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Comic Book / The Punisher 2099

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"Where do you live?" "On the edge."

"Who are you? You're no strolling citizen packing that hardware...."
"I'm the Punisher... and you're deadware!"
The first issue

The Marvel 2099 take on The Punisher, that ran for 38 issues from 1993 to 1995.

When Jake Gallows' mother, brother and his sister-in-law were killed and the guy responsible got off easy, he decides take the law on his hands as the new Punisher. Since it is a dystopian future, '90s Anti-Hero tropes are abound.

In 2004 a one-shot alternate version was published as part of Marvel Knights 2099 which centers on Elektra Natchio and Frank Castles's daughter Cossandra, who has succeeded her father in becoming The Punisher. An alternate version of Jake himself is the catalyst of 2009-2099: Timestorm. The original made his return during Spider-Man 2099's portion of Spider-Verse, and later was chosen to be the Grandmaster's "summoner" in Contest of Champions (2015).

The Punisher 2099 provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Aborted Arc: There were hints that Jake's vigilante actions were a case of Split-Personality Takeover early on, but that went nowhere.
  • Accomplice by Inaction: The villain Public Enemy targets exclusively people who just stand by and do nothing when crimes and such are happening.
  • All Crimes Are Equal: At first, Jake's killing murderous scum in reaction to his Mom and sister being murdered by crooks who got away with it. At the end of the series, sponsored by a new regime, he's gone around the bend. Among many things, the age at which someone can be tried as an adult is now in the single digits and pretty much everything is a crime punishable by whatever the hell he wants it to be (and brain scanners are used to cover bad thoughts). At one point, he expresses the desire that kinky adult sex should be punished.
  • Androids and Detectives: There's a brief arc where Jake gets a new partner on the force, an android named Goldheart. For a guy who has no particular dislike of mutants, Jake shows surprising Fantastic Racism against robots, at least until his new partner proves his competence. Goldheart's personality later gets installed on Jake's bike.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Jake's psychiatrist becomes suspicious of him because he seems too well adjusted for someone who's just lost his family. It is, of course, because he's found a new hobby to occupy himself.
  • Arch-Enemy: Fearmaster, a superpowered serial killer whose memberships include Alchemax, Cyber-Nostra, and the Church of the Identified Flying Object.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Jake was obsessed with Frank Castle's war journal even before he became his successor.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Jake gives one when facing down against the new Aesir:
    (immediately after crispifying two of the Aesir with a Plasma Cannon) "When you're a god, you have no one to pray to."
    • He gives out another one when he dives after a criminal who has a jetpack:
    "I don't need a jetpack... All I need is hate!"
  • Batter Up!: Jake's signature melee weapon was the Power Bat, a club with an adjustable hardness setting ranging from "rubber" to "titanium"; he never uses the lower settings. In his brief appearance in the second Spider-Man 2099 series it's depicted as an actual metal baseball bat, probably becaude the artist didn't receive a reference for it.
  • Church of Happyology: Fearmaster runs a cult where he preaches that aliens are returning to ferry the faithful off into space. The aliens may actually exist, but it's mostly his way of cheating and extorting his congregation.
  • Clark Kenting: Gallows doesn't bother to wear any face covering, even though his identity is supposed to be a secret. He uses some kind of tech so his face comes across as a digitized skull if it's captured on camera, but somehow nobody ever seems to notice him when they see him in person. He later upgrades to a holographic projector which covers his face with the image of a skull.
  • Contrasting Sequel Protagonist: Despite the similarities (they even look a lot like each other), Jake is fairly distinct from Frank. First, he isn't publicly known as the Punisher, so he can keep his day job. Second, his methods are often a lot more restrained- he's willing to use incarceration instead of Frank's 100% execution policy. note 
