Franken-Castle #20

Issue Date: 
November 2010
Story Title: 
Punishment: Chapter 4

Rick Remender (writer), Tony Moore (art – pages 1, 7-9, 12-22), Paco Diaz (art – pages 2-6), John Lucas (art – pages 10-11), Dan Brown (colors), VC’s Cory Petit (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: 

At the construction site, Daken jams the Bloodstone into his chest. Crazed from the power, Daken attacks the policeman and then pummels Franken-Castle into a pulp. As he does, he berates him for being an irrelevant old man whose entire life has been about the fact that he couldn’t protect his family. Just then, Daken is shot by the police and, though not badly wounded, departs. As he does, spores begin to emit from Daken’s body. Meanwhile, having saved Frank, Wolverine teams up with him to take down his son. After Daken hijacks a helicopter, intent on returning to finish them, Frank and Wolverine take the chopper down onto a nearby rooftop. There, Frank enrages Daken, calling him a poser, riding Wolverine’s coattails. As Daken leaps at him, Frank slams a grenade in his chest. When it explodes, the spores in Daken’s body erupts and covers the rooftop. Frank informs Wolverine that the Bloodstone doesn’t mix with his healing factor. Wolverine then removes the Bloodstone from Daken’s chest and puts it into Frank’s, saving him. Turning around to deal with Daken, Wolverine discovers that he has left. Turning back to Frank, he sees that he has left as well.

Full Summary: 

Lying on the ground in a heap, Franken-Castle thinks to himself that the brain swells after severe injury. Swelling strangles off blood supply. Vision blurs, words don’t make sense. But that sound; it registers. Seeing Daken take the Bloodstone, shove it into his chest, and laugh while he does it, Frank can hear him choking on his own laughter. Self-satisfied – the wrong guy made right. He needs to kill him. Turn that laughing sound to choking, gargling, begging. But the world goes drunk and the kid has his ace card.

Just then, the Tokyo police force arrives behind Daken and orders him to raise his hands slowly and drop to his knees. Calling him a dirtbag, they add that he has five seconds to comply. Holding up his pointer finger to them, Daken tells them to give him a sec. After punching Frank in the face, he proceeds to leap at the policemen and begins to take them out with ease. As he does, he asks them if this is what they were in such a hurry to experience. He tells the others to pay attention and run for their damned lives.

Just then, Daken’s attention is caught by a flood of light behind him. When he turns around, he is immediately hit by a truck driven by Frank, who proceeds to slam it and Daken into a nearby bus. As Frank gets out of the wrecked truck, Henry Russo informs him that he’s got every cop on the area en route. This is out of control. He has to get out of there, leave it to the costumes to deal with. Frank tells him no. This is his mess. At that moment, Frank is surrounded by cops, who order him to get on the ground now. Frank calls them idiots and tells them to get the hell away from there.

No sooner does Henry let Frank know that Daken’s moving, does he emerge from the wreckage and tosses the bus door at the cops. After taking four of them out in one shot, Daken exclaims “holy damn” and asks Frank if he saw that. Did he see all the pig cops he’s making him beat down? Frank responds by firing his weapon at Daken but it is to no avail. Leaping at Frank, Daken tells him that he’s just getting started.

Slashing Frank across the chest, he adds all because Frankie wanted revenge. Picking up Frank and tossing him into a nearby S.W.A.T. vehicle with full force, Daken remarks full disclosure – cops don’t mean a thing to him. If they were bus drivers, fry cooks, or crap-mopping janitors he might feel some kind of remorse. But cops? They’re just small niggling men with inferiority complexes struggling to gain some foothold, some control, over the rest of them.

Pulling a cop from his car, Daken states that he likes to watch their faces as he cripples them, as he irreversibly hobble their lives. Does he know what he sees in their eyes? No brave hero, no proud and noble champion – just remorse at their terrible choice. With that, Daken unmercifully punches the cop in his face. After he does so, he tells Frank that it’s not too different from what he’s seeing painted across his stitched up gob.

Rushing towards him, Frank calls him a son of a bitch. Dodging him easily, Daken tells Frank that he’s a dusty old turd from an entitled generation doesn’t know when to shuffle off to the old folk’s home. Just then, Daken tosses Frank into a neon sign on a nearby building. As it crashes to the ground, burying Frank underneath, Henry sits in utter and absolute shock. Dragging Frank out from underneath the rubble, Daken tells him that it’s not his fault. He’s a victim of ego. All those years, people cowering before his reputation. But that’s all it is – reputation, perception. In reality, he’s a hack. An aging B-list starlet, desperately pole dancing. Anything to feel like he’s still in the show. A sad ego pleading for relevancy. Same ego went and pointed his sniper rifle on a man fantastically out of his league.

Slamming him up against a wall, Daken calls Frank a faltering geezer and asks him if he feels significant now. He should have stuck to gangsters. Greasy Italian stereotypes, drug barons, turf wars, corrupt politicians; but it was too small fry for the ego. All just overcompensation for a profound inferiority complex born of one abject failure – he couldn’t protect his family. With that, Daken jams his claws into Frank’s chest. Just then, the police open up fire and proceed to shoot Daken. As they do, Daken leaves Frank lying and heads off into an alley. Looking at a number of spores emitting from his body, Daken wonders “what the hell?!”

