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Punisher Presents BARRACUDA #1 and #2 (MAX Comics)

Posted by Adrian on April 4, 2007

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Punisher Presents BARRACUDA #1 and #2 (MAX Comics)

“I’m a hardcore muthafuckin Gangsta”. What a character, thankfully resurrected after a run in with the Punisher in Punisher #32, where Barracuda first appeared as an adversary to The Punisher. The Punisher was taken by surprise after going down to Florida to set some dodgy corporate mogul straight (Punisher thought it was going to be an easy job), but Barracuda was the gun for hire – ordered to take down the Punisher. He almost did too. Suffice to say, the Punisher was able to cut four of Barracuda’s fingers off, and take out his eye; then shoot Barracuda (after been tossed into the Ocean by the Punisher) in the chest with a shotgun. He survived. Garth Ennis, has written Barracuda as a similarity to the ‘Blaxsploitation‘ movie era, but with an ingenuity and creativity that is only rivaled by Tarantino’s movies, in fact Ennis writes this better than most American writers and Ennis isn’t even American (he is Irish)!; although it does have a feel of Tarantino ‘blaxsploitation’ characters in Pulp Fiction, and Jackie Brown. Barracuda is a character that combines all the aspects of African American sub culture, the dialogue, clothes, but there is interesting little tweaks to his character. First off, he is a genetic monster of a man, self interests come first and are opportunistic. Pathologically driven for monetary gain. His loyalty is to the dollar, highest bidder gets his services, yet he can play all sides. Everyone runs from this guy, black and white.

Like I mentioned Barracuda has all the black humour, nastiness and shock that Tarantino was able to deliver with his movies. Which as we know are a homage to ‘grindhouse’ cinema of the 60’s and 70’s. Ennis updates this, making Barracuda a modern day Blaxsploitation character.

The artist Goran Parlov owns Barracuda, after teaming up with Ennis when we were first introduced to Barracuda in Punisher #32. It’s great to see and artist that draws the characters with gusto. Parlov gives a contemporary and modern feel to the comic. The hip hop imagery, as far as Barracuda appearance; so there is a lot of popular culture references there. But contradictions too. In #1, we see Barracuda just receive a blow job from street hooker, the proceeds to walk toward the local hood ‘homies’, after the crew see Barracuda they run. It’s the sheer presence of Barracuda, and his obvious history of extreme violence. The group obviously disbands rapidly. Leaving the ‘gang leader’ standing there, meanwhile hip hop is playing in the back ground from the gang bangers car. Barracuda asks for the keys to the car, which he gives, gang guy walks off (after peeing his pants) – Barracuda then turns the station channel from the hip hop to some love song ballad. He smiles. So there is that mesh of contradiction in the comic, as Barracuda, whose dialogue is 95% hip hop slang – stands alone as a unique character, neither effected or influenced by group mentalities. He is a one man machine.

Hilarious written scenes in #1, where Barracuda is confronted by very ‘Soprano’ type gangsters, that threaten him to get into their car. Obviously, the mafia guys get a hell of a beating, to the point of one getting his gun stuck up his arse by Barracuda.

Then we see the bumbling mafia guys getting out of hospital all bandaged up, trying to come up with an excuse – which is too say they were jumped by 10 guys, the Pauly looking guy (Soprano) says “twenny”. Parlov draws these guy superbly, absolutely hilarious.

Ennis keeps his military theme backdrop stories in Barracuda, as we learn that Barracuda was part of an airborne unit. So there is a lot going on in the mix, a Redneck cop, in which Barracuda and him sit side by side at a bar. Who is obviously a character from Barracuda’s old army unit. Again interesting mix of contradictions, as the redneck cop is obviously able to be a racist around Barracuda.

Mafia Don Chris Anegelone wants Barracuda to escort and and protect his son Oswald, a skinny small little kid who is a hemophiliac.

The plan, turn Oswald into a man, by having him kill Angelone his rival in South America. What a team, a tiny hemophiliac and the monster size of Barracuda, again drawn by Parlov extremely well, all kept within the comical feel of the story.

Barracuda says, “Yo hemo” (Oswald), repeat after me, “I’m a hardcore muthafuckin Gangsta”. So they both jet off to Panama, to kill Leopoldo Luna. Once in Panama the scheming and cunning Barracuda aligns himself with Luna, as they have history that goes back to the Regan days, and the Oliver North scandal. Barracuda was in unit that was to over through the communist sympathizes in Panama – and put in power hungry drug lords like Luna.

This is going to be a wild ride, so far we have a fading drug lord – Luna, his wife ex porn star – Wanda (Barracuda quickly has sex with her, Barracuda: “kinda reaches places others don’t”), a dodgy catholic priest, The frustrated and pathetic mafia don Chris Angelone, a cross dressing Colonel (ex colleague of Barracuda), two FBI guys after Barracuda and of course “Hemo” Oswald Angelone.

This is going to be a cult classic.

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2 Responses to “Punisher Presents BARRACUDA #1 and #2 (MAX Comics)”

  1. […] My early reviews found here […]

  2. […] mind. Remember, Ennis wrote up a amazing mini series of Barracuda; please check out my review on morbius glass titled Punisher presents Barracuda 1# and 2# (MAX Comics). The short Barracuda run on Max comics, was essentially Ennis’s homage to ‘blax […]

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