Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Damaging Evidence - Part Three
Credits: Carl Potts (writer), Gary Erskine (artist), Garrahy/Javins/Matthys (colors), Richard Starkings w/John Gaushell (letters)

Summary: After their fight, the Sniper assumes Damage and Wolverine have killed each other. Soon, Sniper stakes out the funeral of one of the people allegedly murdered by the Punisher, correctly assuming the Punisher will also be there. Sniper picks off several of the mourners before he’s stopped by the Punisher. Following Sniper’s final words, Punisher travels to the chemical plant where Damage fought Wolverine. He helps Wolverine recover and they both promise to help the other if one goes over the edge. Later, Kingpin hires Donald Pierce to rebuild Damage.

Approved By The Comics Code Authority: Wolverine refers to Damage as a “bastard.” And this is before Damage drives a giant blade through his chest. Later, several heads explode during Sniper’s killing spree at the funeral.

Review: So, the Kingpin is taught humility, the Sniper dies (again), Wolverine is rescued, and in a tacked-on monologue on the final page, the Punisher questions if he’s done any good, then reminds himself once again to stop thinking so much. It’s perfectly okay, even if it reads like the standard ending of a Punisher War Journal arc, instead of a story so important it just had to be a miniseries. If this was drawn by one of PWJ’s better artists, I imagine the storyline would’ve had more impact. Instead, Gary Erskine’s awkward poses, ugly faces, and static storytelling drag a lot of the material down. I can’t imagine Jim Lee, or later artists like Ron Wagner, creating such a dull Wolverine vs. Cyborg Punisher fight. Sniper’s murder spree at the funeral is effectively conveyed, though. This scene is absolutely gruesome, reminding me of just how far Potts took the Punisher even back in the Code days. The rest of the comic just reads as an average Punisher story with a gratuitous Wolverine cameo, and the art’s not strong enough to sell the action. If you’re looking for more Carl Potts Punisher stories, it’s worth tracking down, but I imagine most people would be better off with a collection of the Carl Potts/Jim Lee run on Punisher War Journal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I bought this series back in the day as a Wolverine fan who was excited to see him fight the Punisher. I was disappointed that they didn't even really meet until the end. On the plus side, it succeeded in making me a gigantic Punisher fan.

In reading back Carl Potts' run I can't say that he was a Punisher great writer. Sure, it's fondly remembered because of Jim Lee's art but it's hardly Chuck Dixon, Steven Grant or Abbott and Lanning. He really emphasized all sorts of gadgets like Castle is the Bond of the Marvel universe while most people prefer the more grounded approach. When he wrote the anticipated first meeting between Punisher and Wolverine he complicated the whole thing with a story of African poachers and dinosaurs. It was maddening to see them fight in just 4 pages over two issues at the time.

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