Wolverine / Punisher #5

Issue Date: 
September 2004
Story Title: 
It’s a Jungle Out There

Peter Milligan (writer), Lee Weeks (pencils), Clayton Crain (cover), 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: 

Surrounded by the Council of Erewhon, Punisher and Wolverine fight their way through hordes of men only to be beaten down. The wake up in a cage, and ordered by Napoleon to fight each other to the death, but they refuse, and Punisher kills Napoleon. They remain chained to a post in Erewhon for some time, before Books frees them and tells them to leave quickly. They do leave, and Punisher explains that as soon as possible, he is going back to kill them all. Wolverine says that Punisher will be on his own from now on.

Full Summary: 


The Atheist remains tied up in the jungle, in serious pain for the contortion being stressed upon his body from the way Logan tied the vines around him. The Atheist remarks to himself that he has to believe that he can get out, or he will die.

Erewhon, Council chamber:

Wolverine explains to the Council, led by Hitler’s son Gottlieb and Napoleon, that if they let the two of them go, the revolting townsfolk will chase them, taking the riots off their hands. He says that they’ll at least chase Frank, anyway. Punisher tells Wolverine that he isn’t running, and he isn’t going to beg for his life. Wolverine says that Frank can stay and fight the townsfolk, since he’s been looking for a “last stand” ever since they met. Napoleon comments to Gottlieb that the mutant might have a point – the townsfolk are going to be coming down their necks any moment.

Logan whispers to Punisher that they should rush them on three. Frank replies that he doesn’t have a freakish healing factor to back him up. He says that he has a better idea: keep them talking. Castle asks Napoleon how he got that nickname. Napoleon tells Gottlieb to shoot them. Castle asks if it is because he is a midget who likes unwashed women. Napoleon walks up to Punisher, glaring at him, and says that he got the name for his brilliant tactical skill. Punisher grabs Napoleon’s arm, and twists his neck. He tells the councilmen to drop their weapons, or he will snap Napoleon’s neck. Gottlieb tells him to go ahead and break his neck – Napoleon is of no more use. Frank grimaces, and asks if this is how they treat their friends, what do they do to their enemies?

The townsfolk break into the council chambers. Gottleib says that the founding father, the mummified corpse of Hitler, must be saved – and orders the untermenschen - the subhumans - to pick him up. Punisher tells Gottlieb to pick him up. Wolverine says that all of Punisher’s talking has just made things worse. Punisher explains that talking didn’t get them there – not talking enough got them there. Wolverine says that he would answer that, if he knew what the hell it meant. The townsfolk enter the room with Gottlieb and the two heroes. Gottlieb tells the townsfolk to return to their homes on the surface, and they will give them the Punisher and the mutant. One of the villagers throws a rock at Gottlieb, and a firebomb at Hitler, chanting “death to the old regime!”

Punisher takes a rock in the mouth, and thinks his jaw might be broken. He lists his maladies, and Logan stares at him. The y plunge into the crowd, looking to fight as hard as they can. Wolverine tells Frank that if he’d just let him have Harvey Long, they’d be back in the States by now. Punisher asks: “Harvey who?” Wolverine says that was the escaped con who ran into the jungle before they got to Erewhon. Punisher asks if he’s dead. Logan slashes down a few more townsfolk, and says that he didn’t see a death certificate, but he’s pretty sure the guy’s dead.

Away from the fight, Gotlieb sees the ignited corpse of his father, and cries out, rushing into the flames to die with his father (who is already dead). Napoleon stares at him, and calls him a “typical German.” Logan and Castle continue to fight, but they are running out of energy fast, and are soon beaten down by the mob.


The Atheist tells himself that he needs to believe that he can dislocate his own shoulder to get out of the vines. He pops his shoulder, realizing that he is afraid of death, and falls to the ground. He screams in pain, thinking that his shoulder hurts more than he expected it to.


Napoleon, wearing a historical French uniform, tells Wolverine that the townsfolk wanted to kill the both of them right away, but Napoleon managed to convince them that their present situation is more entertaining. Punisher and Wolverine wake up in a steel cage, chained to a post. Castle asks why Napoleon was spared by the town. He replies that they thought he was a good leader. Both men get up against the post, claiming that they feel heavy. Napoleon tells them that this is because of the tranquilizers they were given, making them too uneasy to escape - but still quite able to fight each other.
Napoleon hurls a knife at Punisher’s feet, telling him that he wants the fight’s odds to be even. Castle asks why they would fight each other now. Napoleon says that whoever kills the other gets to walk away freely. If they don’t fight, they kill Punisher on the spot, and drug and cage Wolverine, keeping him as a pet. Napoleon says that he isn’t asking them to do anything they wouldn’t do anyway – after all, Wolverine thinks that Punisher is a brainless hothead, and Castle considers the mutant to be little more than a limp-wristed liberal.
The two glare at each other for a moment. Punisher tells Logan not to give him that look, after all the talk of bringing Harvey Long back to justice. Wolverine asks if Frank even remembers the word ‘justice.’ Without it, they might as well all live in the jungle. Castle apologizes to Wolverine, and grabs the knife, saying that he has to do this. Wolverine stares in surprise as Punisher hurls the knife, barely missing Wolverine’s head, and hitting Napoleon between the eyes. Punisher said he definitely had to do it.

Later that evening, the two men are still tied together, and Punisher asks if Wolverine will get on his case and tell him that Napoleon could have had a fair trial. Wolverine replies that Napoleon really had it coming to him. A single man walks toward them, asking for them to stay quiet. It is Books, the accountant. Books unlocks the chains, and tells them the world would be a better place if they all helped their brothers in need. Punisher asks who Books is, and why he is in Erewhon if Punisher didn’t scare him there. Books says that he just likes it there. He tells Logan and Frank to get going, before the town wakes up with a hangover and looks for something to kill. Books hands them a bag full of weapons.


Wolverine and Punisher leave the area, wondering where the Atheist could have gone. Wolverine says that it is one less bad guy to kill. Punisher says that they will catch their breath, and return to Erewhon to finish business. Wolverine says that they can rot in their hellhole. He tells Frank that he can’t kill every bad guy on the planet. Frrank just stares at him. Wolverine asks him, if he manages to kill every single bad guy on the planet, what then? Is it going to make him feel whole? Punisher stares at him. Frank asks about the girl Logan ran off with earlier. Logan insists that she could have been as big and ugly as the Punisher, and he’d still have tried to help. Punisher asks Logan if he wants revenge. Logan just stares at him. Punisher asks about the little guy that freed them, who will protect him? Logan says that Books can take care of himself.

They continue their walk out of the jungle, and Wolverine says that they had best forget about the poor citizens of Erewhon. Punisher says that as soon as he gets enough hardware, he’s going back to finish them all off. Wolverine says that if he does that, he’ll be on his own. Punisher says that is fine by him.

Characters Involved: 




Gerald O’Higgins “the Atheist”

Van Daemon “the Demon”

Waverly Jones “Books”


Adolf Hitler “The Father”

Story Notes: 


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