A terrible plague has swept the Earth, turning everyone – human, hero, villain, god and monster — into sadistic cannibal predators. As Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Thing and other infected start a feeding frenzy, the world falls in a wave of insatiable violence. Now, five years later, one man hunts the wasteland that was New York City. One man stands against the hordes of monsters who hunt the night. He is the Punisher, the Last Gun on Earth, and he has an endless supply of ammunition.Marvel Universe vs. the Punisher
is a four-issue miniseries by Jonathan Maberry and Goran Parlov, set in an alternate universe where an accidental bio-weapon spill has mutated almost every major Marvel character with the notable exception of Frank Castle. In an effort to make up for having caused that spill, Castle hunts the former heroes and villains throughout what used to be New York City.
The original miniseries was followed by a prequel, Marvel Universe vs. Wolverine
. Set during the original outbreak, it follows Logan and a handful of other surviving heroes as they do their best to survive against overwhelming odds. Unfortunately for Wolverine, as we know from the original series, there's one big obstacle in their way. His name is the Hulk.
A third volume began in October of 2012, The Marvel Universe vs. the Avengers
. It's primarily focused on Hawkeye, who manages to survive when the other heroes and villains are falling all around him, and ends where Punisher
Not to be confused with the 1995 one-shot comic, The Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe
, by Garth Ennis
and Doug Braithwaite.
Provides examples of:
- Apocalypse How: New York City is a depopulated hellhole, occupied by cannibal mutants, the very occasional uninfected survivor, and Frank Castle. It is heavily implied that the plague has spread everywhere else in the world as well. The handful of surviving super heroes and scientists who escaped the city, however, have successfully evacuated to a hidden base in Antarctica, where they're working on a cure, and more survivors arrive at their facility every day. The world could conceivably rebuild.
- Atop a Mountain of Corpses: Used on the fourth cover of the original miniseries, with some additional Leg Cling.
- Butt Monkey: Deadpool.
- Diabolus ex Machina: Everything seems to be going fine for Hawkeye, and then an infected Thor comes out of nowhere and crushes his head
- Downer Ending: Frank Castle refuses transport out of Manhattan, in order to remain behind and continue killing off the infectees.
- Hawkeye kills the infected Doctor Doom, and in the middle of his tense internal monologue about how he's the last Avenger, his skull is crushed by an infected Thor.
- Hope Spot: Logan, Reed, and T'Challa have successfully evacuated to a facility in the Antarctic, where they work on a cure to the plague. Logan's arm did in fact grow back.
- Mercy Kill: Castle executes Captain America, by his request, just before Cap succumbs to the plague.
- The Immune: Castle got a super-dose of the original bio-weapon that caused the plague, so he's completely immune to it. Characters with healing factors, like Wolverine and Deadpool, can feel the infection in their systems, but can also opt to ignore it if they exercise enough willpower.
- Hawkeye simply does not catch the plague. He believes himself immune for some reason, but never finds out why.
- Technically Living Zombie: The plague in this alternate reality is a lot more like some kind of hell-blend between the Crossed and Plagas infection. Higher brain functions take a hike and all victims devolve into members of cannibalistic, tribal societies.