddie Dyson.
I think it's kind of funny that Dyson seems to be backing away from a vigilante life while the Punisher is again thinking that maybe he's got a protegee. But that actually shows the two sides of the character that we'll see in future appearances.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: It seems that issue #50 was reserved just because it's a round number so they wanted to do something "special", so this story skips that issue, continuing directly from #49 to #51. Issue #48 is mostly a series of flashbacks going back "two years" showing the origin of Payback. The Punisher doesn't even appear in the final present day sequence in that issue, but he of course appears in the other two issues.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
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