This week brought the end to one of the more enjoyable Marvel miniseries of the year in Avengers & the Infinity Gauntlet. Written by Brian Clevinger (of Atomic Robo and 8-Bit Theater fame) and Lee Black with art by Brian Churilla (the Anchor), it’s a very fun and all-ages reimagining of the Infinity Gauntlet storyline. Rather than have a bunch of heroes run headfirst into a gruesome death by Starlin’s second favorite character, only so that Starlin’s first favorite character can be the one to stop him, Clevinger goes a different route. The group of heroes sent to figure out what’s wiped out half the universe is made up of Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel, Hulk, Wolverine, Doctor Doom and US Ace. Yes, that space trucker from the awful US-1 comics of yesteryear.
The real star of the comic is Dr. Doom, mainly because of his dynamics with the rest of the cast. He hates Spider-Man for his lack of respect and penchant for annoying humor. He hates Ms. Marvel for daring to give Doom orders. He hates Hulk for being an imbecile. He hates Thanos for being one level above him in the megalomaniac game. He hates US Ace for being a ridiculous space hick. He hates Wolver… actually, he sort of almost seems to respect Wolverine just because they see eye-to-eye as the straight men of the group.
It’s a fun four issues and I can’t wait to check out Clevinger’s Captain America: The Fighting Avenger in January. But that’s not what this post is about. You see, Avengers & the Infinity Gauntlet has this subplot about the Skrulls and Kree joining forces to destroy Earth (long story). There’s a sequence that shows the people of Marvel Earth from all over the globe responding to this. Nick Fury, Mole Man, civilians trying to stay alive, etc. One panel shows the Punisher trying to fight back against the alien invasion. He’s surrounded by flame and… er… the bad choice of coloring hit me by surprise.
Hey, now! Hm… Then again, the guy’s already killing people on the streets. It’s not like public indecency is going to add that many years to his 329 back-to-back life sentences. Still, be warned: if you mention “Micro” around Frank Castle, you BETTER make sure he knows you mean his hacker sidekick.
I jabbed Clevinger about this and this is what he had to say about the Punisher’s Naked Kill:
:D Lee and I never got to see a color proof for issue 4, so this panel came as quite a surprise. Looking at it now, I’m not sure if we’d have said anything or not. I mean, we got to include the phrase “meanest mother trucker” and show Wolverine killing a guy on panel in an all ages book. Why not go balls out and have Punisher, uh, go balls out?
It’s nice to see him taking it in stride like this. Since he’s been so cool about me poking fun at Frank’s exposed shotgun and grenades, I thought I’d do him a solid. Right here, right now, you’re getting a 4thletter! exclusive. Cross your fingers, but I’m hoping Marvel could use this for the cover for the Avengers & the Infinity Gauntlet trade.
What courage. I would never allow that thing anywhere near Wolverine’s claws!
…what? I meant the beach ball.