Wolverine and the Punisher: Damaging Evidence #3

Issue Date: 
December 1993
Story Title: 
Damaging Evidence, part 3

Carl Potts (writer), Gary Erskine (artist), Marie Javins, Garray & Matthys (colorists), Richard Starkings with John Gaushell (letterers), Greg Wright & Rob Tokar (editors), Tom DeFaclo (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

At the toxic chemical disposal plant, Wolverine battles Damage, the Punisher doppelganger. Wolverine manages to get some good punches in, eventually skewering him, pulling wires and cables out of the cyborg’s chest. The battle rages, until both of them fall into a vat of toxic waste, and remain motionless. Sniper observes this, and believing that with Damage out of the picture, he is free to take the Punisher out himself. He goes to the funeral of some innocents who were reportedly killed by Punisher - in fact by Damage - and unleashes fire on the mourners. The Punisher is also at the funeral and does what he can to help the mourners to safety. He locates Sniper and shoots him out of the tree. They argue, and when Sniper takes a hostage, Punisher leaps into action to rescue her, stabbing Sniper, who falls into an open grave. Sniper then tells Punisher that he didn’t kill the innocent people, and suggests he check out the chemical dump. Sniper is cryptic when the Punisher asks him who has been doing this. But, he goes to the chemical dump and finds Wolverine. He helps him out of the toxic waste, and Wolverine shows Damage to the Punisher. Damage is still alive, but Punisher kicks him into the toxic waste and sets it on fire. He helps Wolverine out, and they leave. The Arranger reports to the Kingpin on the status of events, and Kingpin realizes that he still owes Donald Pierce money for the cyborg technology. He sends Pierce more money than originally planned, along with Damage’s recovered head, and instructs Peirce to rebuild Damage. Peirce is shocked to learn that Wolverine was partly responsible for Damage’s destruction.

Full Summary: 

‘I got built-in infrared vision on call, Wolverine. Your heat gives away your position. Time to DIE, mutant’ the cyborg called Damage, wearing the Punisher’s costume, calls out as he walks through flames to get to Wolverine a.k.a. Logan - and he unleashes a barrage of bullets towards the mutant hero, striking him in the arms and shoulders. ‘Let’s see just how tough you are, runt!’ Damage retorts as Logan falls over. ‘Ditto’ Logan snarls as he looks up at Damage who moves in closer, then Logan sinks all six of his adamantium claws into Damage’s body. ‘Very little in there that’s flesh and blood, little man… but I am full of “juice”!’ Damage exclaims as he points out that Wolverines’ claws make perfect electrical conductors, and an instant later, electrical charges course through Logan’s body. Wolverine cries out in pain, but holds his ground.

‘Get off me!’ Damage shouts before shoving his knee into Logan’s face as he tries to push Logan away from him. ‘Overdone piece…of #$%&’ Damage declares as he continues to push Logan away. ‘GET OFF!’ he booms, before Logan reaches up and slashes his claws across Damage’s chest, tearing out a large number of cables and wires. While Damage tries to hold his innards together, Logan gets a chance to crawl away. ‘Now that hurt’ Damage mutters. However, someone else is watching the battle through a target, and sees Damage get to his feet. ‘#$%&!’ Sniper utters, holding his gun ready, he knows that one slug in what is left of Damage’s brain might do the trick at this point, but realizes that Kingpin would know about it.

Logan takes cover and finds a weapon. He knows that his wounds are going to take more than a few hours to mend, but the lunatic can’t get away. The weapon is a grenade launcher which fell out of Damage when Logan gutted him. Still holding his innards together, Damage wonders how he is going to kill the Punisher like this. Suddenly, as the fire spreads around him, Damage sees Logan appear before him. ‘What? What are you made of, runt?’ Damage calls out. ‘Heavy metal, bub’ Logan replies as he shoves the grenade launcher back into Damage’s stomach, telling him that he wants to return something to him. ‘Oh’ Damage utters when he sees the grenade launcher sticking out of him, and an instant later, it launches a grenade, sending Damage sprawling backwards. ‘Bastard almost took me… with him… have to rest…’ Logan utters as he drops to the ground.

‘Have to…’ Logan begins, but looks up, and sees Damage standing over him, ‘Now I’m really ticked!’ Damage calls out. ‘…fight some more…’ Logan mutters, getting to his feet, he shoves his claws into Damage’s stomach, despite the fact that he Logan is low on energy. ‘You won’t take another…’ Damage begins as a cyborg hand reaches out and grabs Wolverine around his neck. ‘…breath?’ Damage utters, as Logan knows that there is only one way to make sure Damage doesn’t get away - ‘Take him with me’ he tells himself as they continue to battle in the toxic chemical warehouse. Logan forces Damage down towards a vat of chemicals, ‘I’m stuck!’ Damage calls out as he cannot break free from Logan.

Wolverine pushes Damage’s head into the vat of chemicals, and the cyborg struggles for breath. Logan holds his opponent under, despite Damage thrashing about to break free. One of Damage’s arms is stuck through Logan’s body, but Logan maintains control, and eventually, Damage stops moving - but so does Logan. Sniper continues to watch them, ‘Beautiful! Just beautiful!’ he thinks to himself, before deciding that he has to find Frank.

