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COMIC LEGEND: Mike Baron was forced to write the “Punisher turns black” storyline.
STATUS: I’m Going With True
One of the oddest storylines in the early 1990s at Marvel Comics (and there were a bunch of odd storylines around that time) was the time that the Punisher became a black guy.
In 1991, Mike Baron began what was more or less his last major arc on the Punisher, a series that he had launched roughly five years earlier. Things had become strained, though, when the original editor, Carl Potts, had been replaced by Don Daley. Daley and Baron did not always see eye to eye on things, an example of which we will note right now.
The aforementioned last major arc for baron was “The Final Fays of the Punisher,” where, through various miadventures, the Punisher’s face is now badly disfigured. On the run and with a heavily scarred face, Frank gets a doctor who is now a drug addict to work on his face, giving him plastic surgery so that no one can recognize him. This comes to a head in Punisher #59 (by Baron and artists Hugh Haynes and Jimmy Palmiotti)
Pretty weird, right?
Anyhow, the great Chris Sims wrote about this storyline at his blog nearly a decade ago, and Mike Baron actually showed up in the comments to note, “Dudes, that storyline was forced on me by editor Don Daley. I vas only following orders. Yes, I look back at those stories now and I cringe.”
Baron has spoken about his issues with Daley a number of times over the years (he still worked with Daley for a couple of years, so it’s not like it was impossible for the two to work together).
Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed at Spinoff Online: Was a failed Doctor Who carton reworked into a cartoon starring Fonzie from Happy Days?!
On the next page, did Marvel have a “black dialogue” scripter for the “Black Like Me” Punisher storyline?
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