Luke and Geoffrey Golden talk about Punisher Noir, Hitman and other Punisher alternatives, Noir Forever, The Enforcers, The Big Bump, 90’s Barracuda, the Santa Sting and more.
Universes and Comics Covered:
- Earth-90214 – Punisher Noir #1-4
You can find Geoffrey here on Twitter.
Check after the jump for the image gallery and notes!
Punisher Noir #1-4
Writer – Frank Tieri, Art – Paul Azaceta, Colors – Nick Filardi, Letters – VC’s Joe Sabino
We start off with a 4 page montage of the Punisher getting suited up in 1935 before flashing back to the First World War where Frank Castelione has his own guns and it pretty crazy? Like pre-WW2 he gets a full chest tattoo. Anyway, he returns after the war, his wife dies of cancer and he tries to raise Frank Jr in 1928.
Frank Jr though is caught up with a kid’s crime gang and Frank isn’t happy about them robbing a guy when he should be working at the grocery where he left Bumpo who I have no idea who he is.
Some mobsters come in to shake him down for money and Frank and Jr attack until they run out, causing more collateral than paying them off and Frank tells Junior you have to stick up and do something.
The thugs go back and report and Dutch Schultz, the crime boss is unhappy, cuts off some fingers and tells them he will collect.
We cut next to Dutch’s men in 1935 who’ve been gunned down as Detective Soap investigates, noting the tools and weapons used which the other cops ignore.
And then back in 1918, Frank Castle Sr fought the Russian on a train in a brutal fight before Frank put a grenade in his pants and kicked him off the side, which is a stories Frank Sr was telling his son so he’d know to always be prepared. And then Frank teaches his son how to use his guns.
Meanwhile Dutch kills a guy who lost too many fingers – which feels like it should be played as more of a comedy bit but it doesn’t have enough setup. And to deal with Castle he brings in Barracuda and Jigsaw, two very violent and unstoppable killers. They go to his house while Jr is out with the gang considering robbing the church but he decides against it and punches out another member for being racist. When he gets in, Soap is there remarking on signs of a third killer – a woman and Jr sees his dad is dead.
In 1935 Detective Soap visits Dutch because people associated with him have been turning up dead and he calls Dutch a coward. Meanwhile Jigsaw finished assaulting a prostitute who was horrified by him when he runs into the Punisher who he knocks down and captures. And later on Barracuda is on a date in an amusement park he paid to be alone in when Castle pulls a gun on him. He blocks with his date and traps the Punisher under roller coaster cars.
The pacing here is just really weird.
So we cut back to Punisher and Jigsaw and Punisher has a skull carved into him and then Barracuda in the night falls off the side of the coaster into a tent with Punisher. Punisher tries to shoot him, gets his hand smashed with a Strength Tester Mallet but Punisher blows up the Wonder Wheel and it falls on Barracuda crushing him.
Back with Jigsaw he asks who the third person was who killed his father as a dying wish and he whispers it, Frank reveals he was free the whole time and kills Jigsaw.
And then Barracuda wasn’t dead before and so he gets asked the same question and he’s decapitated via amusement park ride? The comic isn’t good.
Dutch meanwhile is suspicious so he called in his last killer, The Russian who is a trans woman but like the comic is hella transphobic.
Dutch next we see him is rambling wildly and Soap reveals he has the punisher’s mask and we flashback again.
Punisher met the Russian at the Zoo, and he barely escapes. Meanwhile Soap gets called in over the report of the fight. Back at the Zoo the Punisher finds the animals are freed so he starts grenading animals. He follows the Russian to the Reptile House and the two of them fall into a gator pit and he leaves her to die but she crawls out, missing an arm so he loads her with bullets. puts his mask on her and leaves with the police thinking the Russian was the Punisher.
Back at his base, Dutch is going to the bathroom, the Punisher finds him and shoots him, finally getting his revenge.
And the Punisher story is kept out of the press because they think the Punisher was a transvestite Russian war veteran.
Meanwhile Punisher visits his family to ask what to do next, and hears nothing – but then in the paper he sees Hitler and decides to kill Hitler.