Dark Wolverine #88

Issue Date: 
September 2010
Story Title: 
Punishment: Chapter 1

Daniel Way & Marjorie Liu (writers), Stephen Segovia and Paco Diaz (pencils), Cam Smith and Guillermo Ortego (inks), Antonio Fabela (colors), VC’s Cory Petit (letters & production), Jody LeHeup (assistant editor), Jeanine Schaefer (editor), Axel Alonso (executive editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer), Simone Bianchi with Simone Peruzzi (cover art)

Brief Description: 

In Japan, after murdering the attorney for the Silver Samurai in cold blood, Daken is attacked by the man he butchered in the past – Frank Castle, who is now the monstrosity Franken-Castle. After a bloody battle in which Frank breaks Daken’s arm, Daken retreats into a subway tunnel to regroup. All the while, Frank is being assisted by Henry Russo who warns Frank of his vitals. Frank listens to him, sort of, but his main focus is to destroy the man who destroyed him – Daken.

Full Summary: 

In Japan, Daken sits in a restaurant surrounded by three young ladies who fawn all over him. Ignoring them, he recalls a Buddhist saying that you can explore the universe looking for somebody more deserving of love than yourself and you will not find that person anywhere. A perfect truth – no one deserves anything. You have to take what you want. When you want, where you want. Because it’s your right. The hard part is keeping what you take.

Daken thinks his life needs stimulation, the kind that doesn’t involve tongue. He came there looking for Muramasa himself, a weapons master. A ghost that can’t be found. But he needs him to make him a weapon that can kill his father. His father, who is the only person standing between him and the power he deserves. As he stands up, one of the ladies asks him they’re not leaving them, is he. Walking away, Daken informs her no, they’re leaving and they better be gone when he gets back. Making his way towards the restroom, the maitre d passes the check to the young ladies and says to them that the gentleman said they would be taking care of it.

As he walks into the restroom, the attendant asks him if there’s anything he can offer him. Daken tells him not yet and proceeds to kick open one of the bathroom stalls. After brutally killing the man inside, Daken calmly walks over to the sink and washes the blood off of his hands. After asking the attendant for a towel, he tells him that his name is Hideki Nagona. He is married with five children, three of whom attend Columbia International School. He is an attorney and his primary client is Kenuichio Harada, the Silver Samurai. He is going to call him and will tell him to meet him tonight at his office. About important matters that cannot be discussed over the phone. Has he made himself clear? Stammering, the attendant says yes. Tossing a stack of money to the attendant, Daken asks him to clean up the blood.

Watching Daken walk from the restroom and over towards a nearby elevator via a monitor, a man remarks “well hello Mister psycho-mohawk man.” Once Daken enters the elevator and begins his descent, the man states that he’s alone and tells his partner, Franken-Castle to go. With that, Franken-Castle cuts the elevator cables with a pair of wire cutters and the elevator proceeds to plummet to the ground.

Once on the ground, Frank looks around but does not find his quarry. He proceeds to tell Henry that Daken isn’t there. Henry exclaims that he has to be. Just then, Daken tells Frank hello, leaps at him from behind, and tackles him to the ground. When he jams his claws into Frank’s chest, Frank says “Daken.” Daken tells him that’s right, say his name. He then tells Castle that he looks different, has he had some work done? Pulling out a gun, Frank fires it at Daken’s head. Dodging the bullet, Daken leaps backwards and mentions to Frank that when he smelled his special man musk in the elevator, he thought it was his imagination. He figured he’d be hard to murder, which is why he chopped him up the first time. But now he gets to do it again. He thinks he loves him and not like a brother.

Frank proceeds to ask Daken if he’s tryin’ to rattle him, piss him off. When Daken tells him yes and asks if it’s working, Frank tells him “little boy, I’m always pissed off.” Just then, Daken leaps at Frank with both of his claws extended. As Daken takes a swipe at Frank, he tells him to stop. He can’t stand it when he talks dirty. Blocking each of Daken’s claw swipes, Frank grabs Daken’s wrist, tells him that he hasn’t started getting dirty, not even close. After Frank headbutts Daken in the head, Daken mentions to him that his chest is glowing. Continuing his assault, Frank asks yeah. Daken fights back and asks what it is. Frank tells him wouldn’t he like to know.

From the control room, Henry calls out to Frank and asks him if he can hear him. Continuing to battle Daken, Frank tells him he’s busy, very busy. Able to grab hold of Daken’s right arm, Frank breaks it and exposes the bone. When Daken calls out in pain, Frank asks him that it hurts, doesn’t it. He’s just getting started. So he’ll need to scream for him a little louder. Lifting up Daken in the air by his broken arm, Daken yells out in pain. Frank tells Daken like that and viciously slams Daken through the floor.

In the restaurant below them, Daken tells Frank that he thinks he might be… nnngh… losing his touch. He used to be so soft and gentle. Pulling out a knife, Frank replies that sounds like the old him. He’s not that nice anymore. But he’ll do him a favor. The same favor he did for him. He’ll take it slow, and save all the important parts for last. Bleeding from his mouth, Daken tells Frank that he’s such a tease.

As Frank continues his assault on Daken, Henry tries to warn Frank of his vitals but is ignored. After slamming Daken into the ground, Frank is stopped in his tracks when a lady clutching her child behind him begs him not to hurt them. With compassion in his eyes, Frank tells them not to cry. At that moment, Daken takes the opportunity to blindside Frank but is punched out before he can reach him. Defeated for the time being, Daken picks himself up and heads through a nearby hole in the building and into a subway tunnel to regroup and pop his arm back into place.

Following him in, Frank kneels on the ground and takes some pills. As he does, Henry asks Frank where the hell he is. When Frank doesn’t answer, Henry tells him to talk to him or at least growl a little. Just give him something. Or don’t. Whatever. He doesn’t care. He is a freak of nature. He is a damn crazy person and he’s not going to let him drag him down. He’s still young, he has prospects.

After taking his meds, Frank tells Henry to stop whining. He’s giving him a headache, even with the meds. Henry tells him oh sure and by the way, he hates him. Frank replies no he doesn’t. He doesn’t know what it’s like to hate. To have your entire life become nothing more than an expression of hate. Nothing else matters. Nothing else can compare or taste so sweet.

Characters Involved: 



Henry Russo

Hideki Nagona (now deceased attorney of Kenuichio Harada, the Silver Samurai)

Various unnamed inhabitants of Tokyo

Story Notes: 

The Punisher was hacked to pieces by Daken in Dark Reign the List: Punisher.

Frank was saved and transformed into Franken-Castle by Morbius and the Legion of Monster in Punisher (7th series) #11.

The story is continued in Franken-Castle #19

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