September 24, 2023

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Character Case Files #445: Punisher 2099

The Punisher of the future, well, he may be even more dangerous than Frank Castle.

So, I have been reading the new 2099 books, ones which are basically a Spider-Man 2099 story that introduces another 2099-era character.  And one of the most recent showed the Punisher of the future on the cover.  The text even says he’s coming.  And where is he?  I have no idea.  I didn’t see him anywhere inside the issue.

Anyway, I’m covering the guy this time anyway.

The Punisher of the future year of 2099 was one Jake Gallows.  First appearing in Punisher 2099 in February of 1993, he was the creation of writers Pat Mills and Tony Skinner and artist Tom Morgan.  Mills and Skinner, it should be noted, collaborated on British comics before coming to work for Marvel.  Mills, in particular, was one of the writers who helped develop Judge Dredd.  That’s actually not a bad thing for this particular character, truth be told.

See, the thing about Jake Gallows is, while Frank Castle in the present lives in a world where there’s still a criminal justice system that could sufficiently punish criminals actually exists, Jake lives in a world so hopeless that a Punisher might actually be necessary.

By the by, that’s not my observation.  I read that in a review from some free flier my comic shop used to slip into my purchases every week, and it made sense when I got to the issue.

See, future cop Jake was out with his family visiting the future zoo or something when along came a gang led by one Kron Stone.  Kron was the son of powerful businessman (and primary antagonist to Spider-Man 2099) Tyler Stone.  Kron thought the idea of the family was a lie, so seeing Jake out with his mother, brother, and sister-in-law, he decided to do Jake a favor by killing Jake’s family.  Jake, wounded in the attack, asked to be killed too, but Kron just said he didn’t see the point since Jake no longer had a family.

As I think about it, I think there was a future storyline where it turned out Jake had an estranged adult son, but that’s neither here not there.  Kron thought he did Jake a favor, and since this is a corrupt future, the act of murdering three people only gets Kron a small fine.  He then talks to Jake like Jake is his old friend.

Yes, Jake snapped, and he’d found Frank Castle’s old war journal, meaning he had an inspiration and took to doing the Punisher thing with futuristic weapons that included a bat that changed density, various guns, body armor that kept him from being injured, and a holographic face screen that showed the Punisher skull over Jake’s face on any and all surveillance cameras.  Jake easily took down Kron, but then there were some other changes.

See, Jake didn’t kill all his targets.  He built a prison in his basement, and if the criminal he rounded up hadn’t done anything under the law to merit the death penalty, Jake just locked the fellow up in his basement.  For murderers, he had a disintegrator chair.  Kinda like an electric chair, only with less deep fried crooks after every use.

By the by, Kron’s father flushed his son’s cremated remains down a toilet, but the body was later found by a symbiote, making Kron the 2099 version of Venom.

This more or less continued for a while until Doom 2099 took over the former United States and made Jake his head of security, giving him a future version of SHIELD to run, a position that eventually led Jake to his death.  However, oddly enough, he does tend to come up from time to time, often just to due again.  He died in the original time line.  He died in a Contest of Champions.  He didn’t die in Spider-Verse, but that may be due to dumb luck.  He didn’t die in a Savage Avengers story either, but not for lack of trying and that may have been an alternate future.

Huh, maybe that’s why he wasn’t in that issue I just read:  the creatives weren’t sure if was dead or alive.