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Top Five Best Daredevil/Punisher Fights

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Here is an archive of all the past top five lists I’ve one over the years.

With the debut of the Punisher in the second season of the Daredevil Netflix television series, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the five best in-continuity Daredevil/Punisher fights. I have decided to choose individual fights within overall stories (like ranking each individual fight within the Daredevil vs. Punisher mini-series rather than counting the entire mini-series as one huge fight). If you prefer to consider each overall story as one fight, I’ve included five overall stories on the countdown for that very purpose, so just go by the overall stories for an alternate top five.

Enjoy!

HONORABLE MENTIONS

First fight from Daredevil #292 (D.G. Chichester, Lee Weeks and Fred Fredericks)

Daredevil is hunting down some super-villains who are involved in an assassination contest, but the Punisher is hunting them down, as well. It is kind of surprising just how easily Daredevil goes down in this particular fight…

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He later tracks the Punisher down while the Punisher is on top of a bus that Tombstone and Taskmaster had commandeered to make their escape. Daredevil is thrown from the bus, though, which eventually leads to…

First fight from Daredevil #293 (D.G. Chichester, Lee Weeks and Fred Fredericks)

Now it is Daredevil who wins the fight a bit too easily…

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but it DOES lead to an awesome scene where Daredevil uses the confiscated gun to shoot Punisher’s knife, to keep it from killing Taskmaster…

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Second fight from Daredevil #293 (Chichester, Weeks and Fredericks)

The Punisher hunts down the remaining killer to a circus performance…

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This is barely a fight, as they both just sort of give up quickly enough once Punisher’s original assassination attempt is foiled.

Daredevil foils another assassination attempt (Daredevil #184 by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson)

The Punisher is insistent on killing a drug dealer known as the Hogman. Daredevil erroneously believes the Hogman to be innocent. This has an awesome opening visual by Miller and Janson, but it’s not much of an actual fight…

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Second fight from Daredevil vs. Punisher: Means and Ends (issue #2 by David Lapham)

Daredevil vs. Punisher: Means to an End was a very good mini-series by David Lapham (who wrote and drew the book), but what was particularly interesting to me (besides the clever commentary on how violence can ruin people’s lives, as a young man slowly descends into some bad territory, in a very similar way to some characters in Lapham’s Stray Bullets) was how Lapham managed to get four significant Daredevil/Punisher fights into the six issues. Most other writers would have condensed the fights. It was impressive that Lapham did not.

All of the fights were handled well, but the “worst” one was likely from issue #2, as it is interrupted by a fire bomb pretty quickly….

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First fight from Daredevil vs. the Punisher: Means and Ends (issue #1 by Lapham)

What I like about their first fight from the very first issue is that it is more of a traditional superhero fight. As the series progresses, their fights become more and more brutal and more “realistic.” Lapham even seems to draw Daredevil more like John Romita here. It was a clever approach by Lapham…

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Third fight from Daredevil vs. the Punisher: Means and Ends (issue #4 by Lapham)

This is a rough fight, as it comes down to the Punisher escaping due to him accidentally shooting an innocent civilian…

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The top five begins next page!

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38 Comments

Those top three àre exhibit A why the 1980’s were the true Golden Age of Comics. (Paul Smith’s Uncanny X-Men is Exhibit B).

Marvelous sequential storytelling (pun intended).

Huh, I actually think the Punisher #10 version displays the fight more dynamically, even if the Daredevil version is more interesting storytelling with the POV.

But the rest of the list is really great.

That Garth Ennis moment is really awful if you consider that Daredevil shot the Punisher in that iconic issue.

interesting to see that punisher and daredevils riverly is a long as his with bullseye. plus that after so long no writter has finaly just had the punisher shoot daredevil with bullets instead of tranqs.

joe the poor speller

June 17, 2015 at 3:06 pm

Means and Ends is so underrrated. What a great comic.

I really like that Garth Ennis moment because it showed that Daredevil had no choice but to shoot. Painfully so. Contrast that with the Daredevil Netflix show and the rationale in Punisher makes even more sense.

The problem with the Ennis scene is that there’s no reason Matt has to shoot to kill. He can shoot to disable, and accomplish his goal without compromising his morals. Heck, he could shoot into the air and it would alert Frank’s target, or he could shoot the gun out of Frank’s hand.

