Wolverine (2nd series) #186

Issue Date: 
April 2003
Story Title: 
See Ya Around, Frankie

Frank Tieri (writer), Terry Dodson (pencils), Rachel Dodson (inks), Avalon’s Edgar Tateo (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Jimmy & Wes (letters), Simons & Miesegaes (assistant editors), Axel Alonso (editor), Joe Quesada (chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

Wolverine saw to it that Freddo Pazzo of the mob was killed and that Johnny Delacavva became the new ruler of the mob. Of course, such an action would not sit well with The Punisher, who believes that all mobsters deserve to die. The Punisher and Wolverine fight through a shopping mall, this time with Wolverine proving victorious.

Full Summary: 

Wolverine allowed mobster Johnny Delacavva to take the reins of the mob to replace the dishonorable Freddo Pazzo, a kidnapper and child murderer. Of course, a certain Frank Castle would not be happy, as he believes that the only good mobster is a dead one.

The fight begins in a shopping mall. The Punisher appears to take several hits to the stomach, face, and groin, before being thrown through a store window by Wolverine. Referring to their last battle Wolverine tells him that he “Didn’t much appreciate that steamroller, neither…”

Punisher draws a handgun, but Wolverine warns him that he “shoulda quit while ya was ahead.” Before Punisher can aim the weapon, Wolverine sticks his claws into Punisher’s wrist, and Punisher responds by plunging a hunting knife into Wolverine’s foot. Wolverine removes the knife, and says that he can’t see the logic in Frank coming back for seconds. Castle responds by sending Logan flying with a giant mallet to the chin. Castle says that Logan brought this visit on himself. Punisher then unloads his shotgun into Logan, pushing him into a children’s play centre. Punisher tells Logan to “stay out of his sandbox.” Wolverine doesn’t know what Punisher is talking about. Punisher says “you know” and Wolverine is blown out of the play centre by a pile of grenades.

Punisher follows through the hole in the wall, telling Wolverine that he doesn’t like what happened with Johnny Delacavva. He asks if Logan needs it spelled out for him. Logan responds by sneaking up behind and pinning Castle’s face to a Chinese grill, saying that he never was that good a speller. Punisher explains that lowlifes like Delacavva are supposed to be obliterated, but Wolverine promoted him. Punisher spins and fires a kitchen knife into Logan’s throat. Punisher thinks that Logan sees Delacavva as a sweet old man, but Delacavva really has a dozen hits under his belt. Punisher fires some shuriken at Logan, which Logan deflects with the claws. Punisher tells Wolverine to “stick to fighting megalomaniac mutant goofballs with buckets on their heads.”
Wolverine tells Punisher that nobody takes him seriously, as he sweeps Castle’s feet and plows him into a gong. “Ya think people see you as the cure to the disease that ya fancy yourself? You’re just a different kinda disease, is all…”

Suddenly, an aquarium behind Logan bursts, giving Punisher a chance to escape. Logan tracks Punisher through the mall with his senses, finding him at the top of an escalator. He warns Castle that he’s only wasting time, but Punisher jumps and knocks Logan out with a bat, saying “Gee, and here I thought I was ambushing you…”

Punisher ties a rope around Logan’s neck, and the other end to his motorcycle. Punisher drags Logan through the mall, asking “What’s it this week? Honorable samurai? Ex-government spook? Flake running around in yellow tights? Or how about my favourite – the one you like to pretend doesn’t exist – Mass murderer.”

Punisher turns around, and sees that Wolverine has cut himself free. Punisher asks if Logan wants to play chicken, and charges his cycle forward to where Logan is waiting. Logan dives out of the way at the right time, slashing the tires and sending Punisher through another window, this time a clothing store. Wolverine claims that everyone he ever killed had it coming, but looks at the bike, and Punisher is gone. Castle sneaks up behind with a razor wire, using it to cut Logan’s throat. Punisher tells him that it is a load of bull to say that no innocents ever got caught in one of his world-famous berserker rages. To say that Logan is a hero means that he should prove it and kill himself. Wolverine spins and knocks out Punisher with a headbutt, and then trips him through yet another window. Wolverine explains his actions.

“Gonna make this clear enough so even someone as stupid as you can understand… World ain’t black and white, Castle – there are no easy answers. Delacavva? Time t’wake up an’ smell the napalm, idiot. No matter what ya do… no matter how many of them you ‘punish’ – In some way, shape or form – there’s always gonna be a mob. Smart man knows it’s better sometimes t’ deal with the devil ya know… the devil ya can deal with. Smart man also knows what’s gonna happen if he gets into my business again… Huh? What fell outta your bag…?”

Punisher starts at Logan’s last sentence. Wolverine checks the bag, finding a magazine of homosexual pornography. Wolverine laughs and tells Punisher “You were makin’ fun a’ me fer wearin’ yellow tights? Hmm… makes sense, now that I think about it… You’re single, neat, very organized…” Punisher replies with a choked “…suspects… always looking for suspects…” Wolverine throws the magazine on the barely conscious Punisher and walks away.

“Uh-huh… you keep tellin’ yerself that, sport.”

“See ya around, Frankie.”

Characters Involved: 

Wolverine / Logan
The Punisher / Frank Castle

Story Notes: 

This issue is rated PG for Parental Guidance.

This issue is continued from Wolverine (2nd series) #185.

This issue, or more aptly, the final 2 pages, is Frank Tieri’s response to Punisher (6th series) #16-17. Wolverine is turned into a walking cliché in Garth Ennis’ series, and so Tieri responds by insinuating that Frank Castle is gay.
The content contained within this issue and the few that preceded and followed it until #190 led to the reboot of Wolverine in a 3rd series in August of 2003, as sales were plummeting from the lack of relevant material.

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