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The Punisher (6th series) #34

Issue Date: December 2003

Story Title: Confederacy of Dunces - part 2

Staff: Garth Ennis (writer), John McCrea & Crimelab Studios (art), Avalon (colors), Cory Petit (letters), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Kelly Lamy (assoc. managing editor), Nanci Dakesian (managing editor), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description:
The Punisher surrenders to Daredevil, Spider-Man, and Wolverine, handing over his shotgun. Punisher walks into a diner, insisting he wants a cheeseburger. The heroes are befuddled, but follow. While eating, Punisher breaks Wolverine’s nose, causing him to fly into a berserker rage, attacking Punisher. When Daredevil and Spider-Man try to calm him down, Wolverine turns on both of them. Daredevil finally brings him down, but it is too late – Punisher has escaped. Punisher finds the site of the big auction he was told about earlier in the night, and executes all of the crime leaders who are putting bids down. He collects a video tape that was up for sale for millions of dollars, and finds it to be the “end of his troubles…”

Full Synopsis:
Punisher hands his shotgun to Daredevil, insisting that he wants a cheeseburger. Daredevil, Wolverine, and Spider-Man are completely baffled. Punisher walks into the diner, saying that if they’d ever eaten prison food, they wouldn’t begrudge him a burger. The heroes stare at each other, completely confused. Daredevil finally breaks the silence, screaming at the others to get after Punisher. Punisher orders a cheeseburger and coffee, and Wolverine charges after, telling the “psycho” to get back.

Suddenly, Spacker Dave appears, excited to see Spider-Man, Wolverine and Daredevil all in the same place for his super-spotting collection. Dave had been stalking Punisher all night. Punisher thinks that any one of them could tear him apart if they wanted to, so he hopes that the burger might give him a chance. Dave sees Daredevil with Castle’s shotgun, and wonders if Daredevil uses a gun now. Daredevil is distracted trying to convince Dave to get out of the diner. Murdock yells at Logan to stay with Punisher, while Punisher claims that he isn’t going anywhere.

Spider-Man gets tied up with the waitress, wondering if they should order anything while they wait. He orders a coffee to shut the waitress up.

Punisher claims that he is surprised at the other two, as Wolverine is on a permanent short fuse, but that Spider-Man and Daredevil should have more sense. Punisher taunts Logan about his height, and just as Wolverine is about to get angry, Logan realizes that Punisher is probably just trying to get him riled up so that he can escape. While Logan is busy patting himself on the back and the other two are occupied, Punisher realizes that he has one chance to get out. “The Rodent: metal nose, yes. Metal cartilage – guess not.”

Punisher breaks Wolverine’s nose with an elbow, causing Logan to go nuts. If there’s one thing a guy will lose their temper over, it’s a good hard shot to the nose. Wolverine pops his claws, ready to kill Punisher. Daredevil and Spider-Man step between them, telling Logan that they said “no killing.” Wolverine wants to teach Castle a lesson he won’t forget. Daredevil screams at Spider-Man to web him. Wolverine goes into his berserker rage, tearing through the webs. Daredevil instructs Spider-Man to take him down quickly. Wolverine grabs Spider-Man and throws him to the wall. Daredevil tells Wolverine that he gets one more warning. Wolverine tells him to get out of the way, and tries to slash him. Daredevil responds with a martial arts chop to Logan’s throat, which would kill a normal man. As Logan crumples to the ground, Daredevil sees that Castle has escaped through the front door.

Punisher escapes in a taxi. He thinks that if the three of them should decide to press the point, he’ll be in serious trouble.

Back at the diner, Wolverine, Spider-Man and Daredevil all order burgers and coffee, talking about how horribly wrong the night went. Spacker Dave walks up, asking for autographs. Wolverine gets angry with the kid, and Spider-Man tells Logan to calm down. Spider-Man assures them that they’ll do better tomorrow, and that they have good cheeseburgers at the diner.

At Chan’s place, where the auction is to take place, Punisher notices a man guarding a van with a MAC-10. Since Punisher lost his guns to “the stupidity” at the diner, he has only a knife to fight with, and he has lost 20 minutes. Punisher sneaks up on the guard, stifling him and stabbing him in the chest. As Punisher lets the body down, another man exits the van, and Punisher surprises him by cutting his throat. He takes the weapons from the guards. Punisher wonders exactly why a van would need 2 armed guards, so he enters and looks – a nude young man is cowering in the back of the van. Punisher does not understand why he would need to be guarded, but the “auction” is about to take place, so he leaves quickly.

Castle realizes that if Roger “Big Man” Chan is involved, then every prominent criminal in New York is going to be here, along with his sex slaves. Punisher sneaks into Chan’s place via the fire escape, entering a room filled with young prostitutes. Castle asks if they are here for the “meeting,” and one of the young girls says that “we are for afterwards.” Punisher warns them all to get out of the building and run away as fast as they can – there’s going to be a lot of shooting.

In the auction room, a man is standing in front of a large projection TV, holding a videotape and starting the bidding at five million dollars. No one in the crowd seems to understand why it is so expensive to start. As Punisher strangles man in the back, the auctioneer tells them that they “all saw what was on this tape. I can tell from the looks on your faces you know exactly what it could mean to you. Unimaginable power. Five mil. Who’s first?”
Enter the Punisher. “Who else?”

Punisher cuts loose on the mob leaders with his MAC-10s. Since nobody expected him to find out, nobody was prepared for the onslaught. Punisher kills several dozen prominent criminals at once, including mobsters, pimps, and bikers, feeling gratified as he finishes his job. Punisher takes down everyone, including Chan, the evening’s host. However, he has left the auctioneer alive. Punisher picks up the videotape, and asks the man “Where are you keeping what’s on this?” Punisher stands on the man’s bullet-wounded chest. The auctioneer tells Punisher that the guys outside heard and took off – he gets nothing. Punisher informs the auctioneer that the guys have been dead for twenty minutes, and stomps on his throat. Punisher takes the tape and leaves, stealing the van. Punisher can’t piece together the tape, five million dollars, and the naked guy, so he looks forward to getting home and eating.

Punisher starts to watch the tape, eating his breakfast. As it finishes, he drops his food, and rewinds and plays the tape back repeatedly.
“And that’s when I realize all my troubles are over.”

Characters:
The Punisher / Frank Castle

Wolverine / Logan
Spider-Man / Peter Parker
Daredevil / Matt Murdock

Spacker Dave

Auctioner

Numerous mob leaders

Notes:
This issue is under the Marvel Knights label and rated PSR+ for parental supervision.

Issue Summary written by: Archangel (Jason Godin)


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