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Comicbook: The Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe
"We understand your anger, Mr. Castle. We have felt the impotent fury at the supermen who destroyed our lives, who forgot the pain they caused and hid behind their masks and capes and badges. But you: You dared to hit back. We want them all. The heroes and villains. The mutants and monsters. Anything that calls itself superhuman: We want you to kill them all."
A oneshot What If?
comic from 1995, where The Punisher
's personal war
is not with criminals, but people with superpowers
Frank Castle's family dies when they're are caught in the crossfire between superheroes and invading aliens
at Central Park. Enraged by this, Frank kills nearest superpowered inviduals to him before being subdued, and is sent to prison for life. However, he instead ends being taken to a committee of people who also suffered great losses due to clashes between superheroes and villains. They promise to give everything he needs to kill all supers, and he starts systemically offing them.
This comic has the examples of:
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: After officially becoming The Punisher, Frank first goes after Spider-Man and Venom, who are having brawl in the sewers, complete with high jumps and leaps.
- An Arm and a Leg: This comic's version of Microchip helps Punisher in his cause because he had his both legs ripped off by Doctor Octopus.
- Atop a Mountain of Corpses: Featured in the original 1995 cover◊. The reissue from 2000 replaces it with a generic picture of Punisher firing his guns.
- Author Tract: Wouldn't you know it, story's writer Garth Ennis dislikes superheroes.
- Bond One-Liner: Spider-Man asks why Punisher is about to kill him. "Because somebody had to be first".
- Book Ends: The story began with Matt Murdock and Frank Castle as teenagers in Hell's Kitchen, when Castle protected Murdock from some bullies. Matt said that if he fought back, he would be like them. Castle did not agree, and told him that someone must fight back against the abuses of those stronger. The story ends in Hell's Kitchen, with the last fight of Punisher against Daredevil. Ignoring his secret identity, Castle does not notice the irony, but Matt does. He said that, although he did not know it, his crusade had not began in Central Park, but in hell's Kitchen.
- Covers Always Lie: The Scarlet Witch and Carnage are in the original cover, but they're not killed in-story.
- Deus Ex Nukina: Which is the most efficient way to kill all the legions and legions of mutants that Marvel had in the 1990s? Give the X-Men and all the related X-groups a fake invitation to a last battle in the moon against the Brotherhood of Evil mutants and other evil mutants, and a similar one for the evil mutants. And, while they discuss who invited who, drop an atomic bomb and get rid of the whole lot, good and evil mutants alike. Except Wolverine...
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Cyclops said he was sorry that they had just killed Castle's wife and kids. Castle killed him.◊
- Downer Ending: As promised by the title, Frank kills every hero and villain in Marvel Universe. And being the remaining hero/villain, Frank shoots himself.
- It gets worse when you remember that Galactus isn't a actually a villain and that it's likely that Frank actually didn't kill any of the space based villains like the Skrulls or Thanos.
- Drowning Pit: Punisher kills everyone in the supervillain prison The Vault by flooding it.
- Even Evil Has Standards: When the committee tells Frank they want him to kill any future super-humans, Frank leaves them since he only punishes people who've committed actual crimes, not per-emptively murder those who haven't done anything.
- Evil Gloating: Ham that he is, Doctor Doom wastes time to gloat while having Punisher in a crushing Neck Lift and readying his finishing blow, which gives him time to place a magnetic mine on his face.
- Genre Savvy: In order to kill Hulk, Punisher follows and waits for him to turn back to Bruce Banner first and then blow his brains out. After realizing that he only survived Dr. Doom because the latter stopped to boast, Frank realizes that he needs to adapt his tactics for more powerful targets in case they decided to shut up.
- The committee that hired Frank realized that even with the current crop gone, a new generation of super-humans would appear and planned to have Frank kill them as well.
- Hero Insurance: Deconstructed. An aftermath of a usual superhero brawl has dire consequences, which leads deaths of hundreds. Also, people would be very angry that superheroes can get away with this because they have a Secret Identity.
- High Voltage Death: Punisher kills Wolverine by throwing him to a transformer, which fries him to the bone.
- Kill 'em All: The title already warned you.
- Leave Him to Me: Punisher made sure that Wolverine was not among the mutants when they killed them all in the moon. He gave him three scars in the face at the begining with his claws, and wanted to take his revenge close and personal.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: Frank is sentenced to life in jail "for the murder of several of this nation's greatest heroes - and the X-Men Cyclops and Jubilee".
- Nothing Left to Do but Die: After successfully killing all the heroes and villains in the world, Punisher killed the last one that still lived: himself.
- Plot Armor: Thanks to keeping things one-on-one with some opponents and wiping out others en masse, Frank manages to kill everyone.
- Power Creep, Power Seep: Punisher is recipient of this equipment-wise, since he now has far better funding (which means better guns) and intel (making him Genre Savvy) on his targets.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Captain America tried to appeal to Castle's military background. It did not work. World War II veterans have some differences with Vietnam veterans...
- Villain Protagonist: Since he is killing superheroes as well, Punisher is this.