Franken-Castle #19

Issue Date: 
September 2010
Story Title: 
Punishment: Chapter 2

Rick Remender (writer), Tony Moore (art), Dan Brown (colors), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters), Sebastian Girner (editor), Axel Alonso (consulting editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer), Simone Bianchi with Simone Peruzzi (cover art)

Brief Description: 

In the Japan subway, Franken-Castle and Daken engage in a brutal, vicious battle where each holds their own against the other. During the battle, Daken slices off Frank’s ear, cutting off his communication with Henry, and is also able to slice off the power supply off of his back. Eventually, Frank is able to beat Daken into submission at a construction site. As he prepares to toss Daken into a vat of concrete, Frank is stopped by Wolverine, who stabs him in the back and tells him his kid is a knucklehead but he can’t have him killing him.

Full Summary: 

He that studieth revenge keepeth his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well – John Milton.

In an abandoned section of the subway in Japan, Daken tastes the blood on the ground and remarks that it’s stale. It’s the blood of an old man too dumb to know he’s already dead. Running at full speed, Daken calls out and asks Frank if he’s out there. Is he hiding in the dark? Desperately searching that dusty brain for some angle to get his revenge? To salvage some shred of dignity?

Calling Frank an ineffectual gaffer, Daken tells him that it better be something good because he’s coming for him. Does he hear him? He’s coming to kill him all over again! In all his time hunting, what did he ever change? Stop some cocaine, bury some thug? Just a long, rambling path leading to him, to what he gave him. It’s fate, here he comes again, but this time to give him something. He saw what’s in his chest. How kind of him to bring him that blood…

At that moment, Daken leaps off a nearby ledge and into a fake floor filled underneath with sharpened poles. Piercing himself on the poles, Daken curses and yammers to Frank that he killed him and he’ll do it again. Standing over him, Frank tells him “Didn’t kill me, boy.” He was just the gun he used to shoot himself. But he’s feeling much better now. With that, Frank tosses a grenade into the pit with Daken.

Walking away from the explosion, Frank makes his way over towards an assault rifle he placed earlier up against the wall. He states that if he recalls, Daken is a quick healer. They’ll have to see if he can grow a new head. As Daken begins to pull himself up out of the pit, Frank grabs his head in pain. Henry Russo calls him on his radio and points out to him that his heart rate is going wild. What the hell is going on down there? Dropping the rifle, Frank leaves that section of the subway. Finally pulling himself out of the pit, a beaten and burnt Daken looks around and asks Frank where he scampered off to. Stumbling down the corridor, Daken states that’s good. Give him a chase, make him earn… Just then, Daken unknowingly trips a wire and a car on chains slams into him at full force.

As Frank runs down the corridor, Henry tells him that he needs to listen to him, focus, and calm down. He needs to take more pills. Frank tells him the attacks, brain… c-closer… unpredic-predic-table… Henry tells him to focus on his voice. Everything is going to be ok. With that Bloodstone in his chest, this crap’ll eventually end. He’ll heal. It’s just a matter of time. But he maybe shouldn’t be on the revenge tip ‘till it does. When Frank falls to the ground with a thud, Henry tells him one thing at a time and to get another pill. Get a pill and get up and get out of there. He’s lost contact with Daken. He’s assuming he’s past the Buick.

While Frank takes the pills, Henry points out to him that his readings are all over the board. It’s time for him to get the hell out of there. This can wait. This can wait ‘till he’s in shape to do it. Feeling the effects of the pills, Frank informs Henry that’s not today’s headline. He couldn’t leave if he wanted to. They lock in and focus, get military. Geek’s seen the Bloodstone. Henry asks is he sure? He knew what it was? Frank answers he knew so he’s gonna kill the son of a bitch. Now, he can help him or he can shut his damned hole and close the line. Henry tells him okay, he hears him. His head is in the game. Before he fully commits, there’s something else. Something he imagines is going to complicate matters. A minute ago he picked up a single broadcast from a private jet. The sole passenger is listed as…

Before Henry can finish his sentence, Frank is attacked by Daken who slices his rifle in half. Slicing Frank’s right ear off, Daken asks him who he’s chatting with. No fair getting help. Jamming his claws into Frank’s chest, Daken says he was a gun he used. Ha! What a goof he is. Seeing the Bloodstone in his chest, Daken mentions to Frank so this is what’s keeping him alive. How’d he get it? Doesn’t matter, it’s his now. Rearing back in order to finish off Frank, Daken tells him to quit squirming. They already had this dance. They know how it ends.

