A Look Back at Punisher 2099 #13 (1994)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, comic book collectors, 1990s pop culture enthusiasts and fans of Marvel Comics! We finally made it at last with the conclusion of The Fall of the Hammer crossover storyline that highlighted Marvel’s 2099 franchises.

Last time around, Doom 2099 #14 saw the raising of the stakes and tension of the storyline leading up to the sudden team-up of the 2099 universe’s pioneering heroes – Spider-Man 2099, Ravage 2099, Doom 2099 and Punisher 2099 – facing the so-called Thor (the flying idol of the people in 2099), the minions and the secret forces behind the conflict.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Punisher 2099 #13, published in 1993 (cover dated 1994) by Marvel Comics with a story written by Pat Mills and Tony Skinner, and illustrated by Tom Morgan.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Spider-Man, Punisher, Doom and Ravage together facing a horde of Berzerkers approaching them. The four engaged with the horde using violent action. When things calmed down, Doom 2099 tells them that they need to split into duos so that they can prevent the city of Valhalla from harming the millions of people below (in New York).

Before they start their tasks, the schemer Avatarr appears to them through holographic imagery and tells them that Valhalla was created as a base for the heroes that would destroy them and lead mankind along more productive lines. Thanks to Ravage’s move, Doom detects Avatarr’s frequency…

Quality

As Punisher 2099 arms himself, look closely and you will see the conflict between him and Jake Gallows.

When it comes to the storytelling, this conclusion to The Fall of the Hammer storyline felt unsatisfying. There were clear signs of rush on the resolution to the plot that preceded the ending which itself had a sudden shift of focus on Punisher 2099.

The real meat of this comic book is the team-up of the Marvel 2099’s pioneering protagonists, including the duos that were spawned as the plot required it. For most of this crossover storyline, Spider-Man 2099 and Punisher 2099 were just riding together going to Valhalla. In this comic book, you will really see the two work together which was satisfying enough as pay-off (to the build-up the preceded this issue). The duo of Doom 2099 and Ravage 2099, however, was nowhere as satisfying and, more notably, there was no real chemistry between them.

This comic book continues the theme of false deities and a series of unfortunate events pulled off from a distance by some sinister force located in a secret place. While this storyline had touched on the faith of the Thorites (most notably in Doom 2099 #14), this one simply abandoned it to focus more on 2099’s original heroes doing something heroic.   

When it comes to Punisher 2099 himself, fans will have a lot of stuff to enjoy. There is a short but notable moment in the story implying that Punisher 2099 and Jake Gallows are separate entities presented in the character’s mind.

Conclusion

This opening image is easily the best image of the comic book. Things went downhill from after this image.

Punisher 2099 #13 (1994) is not the solid conclusion The Fall of the Hammer storyline deserved. There were clear signs of rush as well as compression of details that had to be done in order to fit the 22 story pages. The so-called final conflict felt hollow and 2099 fans who got invested with the era’s self-declared Thor (who was initially the main antagonist) in the previous chapters will be disappointed with the way he turned out here. That being said, Avatarr as the main villain is just not convincing and was unsatisfying. Having Punisher 2099, Spider-Man 2099, Doom 2099 and Ravage 2099 together to do some saving was pretty interesting and symbolic, as well as the main attraction of this comic book. Sadly, not even those pioneers could save this comic book and the storyline from ending with a whimper.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Punisher 2099 #13 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $6 while the near-mint copies of the signed-and-numbered and the newsstand editions cost $50 and $16 respectively.

Overall, Punisher 2099 #13 (1994) is worth getting below its cover price.

+++++

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