Wednesday, December 12, 2007

World's Lamest: Tales from the Quarter Box #2

World's Lamest: Tales from the Quarter Box #2
#2 "What if... The Punisher became Captain America?" (What if... Vol. 2, # 51)

What if the Punisher became Captain America? What if this wasn't a big, donkey-smelling story done in the worst early 90s Punisher-style? What if I had picked up the "What if Daredevil forgot to buy renter's insurance" issue instead? What if?

Marvel's answer to Baby Huey, the Watcher, tells us that on an alternate earth, Captain America (Steve Rogers) is critically injured by the Red Skull in their battle in issue # 212. The Government, a gimped-up Steve Rogers, and Nick Fury all need that symbol to live on. You see, Captain America is the ultimate deterrant on crime in the U.S. (I'd like the see a New York Time's bar chart on that one). Plus, I think they were in the middle of a "Win a Date with Cap!" contest and didn't want to dissapoint excited-winner Elizabeth Shultz of Fargo, N.D.

Enter crazy-ass 'Nam vet, Frank Castle, Marine drill sargent with a pechant for wearing goofy-looking knit caps. 'Ole Frankie wants no part of the superhero biz, so a gaggle of Marvel's lower-rung characters (Doc Savage, John "Man-Wolf" Jameson, and possibly even NFL SuperPro) take a crack at the Red, White and Blue. All fail horribly; killing people, getting themselves killed and one's even turned into a zombie-vampire (ok, that's kinda cool and funny).

Meanwhile, Frank's family make the biggest mistake of their lives by entering the "Wife and Children Shooting Contest" at the 52nd Annual Mafia Father-Son Picnic. Now, the only thing that'll ease Frank's mind is the gentle "Kerrang!" of throwing Captain America's mighty shield.
As the "Sentinel of Liberty", Frank is super-violent and nearly kills Hammerhead. Plus, he doesn't show up to the Avengers Sunday softball practices, which miffs everyone off after they loose to TGI Fridays. In short. everyone dislikes him. But Frank doesn't care and decides to take it up a notch and roam the streets at night as the Punisher.

Frank runs around and poses a lot; there's lots of teeth-gritting and off panel killings. Finally Punisher comes face to face with the mobster who made him the world's angriest widower. But, who should show up at the last moment to talk him out of it? CAPTAIN AMERICA!
Wait-wha? Yes, a robot-cyborg Steve Rogers shows up and teaches Punisher that he had the magic in him all along. Only a man can be Captain America; robots are only good for turning into cars or mintsing around on a spice freighters. So Frank tears up, makes the mobster a friendship bracelet and re-dons the Cap outfit. Oh and Steve Rogers becomes the lame-ass "The Captain", who's rum I enjoy very much.

As far as "What if?" stories go, this was the lamest I've read, which is a shame since it's written by Transformers scribe extraordinare, Simon Furman. A good "What if?" will at least weave in some preposterous shit through a milestone event. This one references nothing other than Cap #212, which is only mentioned in passing. We piss on you "What if" #51!

Cap unleashes his unholy army of attack doves on the criminals of New York

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