    • In some ways, this also works to make him worse than Frank Castle. Jake will sometimes go beat the crap out of one of his prisoners just because he feels like it. His personal jail also includes a disintegration chair for executions. While it only takes a few seconds, this method of execution is by all accounts excruciatingly painful. In one instance he caught a teenaged killer. His code of ethics did not allow him to kill in cold blood a minor, so he kept him imprisoned until his eighteenth birthday and then executed him.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: In the world of 2099, when a judge gives you "fifty years", he means you'll be given a chemical treatment that takes fifty years off your lifespan in an instant, so that you can get back to work for your local Mega-Corp ASAP. Being locked up in Jake's basement seems pretty merciful in comparison.
  • Cool Bike: Jake's HD Stealth Stinger 5. It could move fast enough that most people only registered it as a gust of wind, and it turned any traffic lights on his route green as he approached through the magic of Hollywood Hacking.
  • Cool Car: He also had a converted black ambulance hovercar for hauling in perps.
  • Deader than Dead: One story had Jake killing one perp's very soul with a Magical Particle Accelerator so he wouldn't turn into a god upon normal death.
  • Depending on the Artist: The design of Jake's power bat varies slightly. At first it's drawn as having a small head with a single row of spikes running across it. A later artist drew it with a much larger head, with spikes covering the surface in no particular pattern.
  • Disintegration Chamber: The Molecular Disintegrator chair Jake uses to execute criminals.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Vendetta, the "Lady Punisher".
  • The Dragon: Multi-Fractor, a cyborg mobster working for Fearmaster. No characters actually call him "Jigsaw 2099", but it's clear that's basically who he's supposed to be.
  • Expy: Jake Gallows seemed a bit similar to an earlier character co-created by Pat Mills when he was introduced. When he was put in charge of the Punishment Police, this identification became certain.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: While not a direct use of this trope, it is subverted in one story. The Punisher runs across a female copycat vigilante of him, who prefers to kill crooks using painful methods and weapons. The Punisher looks down on her for this, saying that he prefers clean kills and doesn't take pleasure in killing. She sneers at him because he uses lasers. According to her, lasers burn into flesh and boil the blood. The wound always go septic and the nerves rarely regrow. They may look nice in the "Holo-dramas", but they're just as nasty as what she uses. She also berates him for using his .54 Magnum, saying that it leaves the victim "with a 'clean' hole in the chest...and a missing back."
  • Fighting Fingerprint: Jake is fighting a supervillain villain named Hotwire, who can digitize himself to interact with electronic systems. Jake performs a Punch Catch on him, which he counters by turning his arm and ramming his elbow into Jake's face. Jake is shocked because it's a move he made up himself and there's only one other person he taught it too—his son, Dean Gallows.
  • Freudian Excuse: Kron Stone claims his family never loved him, leaving a robot to care for him but never bothering to program it, causing it to default to veterinarian mode.
    Kron: Do you know what it's like to be fitted with a collar, live in a kennel, and be fed on dog meat?!
  • Hand Cannon: Jake's main firearm is the circa-2015 manufactured Smith & Wesson .54 Magnum full-automatic revolver. It's belt-fed and can fire 6 rounds a second.
  • Hook Hand: Multi-Fractor's (a.k.a. Jigsaw 2099) cybernetic right arm ends on a huge hook.
  • Irony: After Jake gets together with Kerry, he begins to finally move past his family's murders and his crusade of vengance. He decides to give up being The Punisher after doing one last job (a favor for Matt), but it's during this job that the Fearmaster finds Kerry and kills her for destroying the evidence of The Punisher's true identity. When Jake finds her dead, he snaps and puts all his efforts into his vigilante work.
    Newscaster: The Punisher is now totally out of control!
  • The Jailer: The Punisher didn't kill all criminals he came in conatct with, he locked some of them in his self-made jail. It's actually the only thing like it around in 2099, as the prison system has been abolished in favor of more cost-effective alternatives.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Jake's methods start out almost reasonable, especially given the horrible laws in place in the year 2099, but he gets progressively more unhinged as the series goes on.
  • Law Enforcement, Inc.: Public Eye, Jake's civilian identity's workplace. They only bother protecting paying customers and are totally at the beck and call of their Alchemax sponsors.
