Thursday, February 23, 2012

PC POST #19: Frank Castle's Art Of War: The Punisher's Top 5 Battles

Article by @CAStLEctc on Twitter

Greetings again. This was an idea I've wanted to tackle for far too long, and as of just recently figured out exactly how to put it into words and make it work. I'll be shooting in the dark so to speak, but I've already become somewhat adept at that, so I appreciate your bearing with me.

As a huge Punisher fan and after reading so much of his stories, you get to favor certain aspects, and certain things become familiar and you enjoy them even more so. To be more precise, when Punisher goes against an opponent, you know it's going to get bloody. That's just how he handles things, and who would have it any different? In particular, some of his best battles and fights and have been against the same adversaries. Certain paths tend to get crossed repeatedly, and before you know it you'll see the appearance of a certain foe, and automatically get excited and expect a great fight. The following is a slightly detailed look at my personal five favorite enemy fights that the Punisher almost regularly undergoes.

#5 - Punisher Vs. Spider-Man.

I had to include this one first for obvious reasons. The Punisher came from Spider-Man, his first appearance was actually in Amazing Spider-Man #129. Although since then his appearance has changed somewhat, and his story and attitude has become more defined, the basics are still there. Peter Parker is a friendly neighborhood do-gooder, and Punisher borders between vigilante and villain. Their skirmishes are usually short, and quickly settled. It's either Spider-Man would rather have it settled without a fight, or Punisher honestly just kicks his ass quickly, and goes about his business. Only a few time have I read the spider getting the upperhand, and even in those instances, it's in a this-oughta-teach-you type fashion and not the most exciting. But because of the origin and the history, not to mention the few fights that have had me laughing because of Punisher basically treating Pete Parker like the kid he is, it would have been a crime not to include it on this list.

#4 - Punisher Vs. Bullseye.

I was going to make this a tie between Kingpin and Bullseye but after thinking about it it made more sense to me to include just Bullseye, because he's usually hired by Kingpin anyway, and their fights greatly outnumber Punisher and Kingpin's actual displays of fisticuffs. These are some of the most entertaining for me. I love when Bullseye is written well, and more than not, he is. He's practically a psycho and in admiration of Frank Castle, which makes their battles so bloody and top-notch. Bullseye is a hired assassin who almost never fails a contract hit, and more importantly, never misses. So with his determination to get under Punisher's skin, it just eventually ends up becoming a furious fight to the finish with both of them very well bloodied, but Punisher usually walks away having got the upper hand. Bullseye is also one of his most intelligent opponents, dispersing a vast array of mind games and treacherous traps for Frank, which makes for such entertaining readings.

#3 - Punisher Vs. Daredevil.

These two cross paths so often that there's even been action figure sets and statues in honor of their fights. While Daredevil is the man without fear, that doesn't stop Punisher from unloading a clip into him, or beating the snot out of him. However, these two usually are more even on the win scale, I'd imagine. I've seen an almost equal amount of Punisher defeating Daredevil as I have the opposite. They don't necessarily hate each other, they just are of two different opinions in how to conduct and carry out their own agendas. I do like Daredevil, but a lot of the time I don't favor how he's written and I tend to like his villains and stories more than I actually like him. Out of all the versus battles I've listed here, I'd feel very comfortable saying this match-up is the most hand-to-hand combat friendly. Even when they both start with weapons, before long their usually stripped of them and kicking, punching, choking out one another, or you name it. Seems they'll always have a history of getting at each other, and that's perfectly fine by me.

#2 - Punisher Vs. Wolverine.

This accompanying picture makes me laugh, even right now, haha. Wolverine really hasn't battled Punisher too too much or often, but when they have they've been so spectacular that there automatically instilled in my memory. They just straight go off on one another. It goes Logan will get the better of Frank, then the opposite, until before you know it it's just been a chess game of who can make the other hurt more. The writers absolutely love to deal with the fact that Wolverine can take almost any damage and still survive, so that allows Punisher a no-holds-barred, anything goes philosophy in terms of pain he inflicts. One of my absolute favorite Punisher moments in his entire history is in a particular issue I read where he gets so angry at Logan, trying to finish him, that he drives a damn cement roller over him, haha!! If you see these two together you know eventually you'll be laughing or just sheer amazed at the fury they unleash. Whether it's Logan slashing up Frank, or Frank putting a live grenade in Logan's mouth, there's ALMOST nothing better.

#1 - Punisher Vs. Deadpool.

Notice I said ALMOST nothing better. Well, this is what's better. Actually, it's best in my opinion. If you regularly read Punisher you might have expected this to be my number one. Who else could I legitimately choose for number one? These two have fought too much, all over, with the same result for each: incredibly fun and endlessly entertaining. You almost have to love Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool, when he's joking around and wise cracking as he's getting at Frank Castle's throat. Take the regenerative ability of Wolverine and his fighting skills and add it to a mercenary with a mouth, and you give Pun almost more than he can handle. It's tremendous watching Punisher get so livid at Deadpool's jokes, and it forces him to keep his cool and handle himself correctly while battering Wade around. A majority of the time Deadpool will set up a trap or play possum and Frank will fall for it having to forfeit pain, but that only makes him angrier and angrier. Which is exactly what you don't want Punisher to get. You could fill so many books, heck, you could just have a series based on their fighting and it would be captivating, as is. If you've read any of these particular stories where these two have met, you already know what I'm saying. It's too fun. 

Well anyways, that about sums it up. I hope it was as entertaining as it was to read, as it was for me to write it. Sure, there's a lot of characters I left out, Shotgun, Jigsaw, Elektra, etc; I just felt that these were the creme de la creme, so to speak. Thanks for reading and until next time everyone, take care, and be careful who you piss off!


1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more, but don't put that pic of Archie please!! :D Don't know what they were thinking of make an awful crossover like that.

    I like the battle with Daken in "Punisher - The list" it was freakin' brutal, shame that Frank wasn't in top of his conditions. I still believe he could get rid of Daken and get away from that battle. But in my opinion they needed to promote the character by killing Frank.

    I still like a little bit more of "street level" fights.
    Like the battles vs Saracen, Sniper, Hitman, Jigsaw, Shotgun, Barracuda and The Russian.