Punisher (2nd Series) #34

Issue Date: 
June 1990
Story Title: 

Mike Baron (writer), Bill Reinhold (penciler), Mark Farmer (inker), Ken Lopez (letterer), John Wellington (colorist), Don Daley (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

When the Reavers are unable to find the dead bodies of their unknown assailants, they make their way to Donald Pierce’s Manhattan penthouse to discover who they just ran into. Meanwhile, exiting the river, Frank Castle and Microchip steal a car and make their way to a local junkyard run by Elliot, Micro’s cousin, who is actually an arms seller. There, Frank is outfitted with an exo-skeleton in order to defend themselves against their attackers. As Micro continues to investigate as to who their attackers were, he discovers that it involves Pierce. When he does, the Reavers discover their position and attack them at the salvage yard. Once there, a battle ensues. During the battle, the Reavers see Frank in his exo-skeleton and attempt to show Pierce the visual but Pierce doesn’t answer as he and Lady Deathstrike are locked in an amorous embrace. Using cover, Elliot, Micro and Frank are able to hold their own until Micro is discovered by Pretty Boy. Upon saving Micro, Frank opens up fire on the Reavers. At that moment, he is attacked from behind by Bonebreaker, who pins him to the ground with swords. As the other Reavers join him, Frank is able to escape his armor and proceeds to detonate it. Suffering defeat and severe damage, the Reavers depart. Once they leave, Micro discovers that his cousin Elliot was killed during the battle. As Frank and Micro depart the auto salvage yard, Frank thinks to himself that he doesn’t understand Micro sometimes. If the Reavers hadn’t have killed Elliot, he would have had to.

Full Summary: 

At the sewer opening, Reese stands with his fellow Reavers and contacts Donald Pierce in Australia. He tells him they have terminated the computer thief and that it ain’t Wolverine. Pretty Boy remarks that it ain’t no bloody mutant at all. Pierce tells Reese not to keep him guessing. Who is it? Reese informs him that it was some freelance merc. They’ll know more when they recover the body. Pierce asks no body? How do they know he’s dead? Standing next to him, Lady Deathstrike asks Pierce why he assumes it must be a man.

Reese tells Pierce they pumped a couple hundred rounds into ‘em when they hit the river. The big guy’s shirt just floated up like a lace doily. Pretty Boy’s searching the river for ‘em now. With Deathstrike’s hand on his shoulder, Pierce orders them to get the body and the police report when they’re done with the warehouse. Maybe they know who the mystery thief is. Deathstrike says perhaps he could animate the body. That would be amusing.

Disconnecting his contact with Pierce for the moment, Reese asks Pretty Boy if he’s having any luck. With his mechanical arms extended deep into the river, Pretty Boy tells him he does have a body but it feels a little ripe to be the ones they just shot. Bonebreaker says leave it, it’s probably Jimmy Hoffa. When Reese asks him which way he’s searching, Pretty Boy tells him down river.

Just then, he remarks that he has something. Leaning down for better leverage, he tells his teammates to stand back. It’s big. Bonebreaker asks if he needs any help and Pretty Boy tells him to back off, he doesn’t need any extra muscle. Once he lifts what he found in the water, Reese congratulates him. He just recovered a stolen car. At that moment, Bonebreaker tells them they need to rumble, he hears cop cars a’ plenty. Letting go of the car and retracting his arms, Pretty Boy asks cops? So what? They’ll blow them away. Bonebreaker quips that he’s been smokin’ too much crack. Pierce is gonna be mad if they hand around and cause a scene with the local flics.

As they leave the river’s edge, Reese states that they’ll use Pierce’s Manhattan penthouse to hang out while they wait for the police report. Pretty Boy replies beautiful, he wants to check out Times Square.

As Frank Castle and Microchip gets out of the water and onto a dock, Frank mentions that they still don’t know who those guys are. Micro tells him that if he gets him to a phone modem and he bets he can find out. Frank asks him how he’s going to do that and Micro replies that the trouble began when he back-tracked a break-in at Jade Aerospace which specializes in micro-miniaturization and exo-skeletons. He traced the break through a midtown Manhattan relay and ended up in Australia. Holding up a disk, he remarks that he has a copy of the program. They can always check out the Manhattan transfer…

Frank tells him “righteous” but they need to cop a ride before they freeze to death. At that moment, Frank points out a department of public works car. Micro asks him that he’s gonna rip off a state car. Bashing in a window with the butt of his rifle, Frank asks him is he kidding. Half those guys are on the take. Let ‘em explain what they’re doing down here on a Sunday anyway. They don’t even work during the week. As they drive off, Frank asks Micro if he thinks his place is safe. Micro replies that he wouldn’t touch his place with a plastic fork. They should go to the junkyard. When they drive off, a man runs out of a building and curses at them as they drive away.

