Wolverine / Punisher #2

Issue Date: 
June 2004
Story Title: 
The Lady, the Atheist, and the Demon

Peter Milligan (writer), Lee Weeks (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Dean White (colorist), Randy Gentile (letters), John Miesegaes (asst. Editor), Axel Alonso (editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief), Dan Buckley (publisher).

Brief Description: 

Wolverine attempts to subdue Harvey Long in the jungle, but is prevented by the Punisher. Logan and Castle fight in the jungle as Harvey makes his escape, prompting the two to stop fighting and track him down. Punisher wants to kill Harvey, but Logan wants him brought back to America to testify against his employers first. In Erewhon, Napoleon and his gangsters plot to kill Castle, and to keep Logan restrained. As Napoleon and Gottlieb try to decide who has the right to kill the Punisher, The Lady runs away with Logan. Gottlieb brings an offering to the Father, which is the head of Harvey Long.

Full Summary: 

Wolverine grabs the escaping Harvey Long, and draws his claws. As he attempts to drag Harvey back out of the jungle, the Punisher shows himself and says that he is going to kill Harvey right here. Wolverine disagrees, and as Punisher tries to shoot Long, Logan throws himself in front of the bullet. Punisher congratulates Logan on taking a bullet.

Logan gets up and draws his claws, ready for a fight. Punisher explains that Harvey killed ten men and two women, and now he is going to die. Logan slices through Castle’s assault rifle, and tells Punisher that he will have to go through him first. Punisher tells Logan “Whatever,” and draws another weapon and shoots Wolverine in the chest again. Punisher turns to shoot Harvey, but Logan again knocks the gun out of Castle’s hand. Harvey screams and starts to run. Punisher turns and kicks Logan away, and cries that Wolverine isn’t your typical bleeding-heart liberal. Logan dives at Frank with his claws, and Castle draws a knife to fight with. Punisher explains that it is crazy to keep killing each other while the scum gets away. The men sheath their blades, and relax while Logan catches Harvey’s scent. He explains that in the middle of the jungle, Harvey has nowhere to run.

Harvey Long runs screaming into the village, crying that Wolverine and the Punisher are coming. Napoleon, Victoria, and Gottlieb are sitting at a bar table, congratulating Harvey on a job well done. Napoleon tells Victoria to get Harvey a beer, and Victoria asks what kind Harvey wants.

Punisher follows Wolverine as Logan tracks the scent of Harvey Long. Logan explains that he can smell the exhaustion, fear, and hope radiating from him. Punisher asks about the smell of hope, and Logan says it’s hard to explain. Punisher insists that Long is a lowlife and a cold-blooded killer. Logan says he knows, and as they come to a clearing, they see Erewhon.

As they walk into town, Victoria and the criminal gang plan their move. Napoleon says that Wolverine has the incredible ability to heal itself, and therefore he will become a “dancing bear” for their amusement. He asks Victoria what she thinks of him, and she replies that it doesn’t matter what she thinks, she’s just a lady.

Outside, Punisher asks why Logan is protecting Long. Wolverine says that Harvey can die a thousand painful deaths for all he cares, but not until he testifies against the people he worked for. Punisher quips that he’s seen everything, now that there’s a mutant with faith in the legal system. They split up, and Logan heads into the bar where Victoria is waiting.

In the shadows outside, two criminals argue, as one is about to try to kill Punisher with a knife. As he makes his advance, he steps on a twig, alerting Castle to turn around and blow his head off.

Victoria hears the gunshot and asks if his buddy is alright, to which Logan replies that his “buddy” can take care of himself – unless he just shot Harvey Long. Logan asks if Victoria has seen Harvey, and Victoria tells Logan to see her tonight so she can tell him about it. Logan leaves, but Victoria kisses him on the cheek and asks him to come back.

Punisher walks into the bar and tells Logan about the punk that tried to jump him. Logan says that he is tired, and asks if Frank will just relax and go to bed and worry about Harvey Long tomorrow. An old man hears and tells them about the inn, with reasonable rates. Logan asks Frank: “How bad can it be?”

In another part of Erewhon, Napoleon asks O’Higgins to plead his case for why he should have the right to kill the Punisher. O’Higgins tells the story of how twenty years ago, he was the most feared freedom fighter in Northern Ireland. He made money for the cause by doing hits for mob bosses in America, and lived like a monk: incorruptible by drugs, money, or women – but he believed in his cause. His belief is what made him invincible, but one day he asked himself “Why?” He didn’t understand anymore why people did anything, why he killed, why he ate, slept, or did anything. He then stopped believing. For ten years, he stopped believing, until the Punisher forced him to escape society into Erewhon. He says that “If I kill the Punisher, an Atheist might start to believe again…”

A man across the room says that the story does not compare to his own. O’Higgins attacks the older man, asking why Van Daemon is such a monster. Van Daemon tells his story, of how he was a prominent American official, with wealth, power, and a family who loved him. One day, for no apparent reason, he went to the shed, got an axe, and hacked his family to pieces. Van Daemon explains that everyone knows this fact about him. His political connections saved him from prison, and there was even talk of him running for the Senate again. But the Punisher followed him. Van Daemon explains that if he kills the Punisher, the man he hates most in the world, he just might finally understand why he killed the ones he loved the most in the world. O’Higgins asks who will get to kill the Punisher. Napoleon says that they still have to consult the Father, and that there is another, a woman to be heard.

Outside, Victoria and Wolverine are walking down the street, Victoria begs him to help her escape, but Logan says he can’t. Victoria says that Harvey Long is dead.

Gottlieb and O’Higgins watch as Wolverine and Victoria escape, and Gottlieb says that Victoria has broken the sacred laws of Erewhon, so he may do with her as he pleases. The Punisher will have to wait until the Father gives the word.

Gottlieb brings the Father a gift in his chamber, and sets it on his lap. He says that it used to belong to a petty criminal called Harvey Long, but he won’t be needing it anymore.

He removes the wrapping to reveal Harvey Long’s severed head.

Characters Involved: 


Harvey Long

Victoria “the Lady”
O’Higgins “the Atheist”
Van Daemon “the Demon”

The Father

Story Notes: 


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