Wow those David Lapham pages are pretty neat, I’ve never seen him draw traditional costumed hero stories , has he done any thing else similar? as it seems out of his wheelhouse but as seen by these pages he’s still clearly in his element

In fairness to the Ennis issue, it tried to say that due to the angle DD was chained he could only hit Punisher, and due to Punisher’s body armor only a head shot would stop him. Not terribly believable, but DD making the choice was more important than the mechanics that forced him to make the choice, so the lip service to the latter was enough.

What I loved about that issue is how Ennis’ Punisher is so perfectly explained in that one panel: “The thought of [insert criminal here] living one more minute is enough to drive me insane.”

Why no lover for Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe?

Means and Ends is one of my favorite Daredevil comics (even thou it is a Punisher story, but it makes DD even cooler in it) It is also a tribute to the 80’s as well. The guards wife fell asleep watching The A-Team and Punisher even referenced never meeting Bushwhacker, whom he fought in PWJ during Acts of Vengeance. It’s an in-contiuity period piece, the boy even looks like a young David Lapham.
Plus, DD attacking with a flying knee and turning that into a triangle choke is brilliant!

Travis Pelkie

June 18, 2015 at 1:20 am

I…I was not aware that the Lapham mini existed. I now must find it! Even if I think the colors are a bit too overpowering for Lapham’s style.

He also did a 2 part story in the DD: Dark Nights mini from a couple years back (issues 4 and 5). It’s also got a great Lee Weeks DD story in the first 3 issues. (No Punisher in either, mind you, but just a heads up for Lapham fans.)

Why no lover for Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe?

While that’s a great fight, I just think out-of-continuity tales have too much of an advantage, since they can actually have them KILL each other. So I made this strictly in-continuity stories. All of these writers knew that they would have to end the fight with the characters available for future usage. That makes making these fights still badass even harder.

The problem with the Ennis scene is that there’s no reason Matt has to shoot to kill. He can shoot to disable, and accomplish his goal without compromising his morals. Heck, he could shoot into the air and it would alert Frank’s target, or he could shoot the gun out of Frank’s hand.

As Sean noted, Ennis addressed a few of those points in the story, I just didn’t have the room to fit all the pages in.

I stand corrected.

Wow, Daredevil is lame in the Ennis book. At least the stories in DD’s books didn’t make the Punisher look so pathetic. This is just a straight clowning.

Man, David Lapham is the best. S’crazy.

Lapham finished the art for his Spider-Man, With Great Power mini after Tony Harris left (1-4) Issue #5 is beautiful with Stefano Gaudiano on inks.
http://comicbookdb.com/issue.php?ID=178388
This is also a gem, Lapham full story and art.
I also LOve the 30 Days of Night mini around the same time.
http://comicbookdb.com/issue.php?ID=155350

FYI – the DD #’s 182 – 183 are collected in a small TPB called, “Daredevil / Punisher: Child’s Play.”

[…] The two vigilantes have always an animosity towards each other. They have gotten into countless fights with each other over the course of their “friendship.” Some of the fights are listed over at ComicBookResources.com […]

Wow, Daredevil is lame in the Ennis book. At least the stories in DD’s books didn’t make the Punisher look so pathetic. This is just a straight clowning.

It totally is. I hate it for that reason, and I’m not even a major DD fan. Ennis did that a lot with guest stars.

Did he have Kevlar pants? I just think it would be funny to have the story resolved because Daredevil had to shoot the Punisher in the ass.

No argument with pick #1. What a cool issue.

While it goes for an interesting moral conundrum, even with Ennis’s set-up, I always figured the ol’ Miller Daredevil would’ve shot to graze Punisher (even in the back of the head) or hit a funny bone, or something to throw Punisher off (he’s been depicted as an excellent shot in the past) so no huge struggle there. Sorta all reads as a cheap shot to wussify Daredevil.

“Wow, Daredevil is lame in the Ennis book. At least the stories in DD’s books didn’t make the Punisher look so pathetic. This is just a straight clowning.”

Things get worse.

Daredevil actually got a lot of respect, by Ennis standards.

Spider-Man was totally thrashed.

Wolverine was… there are no words. Garth Ennis’s catchphrase should be “I’m the best there is at what I do, and what I do is villify characters I don’t like.”

This could almost have been an installment of Drawing Crazy Patterns. It seems like every fight between Daredevil and the Punisher starts when at the last second DD prevents Castle from killing a criminal who he has in his sights.

As for Garth Ennis, I am of the firm belief that his best work is outside of the superhero genre. He obviously does not like superheroes, which is fair enough. I can understand his criticisms. However, if he feels that negatively about superheroes, he really should avoid writing them whenever possible. Ennis’ best work has been on war, horror and crime stories. Those genres all fit his sensibilities (and sense of humor) so much better than superheroes.

As for Garth Ennis, I am of the firm belief that his best work is outside of the superhero genre. He obviously does not like superheroes, which is fair enough. I can understand his criticisms. However, if he feels that negatively about superheroes, he really should avoid writing them whenever possible. Ennis’ best work has been on war, horror and crime stories. Those genres all fit his sensibilities (and sense of humor) so much better than superheroes.

I think that basically was the reason they gave Ennis a third volume of Punisher for him to write. He started on the maxi-series, Welcome Back Frank, which was awesome. But then he tried to do that as an ongoing series, and the wackiness felt a bit strained, and the superhero stuff was just kind of mean. So they then gave him a third volume where he could concentrate just on war and crime stories and holy crap, was it amazing. We did a Greatest Punisher Stories Ever Told list years ago (I’ll have to do that one again next year when Daredevil Season 2 begins) and Ennis’ third run rightly had, like, 7 of the 10 spots.

ugh, the lettering on that Dillon/Ennis strip

Ben –

True. Garth Ennis is gold when he is playing to his strengths.

I think what attracts him to superheroes is that Ennis has a strong satirist’s vein. He has a real glee in savaging stuff he disapproves of, be that organized religion, superheroes, France, country hicks, or goths.

“Wow those David Lapham pages are pretty neat, I’ve never seen him draw traditional costumed hero stories , has he done any thing else similar?”

He wrote and drew Batman: City of Crime. He drew a Superman story. He did a Spectre story that is spread over two trades, but I can’t remember off-hand if he drew it (that’s a little different anyway).

He also has a few odd Iron Fist stories, some Wolverines. If you’re a Lapham fan, the thing you might be most interested in is his DeadpoolMAX series, drawn by Kyle Baker. I’ve generally been disappointed with his superhero stuff, but I really enjoyed that one.

He did a Spectre story that is spread over two trades, but I can’t remember off-hand if he drew it (that’s a little different anyway).

The Spectre story he did for Tales of the Unexpected (with the amazing Doctor Thirteen back-up?)? He didn’t draw that, no.

“Why no lover for Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe?”

If it weren’t so unbelievably silly (and out of continuity) it would make a fantastic subject for the WRONG SIDE

Rene:”Things get worse.

Daredevil actually got a lot of respect, by Ennis standards.

Spider-Man was totally thrashed.

Wolverine was… there are no words. Garth Ennis’s catchphrase should be “I’m the best there is at what I do, and what I do is villify characters I don’t like.””

Interestingly, Garth Ennis did do a really good Spider-Man story once:TANGLED WEB 1-3.The Thousand was an interesting villain and the scenes showing the interaction between Peter and Aunt May were quite touching.

And funnily enough, Ennis won an Eisner Award for Hitman #34…featuring Superman.

Ennis has confirmed that Superman is the only superhero he likes.

I do think Ennis conforms to the notion that in every cynic’s breast, beats a idealistic heart that was disillusioned.

“He wrote and drew Batman: City of Crime.”

Lapham only drew the short prologue chapter, in which Batman barely appeared. The rest, while written by Lapham, was drawn by Ramon Bachs.

I love how #5 ended with Frank knowing Matt so well he knew trouble was coming just by DD’s reactions.
The Means to an End are the only ones I don’t own.

[…] Jon Bernthal) nell’Universo Cinematografico Marvel, riportiamo un interessante speciale di CBR, che ha elencato i 5 migliori scontri tra i due […]

Ennis’s scene proves the best fights might not have the best fighting. That scene was so legendary and just awesome.

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