Making their way down the road, Frank asks Micro what junkyard. Micro tells him his cousin Elliot has an auto salvage place in Queens. Frank remarks that he didn’t know he had a cousin in auto salvage. Micro says yeah and there’s a reason for that. Elliot’s not the kind of guy you wanna know. Upon reaching the auto salvage, Frank asks Micro how Elliot will like them popping in like this. Micro says he’ll like it fine. He set up his inventory system, he owes him. When Frank asks him when he did this, Micro tells him that some of them have a life outside the war. He then tells Frank to be nice to Elliot.

When Frank and Micro pull in front of the gate, Elliot is standing there with his dog. Immediately, his dog starts to go nuts. Elliot tells the dog, Simba, to shaddup already. It’s cousin Linus and some goombah. Entering the yard, Micro says hi to Elliot and introduces Frank. Elliot asks him if he’s workin’ for the department of public works now. Micro tells him that it’s a loaner and that they need a favor. Elliot gruffly asks who doesn’t and proceeds to ask him why he brought the guy there with him. Micro informs him that Frank is trustworthy and then asks Elliot how his inventory system is holding up. As Frank makes friends with the dog, Elliot invites Micro into his shack. He has a couple of new ideas he wants to bounce off him. Frank can come too.

Inside the shack, Elliot asks Frank what line of business he’s in. Frank tells him hot cars and chop shops, what about him. Elliot states that he runs a strictly legitimate auto salvage yard. Micro tells him it’s okay, he’s one of them. Elliot then adds that he does dabble in the occasional odd piece of hardware. You know; your hard-to-get assault rifle. Frank remarks that he likes the Steyr himself. The single focal plane cuts down on his aim time. Smiling, Elliot tells Frank that he and him are gonna get along fine.

At that moment, Frank says to Elliot to show Frank the inventory. Making their way across the yard, Elliot says he was doin’ great until Congress cut off military and the Contras. Now he’s stuck with all sortsa inventory. Anybody on the east coast wants to unload an odd piece, they come to ol’ Elliot. As they enter his Winnebago, Elliot remarks that he doesn’t do business with any slimy mid-eastern types. Micro adds except the Israelis. Elliot tells Micro, calling him Linus, that he’s a disgrace to his Zionist forebears. Micro mentions to Elliot that he should show Frank the experimental exo-skeleton he picked up from that think tank that went bankrupt. Elliot replies if he can find it. After finding it in a heap over in the corner, Elliot states that it doesn’t work too well. That’s why the think tank went bankrupt. Micro says he has some new ideas that might help its performance.

Several hours later, Frank is inside the exo-skeleton. Upon seeing that the armor is working, Elliot tells Linus he’s a major genius. He knows a right wing nut case who’ll shell out twelve mil for that thing. Frank says they may have to take it on a shakedown cruise first. Lifting up the helmet, Frank asks Micro if he wants to try that Manhattan link-up now. As Micro sits at the computer and accesses the modem, Elliot asks them that they ain’t wanted by anyone, are they. Frank tells him not at all and then says he wants to see what he has in shoulder-mounted rocket launchers.

After some searching, Micro informs Frank that the apartment belongs to a Mr. Donald Pierce of Manhattan and Cooterman’s Creek, Northern Territories. Upon hearing the name, Frank asks where he’s heard the name Pierce before.

In Manhattan, Pretty Boy informs Reese that somebody’s trying to tap into Pierce’s computer. Reese tells him to play it cool, don’t let them know he’s listenin’. Pretty Boy says not to sweat it. He has a little trick they don’t teach you in data processing. It’s a sneaky little thief and he’s got a diamond cutter’s touch. While Pretty Boy hums to himself, Reese turns to Bonebreaker and asks him to promise to shoot him if he ever gets like him. Bonebreaker replies he promises.

Just then, Pretty Boy’s optic nerves convert to electronic impulses at the screen interface, entering the greater New York electro-communications grid. When Pretty Boy’s eyes pop out through the computer screen Micro is working at, Frank slices them off at the roots. When he does, he tells Elliot and Micro to help him get in the suit. They’re coming there. In Manhattan, Pretty Boy grabs his head in extreme pain. Bonebreaker asks what’s wrong with him and Reese says he’ll be okay. He just needs a minute to readjust.

Putting his arm around Micro, Elliot asks him that he’ll cover his damages, won’t he. Micro tells him sure. Elliot then says to Micro to grab himself a remote unit and a couple a’ these radio-controlled cars. Micro remarks that he tried this once with a miniature tank. Elliot says these are just party favors. He loads ‘em with a dose ‘a gelignite, runs ‘em under the other guy’s tush – instant hot seat. When Micro says he likes it, Elliot tells him he’ll fix him up with some regular hardware too.