Seeing a nearby exposed power-line, Frank knows that he has to get to it and recharge. All he has to do is move a few more feet. A second chance to put that mad dog down. He’s his responsibility now, just a few more feet. He gave him the Bloodstone, gave him the power to do real damage. Just a few more feet, he doesn’t get to die. Not till he sets it right, he doesn’t get to…

After Frank collapses inches away from the power line, he looks up when a voice tells him that he’s outta his damn head if he thinks he’s getting’ out this easy. Once he drags Frank to the power line which recharges him, Wolverine tells him to get it together. He brought the kid this Bloodstone, he’s gonna help him deal with him. Standing up, Frank angrily tells Wolverine that he dealt with him until he stuck his nose in and gummed up the works. Wolverine tells him that he can’t have him killin’ his boy, other ways to… Cutting him off, Frank calls Wolverine a delusional mutant freak. His boy is a ruthless, blood-soaked monster. How far’s he gotta go before he does something? The cur’s gotta be put down and he knows it. After hearing Frank’s words, Wolverine peers at him but says nothing.

As a helicopter flies through the Tokyo skies, the pilot informs command that there is no sign of their target but he must still be on the street. Command recommends him to keep his eyes peeled, he could be anywhere. Just then, Daken appears out of nowhere and lands on their helicopter. With wild eyes, he tells him that if they like the breathin’ part of their day, he’d recommend jumping. After the pilot and his passenger evacuate the chopper, Daken exclaims “I’m comin’ pops. Comin’ home to pay you back in full. Comin’ to get what he’s owed!”

At that moment, Frank and Wolverine descend on the chopper. As they do, Wolverine informs his son that he’s gonna get it. Crashing through the chopper’s window, Wolverine tells Daken that the stone’s driven him over the edge. He’s gotta give the damned thing up. Kicking Wolverine in the chest and knocking him out of the chopper, Daken tells him that once he kills him, he’ll consider it. Pointing his rifle at Daken’s head, Frank tells him that it looks like his old man can’t protect his family either. Before he can fire his weapon, Daken purposely crashes the chopper into a nearby building resulting in a fiery crash.

Once on the ground, Daken emerges from the wreckage. When he does, Frank point his rifle at his forehead and tells him all that big talk back there, what a failure he is. Daken asks him that he got to him, didn’t he. Frank says it’s funny is all, coming from him. Daken asks it’s funny from him, why’s that? Frank says he’s a reputation coattail rider, dressed up like someone else, lecturing him about overcompensation. He built his own reputation, ground up. Him? He snuck into the show on another man’s back. He’s just a poser.

Enraged, Daken leaps at Frank, slices his rifle in half, and tells him to shut up. Pulling the pin out of a grenade, Frank says that’s it, nice ‘n’ close. Jamming his claws into Frank’s chest, Daken angrily asks that he’s a fraud? What the hell does that make him? He killed him! Slamming the grenade into Daken’s chest, Frank tells him to let him return the favor. At that moment, the grenade explodes and Daken flies backwards. Once he does, the spores emit from his body and covers the rooftop enveloping both Frank and Daken.

Seeing the carnage from above, another chopper asks command if they are picking this up, he’s never seen anything like it. He then requests permission to open fire but it is denied. An American Avenger is on sight to resolve. Making his way over to the injured Frank, Wolverine asks him what the hell he just did. Frank informs him the Bloodstone’s a healing relic. He saw the scar tumors growin’ when he shot his bastard kid. *koff* Figured the Bloodstone *koff* plus his family healing factor added up to overactive immune system. He tells Wolverine that his idiot kid gave himself super lupus. He just gave it something to work on. Wolverine remarks so get the stone out of him, he might survive.

Making his way over towards Daken, Wolverine tells him that he can’t know what a disappointment he is. After Daken retorts “likewise,” Wolverine jams his fist into his son’s chest and pulls the Bloodstone out of him. Peering at it and returning to Frank, he tells him that he figures he’s gonna regret this. Frank tells him probably. Putting the Bloodstone back into Frank’s chest, Wolverine tells him that his boy killed him. Maybe him savin’ him will even the score. Frank tells him the score ain’t with him. Wolverine adds that he’s right about the kid, he’s rotten hearted. But he can’t kill him. After Frank says he can, Wolverine tells him yeah, but he can’t let him.

As Frank sits up, Wolverine tells him that he reckons he knows what a father’s love will bring him to. Healing, Frank informs him that he won’t stop till he’s dead. He wants him breathing, he better keep him locked away someplace. Wolverine tells him he plans to. When he turns around, Wolverine sees that Daken has freed himself. He informs Frank that the kid’s gone and tells him to get his satellite hacker on the line. When he hears no response, Wolverine turns around and finds that Frank has left too. Leaping off the building, Wolverine remarks “right…”

Characters Involved: 




Henry Russo
Various Tokyo policemen

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 (2009 series) #11.

Daken sliced the Bloodstone out of Frank’s chest back in Dark Wolverine #89.

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