Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

I have two points I need to make. 1. I love the Hood. Best new villain of the decade. 2. The Punisher is dead. Again. And I’m not sure I love where they’re going with this. I really think Bendis- along with Brian K. Vaughan, Kyle Hotz, and Eric Powell (the Hood’s creators)- outdid themselves with the Hood. Why? Because he’s just a guy- a street tough, really. A street tough that happened to lift a pair of boots and a cape from a demon that was in service to Dormammu- a sorcerer supreme that sort of ‘went wrong’ in another dimension and ended up enslaving the people he was appointed to protect. He’s really more of a demon than a mystic these days (Clea, Dr. Strange’s on-again, off-again lover, is from this world- called the ‘Dark Dimension’ because of Dormammu’s influence). But the thing is, the Hood doesn’t really even understand what Dormammu is, how Dormammu is connected to the items he found, or even the full extent of those items powers. He’s figuring it out as he goes. And maybe becoming a conduit for some of the most horrible threats to face mankind to step into our world like the Hood was a flimsy screen door. It’s scary, because you know that Robbins (Parker Robbins- is it just me, or is that a play on ‘Robin Hood’?) is screwing around with some serious *&%$ that he doesn’t understand. But that’s not to say that Robbins is a chump- I mean, okay, compared to all-seeing extradimensional entities like Dormammu, everybody’s a chump- but when it comes to crime, the Hood knows how to ‘work’. Yeah, Robbins was a small time crook- but he was a good one. He ‘gets’ it- organizing crime and using fear tactics to keep soldiers in line...the Marvel Rogue’s Gallery has never been so on top of it. It’s that ‘clean’ and ‘smart’ work that kept Robbins out of jail for so long. After all, small time crooks tend to get overlooked, and that can help you get away with some big wins, if you play your cards right. That’s what makes him a great villain. It’s that lifestyle, that expertise- how to really get away with a crime and make a career out of it- that makes him, and all of the Marvel villains flocking to his banner, so dangerous. Survival and longevity is the goal, not vendettas and headlines. How many supervillains fall to pieces when their nemesis shows up and just try to duke it out with them in the street? Well, what if they didn’t? What if they played it smart- only fought when they knew they could win? Now, point the second- Frank Castle died. Again. Yes, they did this before. And I wasn’t a big fan then either. It’s a little chunk of Marvel history I’d like to believe didn’t happen. A few years back Castle actually shot himself, deciding he needed punishement for his sins. He ended up as part of an avenging, angelic host if you can believe that; yes, an angel, empowered by the all-mighty himself to punish the guilty for their sins. He could teleport, change his appearance, and make weaponry appear out of thin air. Now, I’m not saying there weren’t one or two themes in here that weren’t interesting- a chance encounter with an angel that failed to save Castle’s family, for example, made for some interesting story writing. And certainly death and justice are what the Punisher is all about, so I can see why someone, somewhere, just said ‘oh, let’s just go nuts, give him a divine mandate and some 'beyond death' superpowers. But see, my vision of the Punisher will always be this: the comic book is meant to be GRITTY. That’s right, GRITTY. Not gory. Not mysterious or freaky. Not even funny. (You can find bits and pieces of Punisher history that fit all of these descriptions). I think Punisher comics should feel like 80’s action movies. Die Hard, Lethal Weapon…you know, hard-boiled, intense, and filled with guns. Anyway, long story short, Osborn set his ‘troops’ about killing Castle. Just one of the many hits on Osborn’s list. Daken, the son of Wolverine and his deceased wife Itsu, actually decapitated and dismembered the man. Thing is? Morbius and a couple of supernatural allies have resurrected him. So Frank Castle is literally a ‘frankenstein’ like patchwork of himself, a monster. Who is going to unwrite this? HOW are they going to unwrite this?