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How Wrong Is PUNISHER #3?

Another response to How Wrong Is PUNISHER #3?

>> Punisher had been busy the last weeks taking out the Gnucci family, and Daredevil knew that Frank might use that ideal opportunity to kill that gangster. His super-senses made it easy for him to track down the Punisher. <<

Super-senses aren't necessarily the same as a super-tracking ability. Your opinion that it would be "easy" is just that—an opinion. Did Daredevil "easily" track Punisher throughout the rest of the series? I don't think so. Despite the body count and the trail of evidence he leaves behind, Castle must cover his tracks fairly well. Otherwise DD and the police would be after him constantly.

>> 3. Punisher said "Hit me" because he was sick of all the talking and wanted to get this over with. <<

It was still out of character. The times Castle has volunteered to battle with superheroes are few and far between. He's usually dedicated to his mission and wants nothing to do with standard superhero tussles. Besides, point 7) trumps any uncertainty about points 3-6).

>> 5. Daredevil didn't have to attack? He despises the Punisher and the things he stands for, and wants to put him behind bars. <<

I'd say Daredevil pities Castle more than he despises him. But DD's actions were out of character too. He generally doesn't launch attacks when there's an alternative. In this case, a waiting strategy would've been especially good. Frank would've needed a few minutes of uninterrupted concentration to target his, er, target, and then DD could've struck.

>> 6.Oh sure, Frank may know some martial arts, but he is nowhere near as good as Daredevil. He mostly relies on weapons. <<

Weapons that he undoubtedly has hidden throughout his armor—knives, garrotes, nunchakas, Mace, brass knuckles, whatever. The armor also protects Castle from body blows. And Daredevil can literally dodge bullets. A long-range strike followed by hand-to-hand combat, if necessary, would've been more sensible.

>> 7.So what if the Punisher wasn't surprised to see his old enemy. Does that automatically yell TRAP? <<

It automatically yells "Hold back...be cautious...don't leap before you look." Daredevil did the exact opposite of what the circumstances dictated. More important, DD should've detected some unnatural rhythm in Castle's heartbeat. The lack of surprise, the thrill of anticipation, whatever. DD knows people's reactions intimately from 20+ years of experience, and Castle's reaction had to be unnatural for that particular situation. He wasn't just anticipating DD, he had a pulse-pounding plan laid out. DD should've detected that in a heartbeat, literally.

>> 8.The Punisher didn't actually tell a lie. There was a bullet in the gun, but he had removed the firing pin. He just told Daredevil he only had one shot. <<

No firing pin means he had zero shots, not one. It was a lie. And Frank had no reason to tell the truth so precisely. He has no qualms about lying to further his mission, and he doesn't know DD's hidden ability to detect lies.

>> 9. Frank can take a licking and keep on ticking. A non-fatal wound doesn´t stop him from pulling a trigger, he has been injured plenty of times. <<

I think Daredevil would've been willing to gamble the life of a dangerous criminal on his ability to wound Castle. It's not as if he was trying to save a defenseless infant. As we've learned from countless comic books, a shot to the knee can be excruciatingly painful. All DD had to do was cause Castle to fire wildly once, or even to throw his aim off a little. That would've given the criminal a fighting chance to save himself.

>> 10.Daredevil is BLIND, his radar and enhanced senses give him an edge over other blind people,but he still felt he had to stop Castle and the only way to do that in these sircumstances was to kill him. <<

I know he's blind. So what? He can "see" people's outline with his radar sense and that's all he needed to aim a glancing blow. You're telling me Punisher could concentrate on a long-range killing shot with his ear blown off his head? Maybe, but I say DD would've been willing to take that chance.

You also skipped point 11), which was more crucial to the argument than point 10). Castle's weapon was in DD's line of sight. In that case, DD would aim for the weapon, not the person.

>> 12.Did it occur to you that perhaps Daredevil wasn´t willing to take that risk and give a man he despises the chance to gun a man down like a rabid dog. <<

The whole point of this scenario was to test DD's moral sensibilities. I've read DAREDEVIL since the early 1970s, so I suspect I know him better than Ennis does. I say DD would do anything but shoot at Castle to kill.

DD is not so pure that he'd condemn Castle to death to save an equally scummy criminal. He's made morally ambivalent choices before. He's saved criminals like the Kingpin when lives were at stake, but he also dropped Bullseye off a ledge once.

This choice wasn't that tough. DD would fire a warning shot and let the criminal take his chances. If it was a schoolgirl, the choice might be different, but—thanks to the Punisher's stupid plan—it wasn't.

>> 13.So what if you don't feel their sircumstances weren't compatible? The Punisher felt that way. <<

I told you how I thought a court of law would've ruled. I asked a couple of lawyer friends and they agreed. "The Punisher felt that way" because Ennis, apparently ignorant of the law, made him feel that way.

With that in mind, so what if you don't like my position? My review is my opinion and I've backed it with overwhelming evidence. You can't disprove it by simply disagreeing with it.

Ennis's big try for a moral dilemma was a fraud. Frank didn't have to shoot to save a life; DD (supposedly) did. End of moral equivalence, and end of story.

>> Bottom line is, I don't like to see a genius writer like Garth Ennis trash-talked like that because of something I don't see as mistakes or flaws. <<

That's too bad, since you haven't put a dent in my argument. All you've said is that a few of my points were less than certain. Given that I had 13 points and you didn't touch some of them, my argument stands. Together, the 13 points form an overwhelming case.

14th point against Punisher
In fact, I've thought of a 14th point, thank you very much. Daredevil's hyper-senses are so keen that he could've sensed if the gun didn't have a bullet...had a blank or a fake bullet (one without gunpowder)...or lacked some other essential like a firing pin. If the gun weighed an ounce less than it should've, or was off-balance by an ounce, DD would've known. If it didn't have a bullet with a genuine gunpowder smell, of exactly the right pungency, he would've known. He's handled many guns before, as a crimefighter and as a lawyer, and should've detected a doctored gun.



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