Wolverine / Punisher #3

Issue Date: 
July 2004
Story Title: 
Who are all these people, and why are they shooting at me?

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: 

A criminal accountant by the name of Waverly Jones tiptoes around the Punisher’s bedside, looking to take his guns away. However, Castle wakes up on a reflex, and pulls a gun on the man. The man says that Castle shouldn’t kill him because he’ll need all the bullets he can get. Castle looks out the window, and the mob opens fire on him. Punisher calls for Logan, but Wolverine is nowhere to be found. Wolverine brings Victoria through the jungle to get her to safety, but the Atheist returns, and uses her as a hostage to entrap Wolverine. Before Logan can respond, 5 men empty their guns into him. Logan falls to the ground, his body slowly repairing itself. The Atheist shoots Victoria, as she has disobeyed the rules of Erewhon. After the group nets Wolverine, he slashes his way out and kills the Atheist’s men. However, the Irish warrior pulls out a custom-made shillelagh, and pummels Wolverine to the ground. Meanwhile, Punisher is trapped under a fallen pillar, with the entire mob of Erewhon bearing down on him. Van Daemon announces that he will end the Punisher’s life, as well as the life of his own demons. Logan and Punisher are both trapped in their respective situations, and each with a gun to their head.

Full Summary: 

Erewhon, hotel room:

In the Erewhon hotel, a black American accountant by the name of Waverly Jones is creeping around where Frank Castle is sleeping. He recalls how all his life he served as an accountant to the underworld, and how he is now known as “Books.” He survives around Erewhon by making himself indispensable to the locals, and by being good at not getting noticed. He creeps over to the Punisher’s bed and reaches for the artillery, but Castle wakes up in a snap and draws a gun on Waverly, asking why he should keep him alive. Waverly quickly offers his services as an accountant. The Punisher cocks the gun. Waverly says that maybe the Punisher is finally sick of all the killing and wants to stop. Punisher responds by pulling out his Uzi. Waverly panics and says that if Punisher doesn’t need an accountant and isn’t sick of all the blood and death, he still has one good reason not to kill Waverly:
“You’re gonna need all the bullets you got, brother.”

Punisher looks out the window and immediately dives to the floor, as the entire town opens fire on the hotel room. Punisher asks Waverly who all the people are, and Wverly tells him that they obviously aren’t the Punisher fan club. Punisher swiftly knocks out Waverly with the butt of his gun. Punisher calls for Logan for backup, but he is nowhere to be found.


Wolverine and Victoria continue their escape through the jungle, as Wolverine has found it in his heart to help the girl run away. Logan stops and listens, and begins running back toward Erewhon, telling Victoria that she’s on her own from now on. Victoria asks why Logan is going back, because Punisher can take care of himself. Wolverine says it sounds like a war has broken out. Victoria explains that’s just the way the locals are – gun crazy. Logan grabs her and tells Victoria that she’s lying, and he wants the real truth. Victoria admits that it was all a trap to lure Punisher to Erewhon, and Wolverine was dumb enough to get sucked into it. Logan heads back, and Victoria cries that they will kill her if he leaves. Logan tells her that they’re killing Frank. Victoria offers Wolverine love and a future, but says that if he wants to spend his life with the Punisher, maybe that’s all he’s fit for. Logan sniffs the air, and knows that he’s been ambushed, and five men are surrounding him. Suddenly, the Atheist jumps out into a clearing and grabs Victoria, telling Logan that his lady is calling him. Before Wolverine can react, all 5 men open fire, filling Logan’s body with bullets. Logan tries to focus on his body, begging it to hold together and heal faster. The men continue firing on him until he is rendered immobile. The men quickly tie a net around him and begin to drag him away.

Meanwhile, Victoria begs the Atheist to let her get away, because she never had any problems with him. She tells him she always had a soft spot for him. O’Higgins says that he has a soft spot for her as well… the solar plexus. He fires a round into her chest. He tells her nice try, she almost made it convincing. Wolverine cries out to her, and suddenly draws his claws. The men standing around are surprised that Logan still has some fight in him. Logan flies through the netting quickly, and quickly guts the two men nearest him. The remaining three open fire. Logan tells himself to keep moving and ignore the pain – adrenaline speeds the healing, so he needs to keep fighting. Logan successfully slashes all 5 men to death. Without warning, though, Logan is attached from behind by O’Higgins, wielding a shillelagh. The Atheist says that it’s unfortunate he couldn’t find any blackthorn in the jungle, so he had to make do with the wood he had. The Atheist cracks Logan across the face with it repeatedly.