After he jams his claws into Frank’s neck, Frank grabs Daken’s arm with his left hand and his neck with his right. Folding him in half backwards, Frank tells him it’s a new song, a new dance. Slamming Daken into a nearby wall, Frank tells him to follow his lead. He’s got the pretty mullet hair, so he can play the lady. He then tells him don’t get frustrated, he’ll pick up the moves as they go. With that, Frank kicks Daken in the gut which sends him flying through four walls and onto the subway tracks with scared on-lookers nearby.

Finally making his way towards the active subway tracks, Frank tells Daken to c’mon back. The lesson ain’t over mullet. He paid for the full hour. He plans to give him what he got… When Frank doesn’t see Daken lying on the ground, he stops his thought process. As soon as he does, Daken descends on him from behind and tells him that he changed the music. It’s a new song he’s been dying to play him. Slicing the nozzles and the energy pack from off of Frank’s back, Daken tells him it’s cut the chump’s power supply. After he does so, Frank falls forward in a heap on the subway tracks. Daken asks what he thinks. He answers to himself that “It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it, Dick.”

Leaping down onto the tracks, Daken turns Frank over and points out to him that he’s dead again. He wasted his second chance on a repeat. But he’s not complaining, seeing as how he brought him such a thoughtful gift (the Bloodstone). Frank remarks that if he likes that, he’ll get a jolt outta this. Once he grabs hold of the active subway tracks, the electricity courses through Frank’s body and as a result, sends Daken flying. Hearing a subway train coming down the track, Frank gets out of the way at the last second but Daken isn’t so lucky. After he gets hit by the train, Daken picks himself up off the ground and leers at the train driver. He thinks to himself that one civil servant’s havin’ a lucky day. He has no idea how lucky.

Running out of the train station, Daken remarks that he has to buy some time, heal up. Castle’s close behind. All he needs is just a couple of minutes. His pheromones aren’t working on Frank – dead man’s olfactory. He needs a couple of minutes to rethink his approach. Reaching a nearby construction site, he notices that his rotator cuff is demolished and that his right arm is totally dead. Just a couple minutes, shattered collarbone, his lungs are full of blood.

Climbing an unfinished building, he says he needs a couple of minutes to get it together, to get back into it, whatever it takes to get that stone. He then notices that his breathing has returned, his lungs are repelling blood – good. His arm is regaining mobility – good. Couple more minutes now. Trust in this. A natural and fated cycle – he kills Castle, someone gives him the Bloodstone, the lumbering git turns and delivers it to him. As if he knew, a divine memo from the god of Armageddon that it’s time for him to execute the old man. He’s a gift-bearing angel resurrected and sent down to him – straight from black heaven.

Just then, Frank swings in on a construction cable and kicks Daken in a face as he rests against a beam. As he lands on Daken and slams his body through six floors, Frank thinks to himself that he remembers a rainy rooftop. He remembers dying. He remembers Daken’s face, running that mouth, that ego. He doesn’t yap as much this time. The spinal trauma after being jammed his body into the steel beams cuts down the banter. Pulling out his guns, Frank notices that Daken is still struggling. Tenacious cockroach. Cockroaches are hardy. They’ll survive for days, even without a head - odd instinct for dragging out the inevitable. One big long death rattle as the body runs dry. Serves him, let ‘em squirm. Give ‘em the impression there’s still hope.

Freeing himself from the beams, Daken leaps at Frank. As Frank unloads his gun into Daken, Daken is able to continue on and eventually kicks Frank in the face. When he does, he knocks Frank into a cart of construction tools. As he lands, Frank thinks to himself that hope is where he eats. Hope is filet mignon. He’ll let Daken have just enough to imagine a victory. Then you take it away. He adds that he likes his filet mignon rare. With that, Daken leaps at Frank to finish him off but is met by a circular saw which takes him out of commission.

Standing, Frank tells Daken ouch and asks that his life is flashing before his eyes, right? All his joy, all his regrets, things he’d do different if he had the chance. Be he wishes he could go back to 1995 and tell himself not to get that idiot tattoo. He wouldn’t worry too much about it now. Grabbing Daken by the hair, Frank drags him over to a foundation of wet cement. Holding him over his head, Frank tells him that by the time that healing factor of his kicks in he’ll be embedded in four hundred feet of solid concrete. With some hard work and patience, he might make it out. He’ll probably suffocate though.

Before Frank can toss Daken into the wet cement, he is stopped in his tracks when Wolverine arrives on the scene and stabs Frank through his back and out of his chest. As he does, he remarks that the kid’s a knucklehead but he can’t have him killin’ his boy.

Characters Involved: 

Henry Russo



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.

“It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it, Dick” came from the show “American Bandstand” and relates to Dick Clark, who was the host of the show.

John Milton was an English poet who lived between 1608 and 1674. “He that studieth revenge keepeth his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well” comes from his famous poem, Paradise Lost.
The story is continued in Dark Wolverine #89-

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