Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It's a Wrong Idea: Eminem/Punisher

Ever since his historical crossover with 1950s remnant Archie, The Punisher has been looking for another weedy white guy who is overly jingoistic about his hometown and cruel to women to team up with. He’s finally picked one, and now over on Marvel.com, you can read the story of Eminem and the Punisher: Kill You.

Or you can just skip it since I read it for you.

Written by Fred Van Lente with art by Salvador Larroca, the story starts out with Frank Castle arriving after an Eminem Concert and murdering all of Slim Shady’s security gaurds. Why? We find out it’s because he’s there to save Eminem from being killed by hired hitman Barracuda. Of course, he could’ve simply warned them, helped them protect the rapper, or even probably stayed at home and let them do their jobs themselves, but instead he murders innocent men, which results in Barracuda actually kidnapping both Eminem and the Punisher.

It’s pretty much all that stupid.

****in' ****, indeed, Marshall.  ***in' ****, indeed.

Once kidnapped, Barracuda for reasons that are briefly but completely unsuccessfully explained, does not kill Eminem nor the Punisher, but instead takes the on a boat ride from Detroit a few hours out into Lake Eerie (I guess) and plans to kill them by throwing them into the water instead.

Now we’re dealing with a story about two ostensibly heroic or at least likable* white dudes teaming up against the stereotype of the scary giant black man who says things like “I be freezin’ off my favorite parts” and, honest to God, at one point gives us an “Aw HELL no!”

Eventually Eminem borrows a chainsaw from an ice-fishing Gene Hackman (conveniently, the elderly angler is a BIG fan of the misogynist rapper) and gruesomely hacks up Barracuda while the Punisher does juuuuuust barely more than nothing.

Thanks, Gene.  And I loved you in "The French Connection."

If this comic was supposed to make me more inclined to buy Eminem’s new album or Punisher comics, it fails pretty miserably on both counts. Also, it fails to make a single "Punish Yourself" joke in the whole comic.  See, I'm barely familiar with Eminem's oeuvre and I was still able to quickly out-clever this whole self-satisfied "aren't we badass" affair.

For a much more enjoyable Eminem/Superhero comic connection, just watch the video for “Without Me” again. It takes itself a lot less seriously.

* There's really no indication that these guys are meant to be likable, but I have to assume that was the intent.


  1. Why does the Punisher get stuck with all the really stupid team ups? Although I am kind of looking forward to "Punisher/Richie Rich".

  2. I'm shocked that there were so many inter-company crossovers between DC and Marvel back in the 90s and yet they never did one where The Punisher gets a Green Lantern ring.

  3. The ONLY time Eminem should appear in a Punisher comic is if he gets killed by Frank for singing about locking his mother in his car trunk.