When Venom and Punisher team up to take on Kingpin, Frank Castle gets some serious (and crude) upgrades to reflect his partnership with the symbiote.
While Venom famously tied to Spider-Man in his earlier adventures, Marvel history has seen the symbiote merge with many other heroes, from Drax the Destroyer to Punisher, often giving new forms and abilities. In fact, in one reality, the partnership between Punisher and Venom resulted in a unique symbiote ability combining the bloodlust and talents of both characters into the perfect power.
In Edge of Venomverse: War Stories #1‘Deal With The Devil’ by Declan Shalvey and Chris O’Halloran, a parallel Earth’s Frank Castle has essentially lost its war against New York’s criminals and meets with Kingpin to discuss a potential truce (essentially surrender to crime – chief). At the reunion, however, Punisher reveals he has an ace up his sleeve: Venom. After becoming Venom’s host, Punisher eliminates Kingpin and his henchmen, and brings his war back to the streets, effectively ending crime in New York City.
One of Venom’s primary powers granted to him by his symbiote anatomy is his ability to shapeshift, specifically to hide within his host when stealth is required. This also means that Venom’s appearance changes from host to host, ranging from extremely muscular (as in Eddie Brock’s case) to lithe and agile. Additionally, Venom has no qualms about using itself as a tool or an extension of an existing weapon or vehicle. Part of the reason Spider-Man favored the symbiote for a while was that Venom allowed him to run around indefinitely, thanks to Venom using himself as a means of locomotion instead of Spider-Man’s custom webbing. To fart. When linked with Punisher, however, this ability goes even further with Venom creating all sorts of guns for Frank to use, loaded with Venom’s own sharp teeth as ammunition.
Following his split from Spider-Man, Venom’s teeth have become a staple of character design, and most incarnations and fusions do well to highlight the symbiote’s pearly white prominence. With Punisher, however, their use as a central weapon is thematically, mechanically, and aesthetically perfect given Punisher’s incredible talent with firearms. Venom’s teeth serve as the perfect bullets, capable of shredding the bulletproof vest of street-level Punisher prey, and are available in unlimited supply. That said, there’s something downright revolting about shooting a sentient being’s living teeth as a means of killing criminals, even with said being’s consent, especially since Punisher’s weapons obviously have “gums”. which remain bare until it reloads. While it might not be the most gruesome way Punisher has slain an enemy, it’s up for grabs.
However, the near-limitless ammo and upgraded weapons come at a cost, and Venom reveals that the only kill he demanded from Frank Castle as payment was the heroic Spider-Man. Luckily, just as it looks like Venom is about to force Punisher to shoot, the two are taken to the cosmic poison war before Frank could send an incisor the way of Peter Parker. While some of the specifics of Punisher’s Venom form in the Edge of Venomverse: War Stories #1 problem are a bit dark and gruesome, their team has undoubtedly been efficient. The Punisher partnership with Venom finally made New York crime-free like he had always dreamed of, and to top it off, he did it in one of his finest looks and with perfect, albeit revolting, symbiote power.
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