I get a lot of Badass of the Week e-mail requests for comic book characters and various sundry superheroes ranging from insane Japanese Manga monkey-robot warlords with lasers for arms to obscure X-Mutants with the power to read the minds of small children, produce an electromagnetic field by farting, or do something else that's equally as useless in day-to-day life. While this is all well and good, I feel like I need to put forth my vision of what constitutes a real badass superhero. Now I know I'm an old geezer who's been out of the comic book scene for a while, but when I was growing up I remember thinking that the fucking Punisher was the baddest motherfucker on the planet.
First off, the guy holds his own against all sorts of organized crime and powerful mutant villains and isn't even a real superhero - he's just some dude with enough guns to single-handedly outfit a revolution in a third-world country who has spent the better part of his lifetime cultivating a sense of revenge the likes of which makes the Count of Monte Cristo look like an inflatable inner-tube shaped like a purple bunny sailing down the River of Eternal Happiness. He's got a chip on his shoulder the size of a small ocean liner, and he's one of the only heroes out there with the ballsack to shoot first, snap necks, punch peoples' faces into their brains, and leave the question-asking to the fucking reporters.
You see, the Punisher was just your regular run-of-the-mill average-joe Vietnam-vet ex-special forces hardcore Marine Recon Force motherfucker named Frank Castle (which is a badass name by the way), when all of a sudden one day the goddamn mob did what they do best - they had Castle, his wife, and his kids gunned down at point-blank range to keep them from testifying about a murder they'd witnessed. Bastards. Well Castle isn't the sort of dude who just sits there and dies from multiple gunshot wounds when he should be out living for revenge, so as soon as he recovers (through sheer force of will alone of course) he goes to the cops to report what happened. Well you know the fucking cops are in the mob's back pocket, so they just smile and nod and take notes on their invisible typewriters. Realizing he's getting blown off like a one-night-stand, Castle decides to take shit into his own hands (since he obviously doesn't really have a whole lot else going on). He gets a leather trenchcoat, a bullet-proof black suit with a badass fucking skull embroidered on it, puts together an arsenal that makes Fatah al-Islam look like the Parent-Teacher Association and declares a one-man war on crime. And I'm not talking just the Italian Mafia here either folks - he fucking goes after everyone from the Triads and the Yakuza to the fucking group of pre-teen bullies on the playground behind the Elementary School who beat kids up for their lunch money. Nobody is safe from the Punisher's unique brand of balls-out "throw you face-first through a plate glass window and then shoot you in the neck with a sawed-off shotgun" style of justice.
The Punisher doesn't mind bringing
a rocket launcher to a knife fight.
Vigilante Justice on it's own is a totally fucking sweet concept, but living for revenge is just as awesome. And the Punisher does not fuck around when it comes to living for revenge. He puts his extensive military experience and impressive physical skills to the test, toting everything from a KA-BAR combat knife to an M-16 to a refrigerator full of C4 on his crime-busting rampage, and unlike a lot of the other pussier superheroes out there he's not afraid to use them. Often. In fact, he's such a danger to anyone dumbshit enough to cross him that a lot of times he's actually got to be restrained by OTHER SUPERHEROES. Like that pussy Daredevil is always out there saying lame shit such as, "dude lighten up on this douchebag criminal who would just as soon jab a shard of broken glass in your eye as look at you!". Luckily, the Punisher frowns, gives him the finger, tells him to go fuck himself, and then bashes his stupid head into a concrete wall. His destructive tendencies have also made him known among police organizations as a dangerous and notorious criminal, despite the fact that he's kicking the asses of a bunch of scumbags who more than likely deserve it. I guess the five-oh is just pissed that he's getting all the good kills while they're out on their fifth Dunkin' Donuts run of the day.
Punisher doesn't give a fuck though. When shit gets too hot in New York he just loads up his Death Van with about ten tons worth of automatic weapons and drives his ass to South America to fuck up some Columbian Drug Cartel's shit or something. When he starts to get low on money (burning about two billion dollars a day in ammunition will do that to a man), he just kills a fucking mob boss or a money launderer or something and robs their corpse. That's fucking hardcore, using the bastards' own money against them.
I should mention that I have no idea what the Punisher is up to these days, as I really haven't read a comic book since like 1994 and he could be a total pussy metrosexual now or something, but for my money it doesn't get any better than a regular guy who's built like a Linebacker and who has a shitload of guns, an unkillable desire to live for revenge, and nothing to lose. The Punisher is an unstoppable reckless badass who goes out into a world of supervillains with ridiculous powers and teaches them that you don't need to be exposed to vast amounts of radioactive slime to bust criminals' heads - a rifle butt works just fine.
He's also probably got the least-flamboyant
superhero outfit ever.
Hooray for Wikipedia