[identity profile] starwolf_oakley.insanejournal.com posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Upon request from [insanejournal.com profile] wizardru, here's the CIVIL WAR scene of the Punisher killing two villains right in front of the Secret Avengers. Frank gets a pass on this, even though Cap beats him up and Frank feels he proved something to Cap nevertheless.

087- Civil War #6 - Page 12

Goldbug was a Luke Cage foe obsessed with gold. He also was part of the Bendis SECRET WAR series that never really caught on. The Plunderer was Ka-Zar's brother. However, he re-appeared in MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #5–6 (March–April 2008), explaining the man who had died was his "American representative."

087- Civil War #6 - Page 13

What's worse: the Punisher killing these two or Captain America willingness to work with them?

087- Civil War #6 - Page 14

087- Civil War #6 - Page 15

An A+ parody of this scene and the rest of CIVIL WAR can be found here:
Oddly, the parody seems to have a more in-character Spider-Man than the actual CIVIL WAR story.

Matt Fraction put his own twist on this in PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL #2 and #3.

090- Punisher War Journal V2 #2 - Page 20

090- Punisher War Journal V2 #2 - Page 22

It is unusual that no one else in the room, given their powers, can do *anything* to stop the Punisher.

090- Punisher War Journal V2 #2 - Page 23

The direct order seemed to be regarding lethal force. Of course, that non-lethal force had been against police officers.

I'll pause for a moment to reflect on a line said in a podcast reviewing CIVIL WAR #6. It was either a Marvel podcast or a Marvel-themed podcast, but I remember the line very well.

"Now, the Punisher's crazy. He's a killer. But he's not an idiot."

091- Punisher War Journal V2 #3 - Page 3

This is intercut with a flashback to Frank at boot camp, being asked by "Captain America" to hit him. Frank refuses. This is one of the "alternate" Caps, and probably the "Crazy Cap" from the 1950s.

091- Punisher War Journal V2 #3 - Page 4

The Punisher is deliberately provoking Captain America. I'm starting to question the "crazy, but not an idiot" idea.

091- Punisher War Journal V2 #3 - Page 5

"I got to doin'." As someone said in a review of this issue, Frank Castle isn't Mal Reynolds (from Firefly and Serenity).

Captain America wanted the Punisher on the team to do the dirty work? Well, it's pretty much the same reason they wanted Wolverine in the New Avengers, so it isn't that OOC. Meaning the Punisher is right, although I doubt Cap had "executing villains that want to help out" in mind.

Cap doesn't understand why the Punisher won't fight back. Perhaps a flashback might help:

091- Punisher War Journal V2 #3 - Page 9

Scenes of Frank Castle's earlier life often show that he had something wrong with him. It just wasn't "kill all criminals" wrong until his family was murdered.

091- Punisher War Journal V2 #3 - Page 10

091- Punisher War Journal V2 #3 - Page 11

So... the Punisher killed two super-villains and then let Captain America beat him up just to prove a point? Anyone know the point?

And none of the heroes do anything to stop the Punisher from LEAVING. I usually criticize Spider-Man for doing that, but this was a WHOLE ROOM of superheroes!

Date: 2009-08-14 03:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timemonkey.insanejournal.com
Punisher is one of those characters whose very existance means crippling every other hero around. He's just a guy with guns fully willing to kill and if they want to keep him around they have to let him get away with it.

Date: 2009-08-14 03:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] punishermax.insanejournal.com
Let's get this clear at the start: Frank is both the most unhinged and most rational Marvel "hero".

Frank has no real archenemies to fight, I mean he has Jigsaw but that's really it, this may seem like a small point but think about that. Guys like Cap and Spiderman always focus on the big flash supervillains, sure they may stop a bank job or a drug deal every now and then, but Frank deals with the dirty stuff.

On some level, I think the heroes realize that. They spout off about how wrong and evil his methods are, but they never fully turn him into a villain. He's fighting the fight they can't.

Frank deals with the child rapists, the men who turn women into slaves and sell them, he deals with the nastiest most soul searing things and he is the only person who can.


Because he's already broken. All the other heroes have familes or friends or a team to fall back on, Frank has nothing, he's a broken man with a single impossible mission he set himself on and he is the perfect man to fight the darkest depths of man's depravity because he's been both the victim and the actor in the cruelty of it all.

He let Cap beat him to show him that no matter how heroic you look you're still a person and still able to make shitty mistakes and shitty decisons. He knew he couldn't beat Cap, he just wanted to tell him to his face that he's making a bad call by using a villain

Date: 2009-08-14 03:46 am (UTC)
kingrockwell: he's a sexy (Steve Rogers)
From: [personal profile] kingrockwell
Worth noting Cap never actually displayed a willingness to work with the villains, at last not in the first take. He doesn't get a chance, since Frank blasts them as soon as they're done talking, when Cap is still surprised they'd even show.

And I don't buy that SHRA would affect the villains more than the heroes, since a lot of them live as fugitives anyway if they're not in prison. Reformed supervillains, sure, but active ones?

