Daredevil Month: Punisher vs Daredevil

Posted: March 29, 2015 in Comic Book Study
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Image taken from marvel.com

Welcome back to Daredevil Month everyone. Looks like we only have a little bit of time left before Daredevil makes his triumphant return to the screen, so why start these last two weeks with a bang? Yes, that is indeed a pun on “The Punisher vs The Marvel Universe”, a 1995 What If? styled story about Frank Castle’s rampage throughout the superhero community. Despite the name, it does feature a good bit of Daredevil in it, and it gives a version of how a fight between the Punisher and the Man Without Fear would go.

The Plot

In this comic, Matt Murdock and Frank Castle are shown to have a pseudo friendship since Frank saved Matt from neighborhood bullies as children. Despite Matt’s declaration that he shouldn’t fight back, Frank tells him to do so in order to keep himself safe.

In the present, police officer Frank Castle is speeding towards Central Park. Apparently, his wife took their kids there, only to be caught in a massive conflict between Marvel’s heroes and the alien Brood and Skrull species. Despite the heroes’ resistance, Frank’s family is killed in the crossfire. In his rage and frustration, Frank kills a large number of the gathered heroes before being subdued by Wolverine.

Image taken from youtube.com

Matt Murdock later offers his law services to Frank, although the latter is still sentenced to life imprisonment. Frank is later taken to the home of Kesselring, a rich man who also suffered loss thanks to the actions of super heroes (his face was scarred by the Human Torch during a fight with Dr. Doom). After showing a large number of people who had suffered some kind of loss through super powered activity, Kesselring pleads with Frank to punish everything labeled a superhuman. Frank agrees.

With a new name and new weapons, Frank becomes the Punisher, taking down the likes of Spider-Man, the Hulk, and the Kingpin before being captured again. As like last time, Matt pleads with the Punisher to stop the killing before the Punisher is sent to jail. Again like last time, Kesselring frees him, leading the Punisher to Latveria, where he kills and steals the weapons of Dr. Doom.

Using these weapons, the Punisher slaughters large numbers of super humans before being left with only a single target remaining: Daredevil. Kesselring tries to talk, and later intimidate, the Punisher into continuing his killing spree if and when other super humans emerge. He refuses, gunning down Kesselring before leaving.

Arriving in Hell’s Kitchen, the Punisher and Daredevil brawl, with Daredevil trying his hardest to talk sense into the Punisher before either of them dies. The Punisher responds by stabbing Daredevil through the chest, killing him. After realizing that Daredevil was his childhood friend, the Punisher commits suicide, commenting that there’s “one more to go”.

My Thoughts

Image taken from toplessrobot.com

I want to start by saying that this is a great book. It’s a great look at the Punisher’s mindset, and it shows that Frank Castle will always attempt to punish those he feels deserve punishment, no matter what.

That having been said though, I honestly don’t feel that the Punisher should be able to kill almost any of these heroes/villains, especially Daredevil. All of these characters had to have been extremely powered down for the Punisher to do any real damage to any of them (Dr. Doom killed with a magnetic explosive? Really?). Daredevil especially seems pretty weak here; there’s no chance he’d ever approach a wounded enemy, one who’s been shown to kill without hesitation, the way he does in the last few pages in this comic.

Here’s how the fight should have gone: Daredevil and the Punisher meet and begin to fight. Like in the book, Daredevil dodges pretty much everything thrown at him before taking the Punisher down with a few well placed blows. He then beats the Punisher unconscious before returning the killer to jail. None of Kesselring’s people will go after him, due to an earlier threat the Punisher made, and Daredevil will have saved his own life.

How do you think a fight between Daredevil and the Punisher would go? Do you think any of Marvel’s heroes or villains could stand a chance against Frank Castle, or vice versa? Leave a comment below, follow me on Twitter, and don’t forget to check out the Comic Books vs The World Youtube channel. Keep returning to the blog to enjoy daily content during Daredevil Month!

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