Erewhon, hotel:

Punisher continues his assault on the mob as one man busts through the window. Punisher is lost in thought for a moment, as he recognizes the man. Punisher screams at Waverly to talk – who are all these people? Punisher thinks for a minute, and realizes that the man in the window is “Pocketbook Bob,” a numbers man in Chicago that had a gambling syndicate. Punisher killed his men years ago, but Bob disappeared. He starts to wonder if everyone here has been running from the Punisher the whole time.


The Atheist continues his beating on Wolverine, but Logan stops him by grabbing his shillelagh. Logan asks who he is, and O’Higgins introduces himself. Victoria crawls for cover, and tells Logan that he’s an atheist – a man who believes in nothing, so basically a pathetic individual. As Logan has the Atheist on the ropes, another man pulls a rifle and calls out to the mutant.


The Punisher is still pinned by gunfire in his hotel, and suddenly, some bullets strike the ceiling and the roof comes down on him. .


Wolverine gets off the ground, and asks Victoria if he got the man with the rifle. Victoria says that he did, but the Atheist got away. Victoria slowly bleeds out, and Logan offers to go for help. Victoria says for him to stay, because she doesn’t want to do this alone. Victoria tells him that the first time she saw him, she thought that he would be the man that could take her home and get her out of this place. As she slumps over in Logan’s arms, he tells her that she wasn’t wrong.


As it appears that the Punisher is finally beaten, Van Daemon, the crooked politician turned murderer, addresses the mob and tells them to stop shooting. He says that this kind of behavior is exactly what Punisher expects – that just because they are all murderers and thieves, he thinks he’s better than all of them. Van Daemon announces that he will kill Castle like a civilized man, by walking up alone and putting a bullet in his head. As a reward for everyone letting the Demon kill Punisher, he offers to give everyone $50,000. He says that he needs to kill the Punisher, and rest his own demons.

Upstairs, Castle is trapped underneath a beam, and he has heard every word from Van Daemon. His only chance is to free his leg so he can get to his weapons. He can’t find a knife to cut through his leg. He wonders if he can chew through it, but thinks his leg might be too tough. He picks up a shard of broken glass, and prepares to saw through his own leg.


Wolverine hears the shooting come to a halt, and doesn’t believe it to be a good sign. However, he doesn’t see the trap set as he sprints through the jungle, and goes flying into the air with his leg caught in a rope, and a lasso is quickly thrown around him binding his arms. O’Higgins catches up, telling Wolverine that he always did enjoy playing the fiddle. He says that he has taken to the crossbow now, another old-fashioned tool that requires strength, skill, and a little brutality. O’Higgins says that even though Logan’s pretty tough, he probably won’t walk away from this, as he raises the crossbow to Logan’s head.


Van Daemon climbs to the Punisher’s room, and asks for Castle to pay attention as the Demon is about to shoot him between the eyes. Van Daemon tells him that the time for his epiphany has come. As Punisher has the gun to his head in the hotel, Logan remains out in the jungle, about to die at the hands of the Atheist.

Books crawls into a secret passageway beneath Erewhon, which only the members of Erewhon’s council and the loyal accountant know of. The council tells him to enter the chamber. Inside, Napoleon, Gottlieb, and all the others are standing around in lederhosen drinking, celebrating and thanking the founding Father for delivering the Punisher. Gottlieb and Napoleon push Waverly to the ground, offering him the “privilege” of being the one to kiss the Father’s ass. He crawls toward the Father, thinking that knowing when to kiss it is perhaps the most important survival tip of all.

Characters Involved: 




Victoria “the Lady”

Gerald O’Higgins “the Atheist”

Van Daemon “the Demon”

Waverly Jones “Books”


Story Notes: 


Issue Information: 

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