Saturday, February 27, 2016

Did the Punisher Just Wipe Out Half of Marvel's Major Villains in One Bar?

via Comic Book Resources

The Wrong Side: Punisher vs. A Bar of Supervillains

In this feature, I examine comic book fights that were particularly notable in the wrong side winning (or at least that the fight wasn’t won the “right” way). This really isn’t a big deal, of course, as it doesn’t really matter if the “wrong” person won a fight. But it’s fun to talk about!

If you want to suggest a fight for future inclusion in this feature, drop me a line at Don’t suggest a fight in the comments!

Today, based on a suggestion from reader Tom A., we take a look at the time Punisher took out practically half of the Marvel Universe’s most famous supervillains at once…

As always, the first page spotlights their power levels and the second page examines the fight itself.

And as always, the first question we need to ask is…

How did these people do when they fought Spider-Man?

Right from the get go, the Punisher has done pretty well against Spider-Man, going back all the way to his debut in Amazing Spider-Man #129 (by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru and Frank Giacoia), but while he does well, it is still pretty clear he’s not on Spidey’s power level…




There are a bunch of supervillains at issue in this fight, so let’s just take a look at two of the more powerful ones.

The Absorbing Man is so tough that Spider-Man has actually never really defeated him! They’ve faced off a few times, but they always end without a decision.

For instance, in what is likely their first fight, in Amazing Spider-Man #283 (by Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz and Joe Rubinstein), the Absorbing Man takes a quick dive against Spidey to compel his girlfriend, Titania, to get over her fear of Spider-Man (there is no official phobia for when you’re afraid of Spider-Man, since being afraid of Spider-Man is just common sense)…





Spidey’s first battle with Sandman went about as well as any fight Spidey would have with Sandman in the future, as Sandman quickly figured out the whole “get out of a vacuum” trick pretty soon after this fight…





I like this fight mostly because of how hilariously shady Spidey is at the end of the fight…


Now that I think of it, this is probably how Spidey beat Firelord. Some cosmic bad guy must have knocked him out and then Spidey just faked the whole fight, Weekend at Bernie’s style. I bet his webs could create some badass pulleys and stuff like that.

Anyhow, let’s take a look now at the fight at hand…


According to Ron Frenz, that splash page was not part of the original art for Amazing 283- Priest added it and Frenz hated it, since it wasn’t clear how Peter and Titania went from being relatively easily matched to Peter holding Titania by the hair.

in what is likely their first fight, in Amazing Spider-Man #283

They fought very, very, very briefly before that in the original Secret Wars (if I recall correctly that’s at least in part how Spidey’s costume got torn up, leading to his black one), but you can hardly call it a fight because it mostly consisted of Spidey jumping out of the way.

Just like his encounter with the X-Men in that same miniseries!

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