Punisher (6th series) #36

Issue Date: 
January 2004
Story Title: 
Confederacy of Dunces - part 4

Garth Ennis (writer), John McCrea & Crimelab Studios (art), Avalon (colors), Cory Petit (letters), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Kelly Lamy (assoc. managing editor), Nanci Dakesian (managing editor), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Punisher tackles Daredevil through a window, effectively disabling him. After escaping, Daredevil rescues Spider-Man, who is stuck in a room full of dud bombs. The two of them tend to Wolverine, who is a mess after being hit by a rocket launcher. Punisher calls Matt Murdock to set up another meeting a week later. Meanwhile, Punisher has continued to feed the scrawny man rescued earlier in the month, claiming to protect him. However, soon afterward, Punisher surprises the puny man, beating him around his warehouse, and leads him to the place where he is to meet the superheroes, and letting them have his “big surprise...”

Full Summary: 

Hell’s Kitchen (Clinton):
The Punisher tackles Daredevil through a window at the top of a building, sending both men over a fire escape. Daredevil grabs the railing with one hand to catch himself, and Punisher reacts by grabbing Daredevil’s other arm, and uses Daredevil as a human swing, swinging himself over the railing on the floor below. By doing this, Punisher dislocates both of Daredevil’s shoulders. As Daredevil crumples to the floor, Punisher mocks him. Daredevil screams that he’s gone too far this time for trying to kill Wolverine. Punisher informs Daredevil that you can’t kill the rodent: no matter how much you hurt him, he just “grows the meat back.” Punisher warns him to let this go, since chasing Punisher lets the “real” criminals do their thing scot-free. Daredevil responds that they will put an end to the butcher-work of Castle, and see to it that he is locked away for life. Punisher tells him that it will all be on Daredevil’s head, and leaves.
Meanwhile, on the next rooftop, Wolverine is screaming for help. His body is still smoldering away from the rocket blast. Spider-Man is still frozen in fear, as he is standing on a trigger for a room full of explosives. Daredevil walks in, injured, and tells Spider-Man to get off of the pad. Spider-Man is shocked by the suggestion. Daredevil replies that Castle would never kill an innocent, so either the mines have no explosive in them, or the trap isn’t wired together. Spider-Man replies that he isn’t going to throw away his life on a bit of half-assed armchair psychology. Daredevil responds, “Peter. Please. Just lift your foot off the detonator NOW. Or I swear to God I’ll kick you off it.” Spider-Man winces, and finally rips his foot out of the floorboards where he was standing. He slumps, embarrassed, and tells Daredevil to write this out of the official history.
Punisher’s Warehouse:
Punisher, with his face now stitched and taped up in several places, returns home, where the scrawny man is waiting. The man tells him that the stew he’s been eating tastes funny. Punisher asks him how stew is supposed to taste, to which the man replies that he doesn’t know, since he’s lost his memory. Punisher asks how he knows it tastes funny, then, and goes to get him more stew. Punisher reckons that the man isn’t expecting anything, which is good. The other heroes will need time to rest and heal after the beating they took, after which the “goofball” will be ready to go…
Hell’s Kitchen (Clinton) / Matt Murdock’s Apartment:
Spider-Man asks Daredevil if he is ready. Daredevil nods, and Spider-Man snaps his arm back into place. After some screaming, Spider-Man asks how it is, and Daredevil smugly replies that it isn’t dislocated anymore. As Spider-Man comments on the décor, Daredevil goes to check on Wolverine. He is still missing most of his body, but his organs have knit back together. Wolverine is passed out after drinking to ease the pain. Daredevil says that they should get some painkillers into him, and braces for Spider-Man to set his other shoulder.
Lucky’s Bar / Bathroom:
Kevin walks into the bathroom, looking for Soap. Soap has been in there for three hours, and Kevin seems worried. Looking into a stall, Kevin sees Soap with his revolver in his own mouth, looking to commit suicide. Kevin screams out for Soap not to do it. Soap pulls the gun out, and asks why Kevin doesn’t want him to kill himself. Kevin replies: “Well, not in here I don’t, we’ll have to clean all the brains an’ skull an’ crap off the ceilin’! Go HOME and do it, yeh stupid little eejit…” Soap is shocked, and asks Kevin to repeat himself. Kevin asks if he is deaf, and tells him to go home and kill himself. Soap responds by putting the gun to Kevin’s head. Soap screams at Kevin telling him that he always has a lot to say, and that when he comes in feeling like crap, he can always count on Kevin to make things worse, laughing his ass off the whole time. As Kevin begs for mercy, claiming that Soap is a cop, Soap lowers the gun, and agrees. Kevin asks Soap where he is going, and Soap replies that he is Lieutenant Martin Soap, N.Y.P.D., and that he is going to do his job.
One Week Later – Punisher’s Warehouse:
Punisher makes a phone call on a pay phone to Nelson and Murdock, telling Matt that he knows that he’s Daredevil. Punisher tells him that this was the quickest way to get a message out, and says that he’ll be in Red Hook at pier 39, right where he ran over ‘the rodent’ with a steamroller. Spacker Dave watches intently as Punisher makes his call. After Punisher hangs up, Matt Murdock trashes his office in frustration.
Inside the warehouse, the scrawny man is complaining that he can’t go to the bathroom. He hopes that it isn’t time for more stew. Punisher responds that it’s time to quit whining and remember what he does, an shoves him off the chair. Punisher proceeds to beat the man, who is screaming that he doesn’t know what is happening. Punisher tells him that he KNOWS who he is. Finally, after being hit repeatedly, the man cries “Oh God…” and tells Punisher to run. Punisher kicks him again, and asks: “Why? What are YOU going to do to me… bitch?” The man’s face turns green as he gets angrier.
Warehouse / Red Hook:
The three heroes meet again, ready for Punisher. They square off in the open, as Wolverine tells him that Punisher is at the end of the “highway o’ hate.” Punisher responds by telling him “…if there ever was a man who needed an off-switch. Final warning: forget about this.” Daredevil responds: “You might as well tell us to stop breathing. Do your worst.” Punisher tells him “It’s not my worst you have to worry about,” and dives into the sewers. Spider-Man and Wolverine lunge forward to stop him, but they hear some loud screaming coming close, and all three of them shudder as…
Punisher smiles a little, thinking that some people never learn.

Characters Involved: 

The Punisher / Frank Castle
Wolverine / Logan
Daredevil / Matt Murdock
Spider-Man / Peter Parker
Hulk / Dr. Robert Bruce Banner
Kevin, the barkeep
Detective Martin Soap
Spacker Dave

Story Notes: 

This issue is under the Marvel Knights label and rated PSR+ for parental supervision.
Bruce Banner turned out to be the identity of the mystery man who was rescued in Punisher (6th series) #34, the 2nd part to the “Confederacy of Dunces” arc.
The story is concluded in Punisher (6th series) #37, which is also the final issue of the series.
Spider-Man never told Daredevil his true identity. Rather, since Daredevil has heightened senses, he deduced it by being in the presence of Peter Parker and Spider-Man at different times.
Daredevil’s identity was revealed to the public against his will in Daredevil (vol. 3) #35. He pursued legal action against the newspaper that printed it as Matt Murdock, claiming that it was fraudulent, and won, though many are positive that it was correct.
Wolverine’s steamroller incident was in Punisher (6th series) #17.

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