Thursday, March 10, 2011

Best of "What If...?": #10

One-Shot (1995)
Punisher kills the Marvel Universe

CoverWritten by Garth Ennis
Drawn by Dougie Braithwaite

Somehow, traditional military conflict persists in a world filled with superheroes. The Vietnam War claimed the lives of 60,000 American soldiers, all while our nation’s spandexed saviors continued to battle familiar villains. Ordinary men like Marine Captain Frank Castle were the ones who risked all in that Hell overseas.

Finally home again in the States, Frank seeks little more than to raise his young children with his loving wife. But domestic work for the military lands Frank and his family in New York City, where hardly a month goes by without an alien invasion. Today, Frank’s wife and kids are at Central Park; and suddenly, so are the Brood.

The X-Men and the Avengers have just concluded their explosive battle with this menace from outer space when Frank arrives on scene. Amidst the devastation, Frank finds his entire family dead, his entire life over. When Cyclops, the X-Men’s level-headed leader, musters his best apology, Frank shoots him in the face.

Frank receives a life sentence for this crime, but his transport never makes it to prison. Instead, it brings him to the Adirondack estate of an old man whom he has never met. This stranger, missing an eye and an arm, introduces Frank to several other cripples. Like Frank, these ordinary people had their lives devastated by the carelessness of those with extraordinary powers; unlike Frank, these victims are wealthy enough to finance a war against the entire superhuman community…

“We want you to kill them all.”

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