In this series we spotlight comic book stories that are likely best left forgotten. Here is an archive of past installments.
Today, we take a look at the bizarre crossover that led to the Punisher seemingly killing Nick Fury.
In 1994, Marvel came up with a concept that would be, in and of itself, something that would qualify for “Remember to Forget,” which is to replace outgoing Editor-in-Chief Tom DeFalco with FIVE Editors-in-Chief, each one responsible for one “family” of titles. Having group editors was a fine idea, but trying to run a company with five group editors who were all technically at the same level was a foolish idea, and it did not last very long before Marvel promoted one of the five (Bob Harras, the X-Men group editor) to becoming the sole Editor-in-Chief. Mark Gruenwald was in charge of the Avengers and the Cosmic comics. Bob Harras you know already. Bob Budiansky got the Spider-titles, Carl Potts did Epic Comics and all licensed stuff and Bobbie Chase got “Marvel Edge.” What was Marvel Edge, you ask? Great question. You see, when you decide to make five “families” of titles, you have a problem when you have books that don’t really fit into any given “family.” This was why the New Warriors suddenly added Scarlet Spider to the team, so it could be under the “Spider-Man” family of titles. Marvel Edge was the catchall designation for Marvel’s grittier books. It made some sense for Daredevil, Punisher and Ghost Rider to be part of such a family of titles, but Chase was also already the editor on Incredible Hulk, so IT was added to the line, as well, even though there really wasn’t much of a connection.
To celebrate the creation of this family of titles (and, presumably, to let people know that said family even EXISTED), they did a crossover. The subject of the crossover? The Punisher deciding that he was going to kill Nick Fury.
It all starts with Double Edge Alpha (written by Larry Hama and drawn by Kerry Gammill – you might ask, why “Double Edge”? I don’t have a good answer for that) when the previous Punisher series ended and the Punisher was taken into custody by SHIELD. A shadow organization inside of SHIELD decides they want to get rid of Nick Fury and they decide to use the Punisher to do so. Doc Samson is working as his psychiatrist and they’re pumping him full of mind-altering drugs to help with his therapy. Well, the bad guy, called Spook, knows how to take advantage of this – PHOTOSHOP!
So yes, the Punisher is driven to kill by a photoshopped photo…
At least it wasn’t a cut out monster comic with a drawing of Nick Fury and a monster killing Punisher’s family!
Okay, so this leads into the “crossover,” which is just Punisher popping up in the pages of Daredevil, Ghost Rider and Hulk to be all, “I’m going to kill Nick Fury!” “No, don’t kill Nick Fury!” “Okay, on to the next title! I’m going to kill Nick Fury!” “No, don’t kill Nick Fury!”
Here, J.M. DeMatteis, Ron Wagner and Bill Reinhold try to do the best they can with the material they’ve been given…
So now, in Double Edge Omega by John Ostrander, Kim Yale, Doug Wheatley and Jimmy Palmiotti, we get a quick scene between Daredevil and Ghost Rider to show that yes, they’re in this crossover…
Hulk doesn’t even appear in this final part. I guess Doc Samson is considered his substitute.
Anyhow, in the final part, the Punisher destroys all of Nick Fury’s Life Model Decoys…
So seriously, guys, this is it for Nick Fury if he dies! Seriously!
Go to the next page to see how it went down…
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