As awesome a character as Frank Castle/The Punisher is, he’s always had a problem with developing a rogues gallery to equal other Marvel superheroes. This is because he’s not exactly inclined to cart them off to the cops once he’s caught them. If he’s in a good mood, they’ll just get their brains blown over a wall. But if he’s really mad, he might feed them to a shark, suffocate them with a fat dude, smash them into bulletproof glass or simply nuke ’em.
Now, as seen in this week’s The Punisher #1 by Matthew Rosenberg, Szymon Kudranski, Antonio Fabela and Corey Petit, we find him waging war on the Marvel Universe while on the hunt for Baron Zemo, Hydra’s Supreme Leader. Standing in his way is the Mandarin, who’s been sent to the UN to speak on behalf of Hydra.
The Mandarin hasn’t been seen in the comics since Ezekiel Stane apparently killed him back in 2012 in the pages of Invincible Iron Man, but he’s all better now. Sadly for him, however, his resurrection isn’t a particularly lengthy one. After the Punisher raids Hydra, he attacks the United Nations while Mandarin makes his speech, firing a special bullet at him. The Mandarin tries to use his ten rings to slow down or redirect the bullet, but it doesn’t work.
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Arrivederci, Mandarin. Such a high profile execution is going to attract attention from other Marvel heroes, so expect the next issues to be dealing with the fallout from Castle’s latest gruesome rampage.
That being said, the Mandarin’s probably a good choice for this kind of dramatic death. After all, it’s hard to get past the character’s objectively racist origins as the embodiment of the post-war ‘yellow peril’ – though Iron Man 3 managed it beautifully with a hilarious performance from Ben Kingsley. I just hope this particular killing spree goes interrupted for a while, as there’s nothing I like more than watching The Punisher go completely bananas on villains who’re more used to being webbed to lampposts than fired upon with high calibre weaponry.