Space Punisher #1: WTF?


Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

Space: Punisher

It's 1am in San Diego, I'm loopy, it's my birthday, I've had whiskey and cake and I just read motherfuckin' Space Punisher #1. Here we go.

I walked into the comic shop this morning before heading down south to Comic-Con, and saw SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE PUNISHERRRRRRRRRRR! shout out to me from the shelf. I picked it up, then almost put it back because I saw it was Frank Tieri, who has been funny but has also written some of the most nonsensical malarkey ever – his run on the original Deadpool series was memorably insane both in content (a Death of Superman spoof featuring a version of Wade Wilson who only talked about pickles) and in actual story construction (don't ask, I still can't explain what he tried to do with T-Ray). Then I saw Mark Texeira on art and reconsidered, as he did some of the absolutely badass stuff I love from the original few issues of Christopher Priest's Black Panther. Then I realized "Jesus Motherhumpin' Christ on a pogo stick, this is SPACE PUNISHER. Frank Tieri might be the ONLY motherfucker who should be writing this thing."


Just as I expected, Space Punisher is absolutely fucking ridiculous. It's a four part miniseries where they apparently told Tieri he could just go apeshit with the entire Marvel Universe in his own little alternate reality, and that's exactly what he's doing. Technically, it is Frank Castle in space, but he's not the sullen hardass we've come to know and watch with baited breath in Greg Rucka's current series. No, he's basically a tough-talkin' action hero with a robot sidekick named Chip and a giant talking spaceship named Maria who scolds him about language. He's hunting a crime syndicate called The Six Fingered Hand.

So the first thing he does is jump out of his spaceship onto a symbiote-encrusted space whale and starts fighting "Sym-Brood-Ants." Basically symbiote-infested Brood. He shoots a bunch of them with guns he has named Sound and Fury. And he has a space helmet and a pony tail.

Then there's a place called Starjammer where a creep named Corsair has just had a tryst with a horse-tailed woman, a mermaid, a woman with at least 10 breasts, a centaur, a dude, a horse, a chicken and a jellyfish. The Starjammer is apparently a space bar, where everyone from Blastaar and Annihilus to Thanos and Boba Fett hang out. Space Punisher is there to smack Corsair around for info, and Space Rhino has a problem with that. Then he hunts down a fish guy named Barracuda and comes across fish porn before learning that the 6FH figureheads are Dr. Octopus (actual half-octopus), the Green Goblin (with purple batwings), Magneto (who looks like Ho Chi Minh), the Red Skull and a blue alien doof named Ultron. Then suddenly, Sabretooth, Deadpool and the Glass-Jar-Headed Leader attack Space Punisher, who is wearing a fucking cape.


The only proper response to this is "what the fuck?" Texeira's art is pretty cool, Tieri's story is fucking batshit. If you want to see a weirdo out-of-nowhere WTF take on cosmic Marvel, look no further than Motherfuckin' SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE PUNISHERRRRRRRR.

I'm not even rating this one. It defies convention in every way. You'll either be fascinated by this crazy-ass mess or you'll think it's pointless tripe. No middle ground… although oddly enough, you could possibly be both.