Checking out guns, Elliot asks Micro if Frank is his business partner. Micro says he guesses. Elliot then asks if he minds telling him what business he’s in. Micro tells him “you guess.” Placing a crate full of grenades on the table, Elliot says he looks like a big-time mob enforcer to him. He then asks him how ‘bout cuttin’ his dear cousin in on the family biz. Micro replies that he ain’t got too many relatives left. Carrying the crate together, Elliot says he sees. He’s willing to risk his life to help him out of a jam, but he won’t cut him in on the jelly. Micro tells him he’s right and that they’ll find a way to cut him in on the next arms deal they make.

At that moment, Frank informs Elliot and Micro that he hears a chopper coming in low; they need to set up a cross-fire in the main alley. Elliot remarks jeez, he sounds just like his old sergeant. Micro quips that Frank used to be a sergeant. Getting into position, Elliot yells to Simba to get out of there. Just then, the Reavers parachute in and state they’re there to mess them up.

Upon landing, the Reavers immediately begin to fire their weapons. Reese tells his teammates to sweep the yard and see what they can shake loose. Pretty Boy says wheeee, this is his kinda shooting gallery. Bonebreaker tells him to try an’ hit something this time. When a remote controlled truck rolls under Reese’s feet, it explodes, blowing off his legs. Lying on the ground, Reese curses that he shoulda seen that coming. Bonebreaker tells him to shut up and gives him a pair of legs to put on. Bonebreaker then recommends to his teammates that they blast the heights. They gotta be somewhere they can see them.

Moving from his position, Micro repeats over and over that he will not raid any more strange computers. As they move through the yard, Reese says they need to stick together. They can’t let ‘em pick them off one by one. Pretty Boy asks what the hey. These guys are using toys. They lost all their heavy hardware in the warehouse. Firing his weapon, Bonebreaker calls out “come on, you wussies.” Let’s level this place, he always wanted to blow up a whole bunch of cars. Reese then informs Pretty Boy to take a look around, he’ll cover this end. When he extends his eyes around the corner, Pretty Boy exclaims holy $#!%. Bonebreaker proceeds to call him a wussie and says let’s see what upset poor Pretty Boy.

Rolling around the corner, Bonebreaker comes face to face with Frank in the exo-skeleton toting two large weapons and states that Pierce better get a look at this. With that, Frank blasts Bonebreaker and knocks him over. Nearby, Reese and Pretty Boy discover someone is firing at them from behind and proceed to return fire at Elliot. Finding some shelter, Reese tells Bonebreaker to get his tread repaired. Bonebreaker asks him what does he think he’s doing, picking his teeth? Pretty Boy asks them to give him a minute to link up with the satellite. He wants to flash Pierce a visual of that exo-skeleton. As he raises his arm, Reese tells Pretty Boy that they don’t need to be checking in with Pierce every step of the way. Pretty Boy replies that he’s gonna wanna see this. In Australia, Pierce and Deathstrike are engaged in an amorous embrace and ignore the call.

Seeing the arm in the air, Micro points out to Frank that they’re attackers are sending up some kind of antenna. He’s going to knock it down. When he fires upon the hand, Pretty Boy sees where the shots are coming from and extends his arms to choke Micro. Slicing Pretty Boy’s arms off of Micro, Frank tells him to fall back and let him handle them. As Frank fires upon the Reavers, Bonebreaker comes up behind him and lands on top of him. Immediately, Pretty Boy and Reese join Bonebreaker in attacking Frank. Using swords, Bonebreaker has him pinned while the others try to cut through the exo-skeleton.

Before they can do so, Frank is able to deftly escape the exo-skeleton and runs off. The Reavers notice but before they can do anything, the armor explodes. In doing so, it separates Bonebreaker from his tank, destroys Reese’s right hand, and also destroys both of Pretty Boy’s hands. Grabbing Bonebreaker along with Reese, Pretty Boy remarks that Pierce ain’t gonna like this.

Once they leave, Frank mentions to Micro that they’re gone and it’s a good thing. Just three of them almost killed them. What if there are more? Micro remarks that it was brilliant cyborg design, must be Kristoff. They should find Elliot. When they find Elliot dead, Micro is distraught. Frank coldly replies that it’s a cryin’ shame and tells Micro that they need to get outta there before the cops arrive. Leaving the salvage yard, Frank thinks to himself that sometimes he doesn’t understand Micro. He knew as well as he that Elliot had to go. If those zoot-suiters hadn’t killed him, he’d have had to do it himself.

Characters Involved: 

Microchip (Punisher’s assistant)

Elliot (Microchip’s cousin)

Bonebreaker, Lady Deathstrike, Pretty Boy, Reese (all Reavers)

Written By: