Punisher: POV #1-4 (1991)
Story: Jim Starlin
Art: Bernie Wrightson
Colors: Bill Wray
Letterer: Bill Oakley

The Punisher comes across the murder spree of one Derek Wainscroft, former 60's radical on parole, who has become an unstoppable mutant killing machine known as "the vampire". Wainscroft's rich industrialist father hires the Kingpin to track down his son quietly, but they run afoul of the Punisher. Meanwhile Fury is made aware of the situation and pays the elder Wainscroft a visit to learn more and stakes a claim on the mutant on behalf of the government. Fury tags the Punisher and the Kingpin to follow their progress on finding Wainscroft, eventually leading to a showdown in the Catskill Mountains. Just as Frank Castle and one of Fisk's men is about to strike a killing blow, Fury arrives with S.H.I.E.L.D. and the elder Wainscroft in tow to take possession of the mutant. The Punisher pleads with Fury to destroy it, but his request falls on deaf ears.

Back in NYC, a disturbed killer is hunting down survivors of the Wainscroft mutant. One survivor, dies giving birth to a baby mutated by the Wainscroft creature, spawning a second monster. The Punisher and S.H.I.E.L.D. arrive back in the city to put an end to the horrors in the city sewers.

  • Continuity Notes
  • Appearance by Val, Alexander Pierce and "Network" Nina
  • S.H.I.E.L.D. is clearly acting on behalf of the U.S. goverment rather then acting as an international agency.

Gruesome tale is twisted, even for a Punisher story, but it works on the strength of Frank Castle's characterization as penned by Starlin and a really strong art team, This series is one of the few examples of Fury working with his S.H.I.E.L.D. (2) supporting cast outside of the title. Based on the art, it's early days for the S.H.I.E.L.D. team, with Nina sporting her mohawk look. Fury on the other hand looks much older, perhaps having missed a shot of the Infinity Formula?

This story is worth a read, as it features one of only two ocassions where Jim Starlin wrote Nick Fury and his take on the character is unique. Fury in Marvel Spotlight #31 certainly possesed a streak of self-perservation bordering on the selfish that added a streak of antihero. Here again, Fury is not quite the selfless hero, but something of a goverment thug looking to keep the Wainscroft mutant for further study. Normally I'm opposed to this spin on Fury, but the finale where he essentially traps the elder Wainscroft on the island against his will is chillingly effective. Fury is deals his own brand of justice to Wainscroft and one is left to consider the subtitle of the miniseries, POV, ie Point of View. Fury has done the right thing from his particular point of view, but not from the Punisher's; it's up to the reader to figure out thier own.

It's worth noting Fury's reaction to the Wainscroft mutant are opposite to how he sees the Deathlok in later stories. Also, the scenario of Fury having to protect a less-then savory person is similair to the story in Wolverine: Bloody Choices. In that story we get more of a sense of Fury doing it with grave distaste, but with a strong sense of duty. If we take that story's morality and apply it here, the reader perhaps comes away with a better impression of Fury's actions here..