5. The Punisher Frightens The Joker
One thing which is universally known is that The Joker never gets jumpy. Even when the BAMs, BIFFs, and KAPOWs of the comics result in his plans going awry, he doesn’t go around screaming and shaking. Rather, he simply laughs. That’s his signature thing. He is the force that has rarely flinched under the challenge posed by Batman. While they have been and will continue to keep crossing each other’s path year after year, the Joker always laughs because deep within, he is confident about the Batman never going to the extent of putting a permanent end to their rivalry.
That said and done, but, Punisher is no Batman. The 1990s crossover comic Deadly Knights made Joker realize this in a grim manner.
The Joker is such a tough nut that no too many things can make him lose his smile. However, The Punisher is one who gives no laughable moments to this deranged killer who has butchered hundreds of people and is likely to kill scores more. When Joker faces off with him, he sees that burning hatred in the eyes of the man who pointed a .45 caliber at him and quickly figured out that for once, this guy wasn’t going to entertain his song and dance sequences.
Fortunately for him, that’s exactly when Batman barged in.
Normally, the Joker’s escape is possible either because the Batmobile becomes immobile or some other chance opening that comes his way. Irrespective of how it be – the Joker always escapes with his ugly laughter. However, in this one, the moment he flees an imminent death from Punisher’s hands, he is not smiling. Rather, he is just thanking heavens for escaping without a hole in his head created by a burning metal pellet.
This, on the other hand, makes Punisher feel that Batman is letting people die by abetting the escape of psychopathic killers.
4. The Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe
Since the talk here is all about the comic books, therefore, we need to connect to a timeline here. Two years back creators Jonathan Mayberry and Goran Parlove created The Marvel Universe vs. The Punisher. This featured a battle between Frank Castle and swarms of superheroes infected by some virus. Earlier than that also, the Punisher had slaughtered the Marvel Universe in a story set in a world where all of the known superheroes existed without him.
One of the days, a battle involving the typical superheroes spills over to a park where Frank Castle’s family become victims of the crossfire. This origin story is not too different from the Spider-Man. Peter Parker got his spider powers courtesy a bite from a radioactive spider. Similarly, while his family was butchered by the mobsters, he ended up getting power to kill the mobsters. Since the killers, in this case, happened to be the superheroes. Therefore, he endeavors on a mission to kill them all. He was assisted in his mission by those mutilated and angry survivors who had been on the receiving end of the nastiness of those superheroes.
Starting with the Spider-Man, Punisher takes the superheroes and the super villains out one by one. One day it is the Hulk and the other day some Wolverine. One fine day, he even managed to club all the mutants on a lunar area and then nukes them. Considering the various ways that he employed in his bid to kill his targets, a mass nuclear immolation wasn’t the worst option available. Sadly the Doctor Doom had a tougher fate.
He saved the Daredevil for the end. They have always been at loggerheads, more because of their similarities than anything else. Therefore, it wasn’t easy for Frank to see that his long time enemy was none other than his pal and lawyer Matt Murdock. That brings on the realization that The Marvel Universe was not yet done.
That’s what makes Punisher so special. While on the one hand, he has committed to do justice, he also understands his part in the grand scheme of things and that makes him kill his own self at the end of this comic. The aim was to demolish the entire machinery of violence.
3. The Punisher goes back in time to kill Al Capone
We know that nothing is a deterrent for the Punisher in his quest to complete the mission. When he decided to bump off all the Superheroes, he ensured that the last bullet was reserved for him. The perennial world of comics can’t be satiated by that. Until the time, the Punisher comics go into print; more villains have to stand up and smile before falling to him. If there is any possibility of ending crime, then it is to go back to the cause and to wipe it off.
This thought prompted him to ask Mister Fantastic to facilitate his travel back in time to kill the Godfather of all crime: Al Capone.
This might all seem to be badly created. The fact is that Reed Richards won’t let the time stream go for a toss just to help the Punisher complete his mission.
Another fact that we need to gloss over is that even if he went back in time and killed Al Capone, that doesn’t guarantee that there wouldn’t be others who start organized crime. Then we also need to ignore the potential ripples that such a massive change of history will cause across time and it might even result in Frank never even being born. In fact, the time travel could have also enabled Frank to go back in time and save his team just before the moment that they were killed. The fact to accept here is that this is just a mindless comic book featuring Punisher who travels in time and does insane things to complete his mission.
This comic book showed how he broke into Capone’s gang, kills him and returns to his time. This has been followed by many more Punisher comics that means something went wrong and that’s not going to be likable for you. Yes, this absurdity was just a dream. It was so flawed that nobody would do this anymore. At the same time, to an extent, this did make sense. After all, the Punisher is so passionately engaged in his mission that every time he takes a nap, he sees nothing else but this in his dreams too and ultimately harnesses the power of his dreams to deal such blows to the crime world that were not otherwise possible. Thus, we can say Punisher is always on the job, even when he is snoring loudly.
2. Punisher + Doctor Strange = Sorcerer Extreme
There is no dearth of alternate universe variations of the Punisher, yet, the 2015 Secret Wars crossover from Marvel showed a revamped Frank Castle. This new version of Punisher was shown to have been possessed by Doctor Strange and was called Sorcerer Extreme. The combination of Punisher’s prowess and Strange’s magical powers, Frank takes on the four guys who had been chasing him for being an outlaw.
This is a full blown battle between the alternate universe Hulk, Spider-Man, Ghost Rider and Wolverine on one side and Frank Castle on the other. Frank left no trick unused. While Doctor Strange’s powers might have been used in a limited way by any other hero who considers virtues of restraint, Frank wasn’t bothered about anything. He used these powers as great weapons with unlimited firepower. He relished freezing the Ghost Rider before destroying him using a magical bazooka.
This list of things that compiles things which are too extreme ever to be seen in a motion picture tops out with an aged Punisher who is giving finishing touches to his mission.
1. Old Punisher takes out the last criminals after the apocalypse.
Inevitably, the streak of violence unleashed by Punisher had to end at some point in time, and there was nothing more appropriate than the future after the apocalypse. Iconic artist Richard Corben teamed up with writer Garth Ennis to create Marvel’s “The End” series of comics.
The story took off in a prison where a graying old Frank Castle has been spending time with an ample number of criminals to kill. Somehow, he manages to survive by hiding in a bomb shelter with some of his jail mates during a global nuclear holocaust. One year down the line, Frank takes the decision of moving to another bomb shelter in New York. A character named Paris chugs along oblivious to the fate that greets all of Punisher’s assistants.
They are not unaware of the nuclear radiation that is slowly ebbing the life out of their bodies. Somehow they travel across the wasteland and reach their destination. That’s when Punisher’s aim of undertaking the journey is revealed. He went there to kill Coven, the group that had unleashed the nuclear war on the humanity and then had been hiding in the bunker to avoid the fallout of their actions.
It makes no difference to the Punisher that the Coven were the last surviving bunch of humans on Earth and their elimination meant the wipe out of humans from the planet. As we know, Punisher gives no options. This is when Frank resembles the nature’s force rather than a man on a mission. The society created him to fight evil, then it killed his family and ultimately killed itself. He was just the mechanism to ensure the completion of the cycle. Before taking himself out, he reconciles with the fact that the destruction caused by the humanity can only end with the end of the humanity itself. That’s how it all ends.