Spider-Man & Punisher: Reluctantly Reunited

The Punisher returns to where he got his start with AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #577, and writer Zeb Wells talks all about it

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Preview art by
Paolo Rivera

By Marc Strom The Punisher has Spider-Man in his crosshairs once again. Marvel's favorite anti-hero and the Wallcrawler reunite in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #577, on November 12 courtesy of writer Zeb Wells and artist Paolo Rivera. Since the Punisher's first appearance in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #129, he and Spidey have run into each other a number of times, but in recent years their paths haven't crossed very frequently. According to Wells, the impetus for bringing the two together again went back to Frank Castle's roots. "I wanted to get back to what used to bring them together, that is, the Punisher being a villain in Spidey's book," Wells explains. "That's what I really dug about their dynamic when I first got into comics. I have a lot of affection for the Punisher, and love reading stories where he's the sympathetic protagonist, but in a Spider-Man book I want to see him cast as the bad guy.

Preview art by
Paolo Rivera

"It makes it fun that they both can't stand each other—Spidey thinks the Punisher is a murderous loon and the Punisher sees Spidey as an idealistic nuisance—but sometimes they're put in situations where they have to work together." Wells explains that the circumstances surrounding the upcoming team-up stem from his own first encounter with Frank Castle. "I was first introduced to the Punisher in GIANT-SIZE SPIDER-MAN #4, by the incredible Gerry Conway and Ross Andru, so for me the two characters just go together," the writer fondly remembers. "I like the idea of Spider-Man playing off a character that is basically doing [the same thing] he does, but doing it to the extreme." Keeping in that spirit, Wells even brings back the two heroes' antagonist from that past team-up.

Preview art by
Paolo Rivera

"Their mutual enemy from GIANT-SIZE #4, Moses Magnum, is back and just as evil as ever," he reveals. "Which is good, because to get Spidey and Punisher to work together, they have to be fighting someone bad enough to make them forget their differences. Spidey needs to be so mad at the other guy so that you believe he's willing to look past the Punisher's flaws—and yes, I just referred to being a murderer as a 'flaw.'" See Spidey and the Punisher reunited and not feeling so good on November 12 in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #577. And get some more Punisher over on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited! Check out the official Marvel Shop for everything Spider-Man!
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