Spider-Man/Punisher: Family Plot #2

Background

While Spider-man and Punisher search through the ashes of the destroyed penthouse, they agree to put their differences aside and work together. This is all seen by the Geraci tail the family put on the Punisher.

Story 'Redemption'

  Spider-Man/Punisher: Family Plot #2
Summary: Spider-Man & Punisher vs. Tombstone
Editor: Chris Cooper
Writer: Tom Lyle
Pencils: Joe Bennett
Inker: Mike Witherby, Tom Wegrzyn

Meanwhile, Marlowe has taken Tombstone back to his loft to continue their crime spree. Little Stevie, Marlowe's son, has decided that he doesn't want to live with his mother anymore, who makes him go to bed early, and decides to run away to his Dad's house. Unfortunately, he come in just as Tombstone is "disciplining" an employee by smearing his face up against a wall. Tombstone decides the only way to re-establish his hold is by taking out the mayor himself. And what better way to ensure that Marlowe doesn't screw things up than by taking little Stevie hostage?

Spidey and Punisher track the villains back to Marlowe's loft, and over-hear what's going down. They decide to split up, Spider-man crawling into Marlowe's apartment, and Punisher goes to stop the hit on the Mayor. The thugs manage to sneak into the Mayor's house disguised as janitors, but right as they come upon the Mayor' bedroom, the Punisher busts in, firing (of course.) He grabs Marlowe and forces him to go back to his apartment ("I'm not going to kill you.... yet.")

Back at the homestead, Little Stevie tries to make a run for it. Tombstone nabs him, and is about to take care of little Stevie once and for all when who should bust in but....Kathy! She discovered Marlowe's apartment key missing and ran to recover her child. That diversion gives Spider-man his chance to engage Tombstone. They fight (oh boy, do they fight) and Tombstone manages to get Spidey into a choke-hold. Spidey throws a few stingers at him, but his stone-tough-skin protects Tombstone. However, Spidey inadvertently shot a stinger into Tombstone's throat.

Just then the Punisher shows up with a rocket launcher! Punisher's pointing a gun at Tombstone, Tombstone pointing a gun at Marlowe's little family. Marlowe takes a candlestick and WHACKS! the Punisher over the head with it. He commits himself to Tombstone, saying that he's not that good of a father, but he'd never let Tombstone hurt his ex-wife and kid. And tombstone shoots him for his trouble. Well, then the only thing that Spider-man can do is web himself up a shield because the Punisher has his rocket launcher ready!

When the smoke clears, Tombstone had disappeared, and Marlowe is close to death. The Punisher disappears (after threatening to kill Spider-man, of course), and Spidey tends to Kathy and her son.

The whole thing ends with Ben Reilly consoling little Stevie about bad men and good men, and about how having a bad father doesn't necessarily make him bad. "Remember only the good things about your Dad. That's all that counts.", Ben tells him. The Punisher tells the family how Spider-man saved his life when the bomb went off, and he couldn't kill the web-slinger because of honour. The Geraci family seems to understand that, and upholds his position as the Don.

General Comments

I think that Spider-man and Punisher could be a good team if they got along because they're from different sides of the scale. Punisher is driven by his own motives of revenge and the wishes of the family, and Spider-man has to trust the man who was responsible for killing Nick Fury. In the end, even though they don't ever really get on good terms, they managed to stop the bad guys.

I love Tombstone, but he wasn't fully realised in this story. I'd like to see Tombstone come back in some of Spidey's regular titles with more exposure, he deserves it!

Oh, and the cover for #2 is sweet!

Overall Rating

I give this tale the three (and a half) webs. The story is kind of typical. They dwelt a little too much on Geraci family politics and not enough on the story. The mob-war was pretty contrived, and the only motivation Spider-Man really has through the whole adventure is to protect Kathy and little Stevie, and stopping all the violence. The Punisher had always been misunderstood in the past, but the way he's acting is making it harder and harder for people to even try and understand him.