  • Meaningful Name: Real name of The Punisher 2099 is Jake Gallows.
  • Mirrored Confrontation Shot: The cover of issue 22.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Instead of outright killing Kron Stone, Jake severely wounded him, and threw him into a sewer... which happened to contain to the dormant Venom symbiote.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: How does Jake make his grand return to the comics scene? By beating down Daemos, one of the Inheritors who is out seeking Miguel O'Hara and an alternate female Spidey named Lady Spider. With his baseball bat.
  • Playing Both Sides: In his debut, Fearmaster calls the police commissioner and threatens to pull Alchemax's sponsorship if he can't reduce crime by 20%. Then he calls his good friend the mob boss and orders a 20% increase in crime. Supply and demand, baby.
  • The Power of Hate: Jake doesn't need a jet pack. All he needs is hate.
  • Red Right Hand: Fearmaster is a literal example; his right hand is a red, three-fingered stump that can transform any body part it touches into anything. Unfortunately, said right hand works on him, too…
  • Required Secondary Powers: Subverted in the first issue. According to Public Eye, Jake once tracked down a techno-shaman who had encased himself in an impenetrable force field to protect himself. Jake figured out that it still had to be able to exchange heat through the field, and fried the guy inside the force field by showering it with hot plasma.
    • A similar situation occurs when Jake faces Morlun in during Spider-Verse. While Morlun is Nigh-Invulnerable and easily withstands a barrage of hot plasma, it does melt the floor he is standing on and buys precious time.
  • Sarcastic Confession: Public Eye's shrink Kerry strongly suspects that Jake Gallows is the Punisher (spoiler: he is) and barges into his home for a surprise visit/inspection/psych evaluation. When she starts questioning him, Jake confesses that he's the Punisher, and he has a bunch of criminals locked up in his basement, and he's just been down there beating one of them half to death for kicks. He even offers to show her the Punisher costume he keeps in the bedroom. Of course she brushes all this off as misplaced anger over the death of his family. Little did she know that every word of it was true.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: The reason Kron Stone got off so lightly after murdering Jake's family was because his father was the head of Alchemax, one of the Mega Corps that effectively ran the world.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Starter Villain Stays: The first villain is Kron Stone, who leads a small group of serial killers targeting families. After killing the new Punisher's family, and prompting him to take up the title in the first place, the Punisher quickly hunts him down and leaves him for dead in the sewer. Problem is, for Kron that proved to be a stroke of luck, as there he discovered and bonded with the Venom Symbiote. He came back stronger that ever, now with superpowers and becoming a massive problem not only for Spider-Man 2099, but the entire 2099 universe.
  • Stealth Parody: Writers managed to sneak in several tongue-in-cheek stuff like this.
  • Stupid Future People: Occasionally. In one scene Jake saves a kid who was thrown off a carnival ride by a lunatic. The kid doesn't seem remotely put out by the experience, but is excited by the prospect of suing the owners for a free ride.
  • Taken for Granite: The Fearmaster had a whole collection of women turned to statues with his molecular engineering powers. Each of them is a different material, you know, so it doesn't get boring. Gold, diamond, that sort of thing. He calls it the "Endymion Room", after a poem by John Keats about eternal youth and beauty (more or less).
  • There Are No Therapists: Subverted. Kerry, an actual psychiatrist with Public Eye, deduces by the third issue that Gallows is a little too well-adjusted to his family's death. Her superiors (and Gallows, at first) simply brush her concerns off.
  • Thoughtcrime: When the Punisher is made into leader of SHIELD, he has his men hunting anyone who displays criminal or otherwise negative thoughts.
  • Title by Year: Like all the other books in the 2099 line.
  • Villain Protagonist: Jake gradually turns into one by the end of the series.
  • Virtual-Reality Interrogation: Jake has captured Multi-Fractor, the underboss of his archnemesis Fearmaster. He puts him under a nasty look contraption with various blades in an attempt to pump him for more information on Fearmaster. After Jake gets what he wants, the machine disappears. It turns out that Jake was using his virtual reality room to interrogate Multi-Fractor.

"Overkill? Never heard of it."
Jake Gallows, The Punisher 2099 #32