On the one hand, it’s a multi-issue story so there’s time to develop some suspense here. But sadly this is a pretty cliched story. Punisher kills a guy, a cop catches Pun, but then Pun convinces the cop to let him go and take credit for the kill. The cop gets a rep, gets famous, gets targeted by criminals who kill his family, then gets revenge. Along the way, he gets a hockey-mask costume and adopts the name “Payback.”
Payback’s conversion from cop to vigilante is part of a minor trend in these Punisher books. I think Marvel probably could have done something with this–sort of exploring how a vigilante successfully killing criminals can change the minds of police, and maybe even empower the worst of them to do horrible things. It’s touched on in this and a few other stories, but there’s potential there for some really good, morally complex storytelling.
But Marvel didn’t really roll that way in the ’90s. Few comic books did.
That’s basically it. Oh, except that Micro offers Punisher lunch.
Issue #50 is a big celebration that doesn’t fit with this arc, but it’s just another one-and-done.
Nothing really special about it, so I’m including the issue in this collective post.