When I picked up the Marvel Universe Vs the Punisher, I wasn’t that excited, expecting something between the Marvel Zombies standard fare (yes, I said that, I, the founder of the Zombie Watch) and Sergio Aragones Massacre Marvel. Not exactly thrilling me, but still the completist in me demanded that I read it.
It was nice to see that this wasn’t actually one of the zombieverse spin-off worlds, even if all of mankind and the heroes were being transmutated into cannibalistic savages. The set-up was convincing, no alien Sentry raining down from the skies for a bite but a slow, scary process. Yet this was not even the draw of the title for me, all this 28 Days Later genre (as opposed to the Zombieverse or Living Dead genres, which are so very, very different, honest they are), was mere backdrop. The issue actually contained a mystery, presented in such a fashion that I actually cared, and I will be picking up the second issue.
Marvel is being very adventurous with Frank Castle currently. If you want your traditional Punisher, then Punisher MAX is there for you. Yet Frank is now FrankenCastle, patched together with drugs and a Bloodstone (and half a lawnmower it appears), medically dead yet still functioning, without a desire for brains in sight.
When the Punisher first got mixed up in the war between heaven and hell a few years ago, with demons and angels as supporting characters, I first glimpsed the true potential of this character. Of course, the original Frank, shooter of mobsters still has his place, and so very soon needs a replacement. Because honestly? Spidey and Daredevil need him as an antagonist, but this is one character do-over I do not want to see ret-conned in a few years. Long live Frankencastle (and the Bloodstone rather ensures that) but long live the Punisher as well.
It just can’t be Frank anymore, he has grown beyond that. I wonder what one of the many Foolkillers are up to nowadays? One of them may be interested in the vacancy.