Shortly, at a cemetery, ‘I knew he’d be here’ Sniper thinks to himself as he watches Frank Castle a.k.a. the Punisher standing away from a funeral that is taking place in the cemetery. ‘Had to come to the services for the crack house raid victims - even if part of him believes he didn’t kill them…’ Sniper thinks to himself, deciding that the Punisher is so predictable, that he has such a soft spot of “innocent” victims, especially the kids. Sniper is perched in a nearby tree and has a good view of the cemetery. He decides that here is a perfect opportunity to drive the Punisher even more nuts before he ends his torment. Suddenly, the priest at the funeral is shot in the head and falls backwards. ‘God Almighty!’ a woman calls out as the mourners start to panic and run around. ‘Get down!’ the Punisher orders as he goes over to them and pulls out a weapon.

‘It’s him! The one who killed my sister! He’s going to kill us all!’ one of the mourners calls out. ‘Down, I said! There’s an assassin loose!’ the Punisher declares as another person is shot in the head. Several mourners take shelter behind gravestones, ‘Oh’ the man who accused the Punisher mutters, before being shot in the head. ‘where the #$%& is he?’ the Punisher calls out as he looks around, unable to locate the assassin. He sees another man shot in the back of the head, ‘No more!’ the Punisher shouts. ‘No more’ he thinks to himself as he sees a boy cowering behind one of the gravestones. ‘NO MORE!’ the Punisher roars, trying to get the assassin’s attention. ‘This is the best! First I’ll nail the brat, then Mr Castle joins his family’ Sniper grins, before firing a bullet, which narrowly misses Punisher and the boy.

‘Get on the other side and stay down! MOVE!’ Punisher instructs the boy, who replies that he can’t move. He screams as another bullet is fired and lodges into a gravestone. ‘Come here…I’ll shield you’ the Punisher calls out to the boy, helping him. The Punisher turns around and fires several quick shots in the direction the last bullet came from, and one of them strikes the Sniper, who falls from the tree, dropping his weapon which breaks as he hits the ground. ’No more fooling around’ Sniper thinks to himself. Punisher tells himself that there is only one man he knows who can shoot like that - but he is dead - or will be again. Punisher opens fire once more, but realizes that he almost shot a mourner. He stops reacting, and tells himself that he has to think.

‘Yo, Frankie!’ the Sniper calls out as he holds a gun to a woman’s face. ‘It is him’ the Punisher tells himself. ‘It’s been him all along - shooting bystanders at the crack house raids’ the Punisher realizes. The move closer together, ‘You’ve been trailing me - killing bystanders after the drug raids’ the Punisher remarks. ‘Got news for you, Lieutenant. I may be a deceptive son of a *!@*! but I’ve never lied outright to you. You know that’ Sniper replies, assuring the Punisher that he didn’t off those folks at the crack house, that it was someone else, someone he knows. ‘Someone we both know!’ he adds, suggesting to the Punisher that he take a look in a mirror. The Punisher wonders if it is true, ‘Was it me after all? Blackouts where I’m out of control?’ he wonders.

‘He must be lying… but I know he’s not. Though he is being devious’ the Punisher thinks to himself, while Sniper calls out ‘Before I do you, I’m going to kill either that kid or this woman. You get to pick. Resist and I kill you all’ Sniper grins wickedly, while the woman he holds has started crying. The boy hides behind a gravestone, while Sniper asks ‘Who’ll be the first to die, Frankie?’ The Punisher knows that Sniper gets his thrills from confrontation and killing, and shouts ‘You!’ as he moves quickly into a dive, then a roll, and holds out a knife, deciding that it is as confrontational as it gets. ‘What do I get?’ Frank asks himself as he shoves the knife into Sniper’s side. ‘A bit of vindication, a slice of vengeance…or perhaps to pay the ultimate price for my sins - my failures’ he decides. The woman screams and starts to run away, while Sniper smiles, ‘No way’ he utters, before falling backwards into an open grave.

Another woman goes over to the boy, while Punisher stands at the edge of the grave, as Sniper tells him ‘Good work, Frank…but I get the…last laugh…you know I didn’t kill those people at…the crack houses’. Sniper points out that there are plenty of others out there for the Punisher’s hide. He coughs, while revealing that a buddy of the Punisher’s just brought it trying to stop them. ‘Find his body… the chemical dump… next to your last bust’ Sniper informs Punisher as he continues to cough and grow weak. ‘Micro? He’s the only friend Sniper would know of’ Frank thinks to himself, before dropping down into the grave, ‘WHO?’ he demands. ‘Who’d you kill? Who else is after me?’ Punisher asks. ‘Look…in the mirror…’ is all Sniper utters. ‘ARRRGH!’ a frustrated Punisher shouts, before climbing out of the grave, ‘Another showdown between the top guns. Did the good guy win?’ he asks himself. ‘I pray so’ he adds, before the boy walks over to the Punisher and thanks him. ‘That was worth a lot’ Frank thinks to himself as he touches the boy’s head.