Date: 2009-08-14 04:17 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
positive comics week should include that scene where spidey and cap first meet on that rooftop and talk!...unless that's already posted here

Date: 2009-08-14 04:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mullon.insanejournal.com
I really doubt that getting his ass kicked was good for the of the men or the corps.

Date: 2009-08-14 05:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] darkknightjrk.insanejournal.com
"So... the Punisher killed two super-villains and then let Captain America beat him up just to prove a point? Anyone know the point?"

I think PunisherMAX was on the right track--he was trying to show through inaction that he was the more rational person not to deal with criminals then Steve, who was beating up a guy who's hands aren't even up.

Date: 2009-08-14 06:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lbd_nytetrayn.insanejournal.com
Wow, isn't this kinda soon for a retcon? Maybe?

Or maybe it just feels that way.

--LBD "Nytetrayn"

Date: 2009-08-14 06:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] proteus_lives.insanejournal.com
It's an interesting scene contrast. Frank is unstoppable unless you kill because he'll never stop.

If you haven't, check out Punisher BORN. For the fuckedness of Frank before the Punisher years.

Date: 2009-08-14 07:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 20thcenturyvole.insanejournal.com
Okay, so who read Castle saying "Punish me," and immediately thought of Cap dropping him down an elevator shaft?

... Just me, then? *whistles*

Date: 2009-08-14 11:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jlroberson.insanejournal.com
Far worse to kill in cold blood, and in the MU, that's not really an easy question--villains become heroes and back again a lot. It's more fluid and ambiguous, unlike the DCU where "good vs. evil" is more like a cosmology. So Cap working with them under these circumstances is not wrong, though he didn't look too keen on the idea anyway.

Also--Goldbug and the Plunderer? I can't imagine either of them did anything deserving that. Except maybe their choice of outfits.

The Punisher is not a hero, though he may do things that serve the cause of good. He's Batman if the heart had been taken right out of him, but with Vietnam experience and military training. Or Rorschach had he been a Marine once. Ennis got the character right because he wrote him as a man who knows his soul is dead. He also didn't treat him as a "hero." Nor "likeable", more like "interesting". And somewhat grotesque. He's that guy who stands at that point all "superheroes" try to stop short of. The best Punisher stories are ones that are chilling, rather than thrilling. At best, it seems to me, he should never seem cathartic, and should inspire, at best, mixed feelings. Otherwise he is a rather malignant character.

Date: 2009-08-14 02:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cmdr_zoom.insanejournal.com

Date: 2009-08-14 03:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wizardru.insanejournal.com
First off, thanks for posting this.

Second off...wow, those are TWO very different accounts of the exact same event. The first one rings a lot more true for Cap than the second one.

Short list of villians in the Avengers that turned into heroes on Cap's Watch:

The Swordsman
The Scarlet Witch
Black Widow
Wonder Man
Black Widow
The Vision

"He knows I WON." Huh?

Date: 2009-08-14 03:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] buttler.insanejournal.com
The Punisher War Journal version of events reads more like the way the Punisher might rewrite it in his mind as he's walking away from what actually happened in the first version.

"And then I'd be all like, 'What about THIS, MR. Flag Man?' And then he'd say, 'Dag, you're right, soldier. I am hecka molded.' And he'd give me a medal -- which I'd toss back in his stupid face!"

Date: 2009-08-14 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wizardru.insanejournal.com
Also, can I just that I'm not sure whether I find it funny that MightyGodKing's parody of Civil War is so good, or that I think it's BETTER than the real thing. :)

Date: 2009-08-15 06:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] psychop_rex.insanejournal.com
I like the first version a lot better. It seems more in character for Frank to just casually blow someone away instead of milking the scene for a dramatic line - he's like 'yeah, I killed 'em - so what? They were crooks.' Also, it doesn't attempt to justify what he did - the latter version all but says outright 'ah, the others are wimps; Frank's the only REAL man in the room', which I find offensive.
And as for the 'what's worse' question, I would say Frank's blowing them away, definitely. I mean, it's not as simple as 'they're crooks, therefore evil' - the MU has a long history of crooks reforming and working on the side of the angels. Look at the Porcupine - he was a villain for pretty much his entire career, but he had a change of heart, died fighting the good fight, and now his armor is on display in Avengers Mansion, labeled as belonging to an 'honored foe'. Look at Baron Zemo - he was a modern=day NAZI, forcryin'outloud, and even he is more or less a good guy these days. Hell, look at this group here - Diamondback was a member of the Serpent Society, if I'm remembering correctly, but she's changed her spots, too.
Moreover, Cap's men themselves are criminals here - they're outlaws, defying a legal mandate. Goldbug and the Plunderer are low-level supercrooks offering help - they're not asking anything in return, they just want to help. Everyone's in the same basket here - blowing them away for being crooks is not only morally shaky and so forth, it's outrageously hypocritical.


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