The Punisher Meets Archie, Marvel edition (August, 1994)

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IT WAS MY LAST DAY AT C2E2, WHERE I’VE BEEN CREATING MORE COMIC BOOK MEMORIES!

What’s Inside:

The Punisher follows a young but ferocious drug trafficker called “Red”, who happens to be a dead-ringer for Archie Andrews, to Riverdale where confusion ensues. Red becomes entangled in Archie’s typical, high school, romance drama, and the Punisher mistakes Archie for Red, holding the freckled face of wholesome American at gunpoint.

Punisher realizes his mistake and, reluctantly, is aided by Archie, some feds, and S.H.I.E.L.D. in apprehending Red without killing him. With his business concluded, Punisher and his partner Chip set their sights on Gotham City for another intercompany crossover adventure.

Writer: Batton Lash

Artist: John Buscema

Publisher: Marvel / Archie

Why I Kept This Issue:

If you don’t know lately that Archie Comics is fuggin’ awesome, you should probably cut your nipples off. Well, sure, their awesomeness has exploded recently, but there were certainly traces of it even this far back.

This issue is just one example of what makes Archie Comics great; the company recognizes that it holds a very old, very classic, cherished character that represents a very different, and arguably simpler and sweeter, time in this country…and they don’t let that stop ‘em. Unlike a company like Disney, who also houses characters perceived as pure, Archie Comics is not so overly protective of their brand and image that they restrict themselves from having fun with their characters and telling some damn fun stories.

I just love Archie Comics. This story is a riot. Also known as Archie Meets the Punisher, this comic came with two covers, a Marvel one and an Archie one.

Attached Memory:

Since this is my last night in Chicago for C2E2, I’ll share a Chicago Comic Book Memory from times past:

On my first visit to Chicago, my friend and I stayed with an old buddy of his who I’ll call Allan. Allan had straight roommates who had given us permission to sleep on the couches.

The three of us, plus a few others, went out that first night in the Boys’ Town area of Chicago, hitting up bars and clubs like Roscoe’s and Sidetrack. When we returned, we all hit the hay to sleep off our drunkenness. It was then I noticed that one of the straight roommate’s had a friend sleeping over as well. I’ll call him Dave.

In the middle of the night, I was awoken by Dave, who was irate and talking to his friend. He was accusing Allan of sneaking up on him in the night and trying to, well…orally rape him.

After hanging out with Allan that entire night, I thought this sounded ridiculous. I had heard, from Allan, that Dave had expressed homophobic behavior in the past, and it seemed to me that this was just another very cruel manifestation of that.

I jumped to Allan’s defense, telling Dave that he must have been asleep and dreaming because there was no way what he was saying was true. Who would possibly do something like that? Certainly not a nice guy like Allan! It turned into a shouting match and was about to become really ugly, when my friend finally stepped in and separated us. Allan seemed intimidated to say anything, and I felt horrible for him. We were then asked to leave their apartment early by the other roommates, cutting our Chicago adventure short and ending on a sour note.

And of course, after defending the guy because I thought I had an adequate gauge of his integrity after a night of bonding over booze, my friend revealed to me that he had known Allan to do EXACTLY what he was accused of in the past. And suddenly, I felt like the asshole. Goddammit, I hate being that wrong!

As soon as I got home, I took a trip to the comic shop and bought this issue. It helped me put the embarrassment I was now feeling out of my head for at least a half hour. I defended an oral rapist! ARGH!

Condition of My Copy: It’s fine. Just fine.

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