A hectic drive later, the Punisher arrives at the chemical warehouse, ‘Not Micro. Wolverine’ he tells himself as he sees Logan’s body in the vat of chemicals. Suddenly, Logan stirs, and tries to break out of the vat. ‘Here’ the Punisher calls out, pulling Logan from the chemicals. ‘The real one, eh?’ Logan remarks as he pulls up Damage’s body. ‘Huh?’ the Punisher replies, confused. ‘Give me a hand getting off the hook?’ Logan asks, his chest still with Damage’s arm stuck through it. ‘Better leverage if you do it. It’ll be neater’ Logan explains. ‘This is going to hurt you a lot more than it’s going to hurt me’ the Punisher points out, before pulling Logan away from Damage. ‘ARGH!’ Logan screams, but, free from Damage, he thanks the Punisher. Logan pulls out a cigarette, and Punisher lights it for him. ‘Look at his face’ Logan tells Frank.

Logan sits down, and the Punisher gives him his trench coat. ‘Like looking in a mirror, eh?’ Logan remarks. ‘Yeah. A mirror. Any idea who he is?’ the Punisher asks, standing over Damage’s body. ‘I was hoping you would’ Logan replies. Suddenly, ‘YOU!’ Damage calls out as his eyes open and he stares up at the Punisher. ‘Kill you!’ Damage declares. ‘Jeez!’ the Punisher calls out, before kicking Damage backwards, and throwing the lighter towards him - they both drop into the vat of chemicals. ‘YOU!’ Damage booms, before the vat explodes, with Damage inside it.

The Punisher and Wolverine walk away from the explosion, with Frank asking Logan if there is anyone who could tell them who is behind all of this. Logan replies that he knows it was someone rich enough to buy cyborg technology from the Reavers. ‘So many out to get me besides the Reavers - Doom, Kingpin, half a dozen South American drug lords…’ the Punisher remarks. Logan assures him that the next time he tangles with the Reavers, he will find out more, while adding ‘At least I found out it wasn’t you killing the civilian bystanders’. ‘The Kingpin?’ Frank wonders, before asking Logan why he traveled halfway around the world to help him. Logan replies that he can “read” folks pretty well, and points out that they have similarities - treading an unsteady line in their quest to do good. He adds that it is tough to balance instinct with intellect at times. ‘You can return the favor if it looks like I’ve ever lost sight of the line’ Logan remarks, and Frank tells him that he will.

‘It took some time to locate Damage, Sir. The implanted transmitter had been…”damaged”’ explains the Arranger to the Kingpin. ‘So it’s true. Punisher is still alive - and I’m out two top and expensive assassins’ the Kingpin remarks as he sits at table, a chessboard on it. He points out that he still has to pay Pierce off, before telling the computer that the queen’s knight takes the king’s rook. The Arranger suggests that they could send Pierce Damage’s head, as it is still recognizable as the Punisher, for the chemicals in the pit had a preserving quality. ‘No. I must be good to my word to stay in business. Deceiving Pierce would be more damaging than paying up’ Kingpin tells the Arranger, before the computer announces ‘King’s bishop takes pawn. Checkmate. I win’, and an instant later, the Kingpin hurls the table, chessboard and computer out the top-story window of his high-rise building.

And elsewhere, Donald Pierce stands over a security scanning device. ‘Scan complete. No explosives or contaminants above acceptable levels’ the scanner informs him. ‘Now let’s see what the Kingpin of crime has sent’ Pierce remarks, before opening the box, he finds a head inside - and an envelope. ‘He won!’ Pierce remarks, before opening the envelope and pulls out a check for fifty million dollars made out to the Reavers - for the purpose of “damages”. There is a note on Fisk International letterhead, which tells Pierce that the attached check is for five times their agreed price, and that he should accept it as commission to rebuild the cyborg whose remains are enclosed in chemical and cryogenic suspended animation.

‘Ah, Kingpin, thank you for your generous offer’ Pierce remarks before going over to a console and contacting the Kingpin, telling him that he accepts the offer, but points out that he didn’t give him much to work with. ‘What went wrong?’ Pierce enquires. Kingpin’s voice can be heard over the communicator, reporting that there was a wild card, and X-Man named Wolverine. ‘We had him incapacitated at one point. I now wish we had damned caution and killed the animal’, before asking Pierce how his own problem-solving is going. ‘Wolverine?’ Pierce asks nervously. There is silence, before the Kingpin calls out to Pierce - ‘Are you there?’ but he gets no response.

Some time later, the Punisher knows that the Kingpin and the Reavers are all gone, and he had little to do their demise. ‘That red clown, Daredevil, took down the fat man. All the battles in the war, and what have I accomplished?’ he asks himself. ‘Tough to tell how the world would have been different without my efforts. Tough at all’, and decides that he has to stop thinking too much, as it isn’t healthy.

Characters Involved: 




Donald Pierce





Story Notes: 

This mini series takes place prior to Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #248, despite being released in 1993.

Issue Information: 
Written By: