One Shot at Heaven
Credits: Tom Sniegoski & Christopher Golden (writers), Pat Lee (pencils), Alvin Lee (inks), Sigmund Torre (background assist), Angelo Tsang (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters)
Summary: The Punisher is injured while fighting the robots, discovering that his angelic powers seem unable to heal the hole in his chest. He carries on with Wolverine, but both fail to apprehend Revelation. After she knocks the heroes down with an energy burst, the Punisher realizes he’s sick. Meanwhile, a failsafe bomb designed by Soteira is triggered. Elsewhere, the Council of Thrones watches the events, fearful that Revelation will reach the surface.
Continuity Notes: A series of narrative captions attempts to explain how exactly Soteira built a sci-fi lab inside the Morlock Tunnels. The explanation is that the Morlocks often stole the material she needed from the surface, and that the failsafe bomb was appropriated from the Dark Beast.
Review: Assuming you’re willing to go along with the angelic Punisher makeover, there are a few decent character moments this issue. The Punisher is close to dying, his redemption mission incomplete, which means he’s damned to Hell and will never see his family again. This is motivation enough for him to kill Revelation, leaving Wolverine (who just lost his girlfriend to Revelation) to be the unlikely advocate for mercy. This is just a brief scene that doesn’t characterize the issue, but it is adequately written and I have to admit that it’s a justifiable use of the characters. Plus, a few narrative captions are thrown in to rationalize the peculiar misuse of the Morlocks in the previous issue, so...they tried, at least. The idea that the Morlocks had a secret futuristic anime lab in one corner of the sewers while their general population lived like paupers (and easy targets for a group of mercenaries) is still too absurd to buy, though, even if you’re bringing in the Dark Beast to help sell the idea. While I’m handing out backhanded praise, I’ll also point out that the art has noticeably improved this issue, even if many of the pages still look wonky.