As far as enemies go, you don’t even rank in my top ten!
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Lower the shield, man! Just walk away! Or you can never go back… and it’s lonely as hell once you get here! There’s nothing… but the cold satisfaction of punishment!
Every war I’ve gone into I’ve watched the symbols behind them all fail in the heat of battle. There aren’t many things left to believe in… don’t take away one more.
Punisher / Captain America: Blood & Glory #3
Daniel G. Chichester, Margaret Clark, + Klaus Janson
The more commonly established dynamic between Frank and Steve is that Frank openly (to varying degrees) confesses to admire Steve, and will follow him as a soldier. Rather than this worshipful sort of dynamic, Blood & Glory took a little different take, where their relationship is more of two very different soldiers: representing their respective wars and having friction as a result. They smart mouth each other, and Frank especially gets after Steve, calling him things like “G. I. Joe” and a “smart-lipped star spangled son of a—” but the admiration still remains in less obvious ways.
At the end of the conflict of this arc, Steve catches and assaults the traitor responsible. While Steve does not intend to resort to murder, Frank sees the potential when he finds the two together, and he fears Steve will cross a line. He entreats him to stop, for Steve’s own sake, and also partially for himself; he believes in the symbol of what Captain America is. Despite how he criticized Steve through this arc, nitpicking away at their different points of view, at the end of it all, Frank admires what Steve is. He believes in him. Which means a great deal, considering just who it’s coming from.
I dunno about you folks, but I’m pretty excited to see Sam Wilson (formerly The Falcon) step into Captain America’s buccaneer boots :)
“Now we win.”
Marvel NOW! Avengers: Captain America
This isn’t the first time Sam has donned the mantle of Captain America. He originally wielded the shield during the Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty miniseries (issue 9 to be exact).
All-New Captain America #1
UNLEASH THE FALCON
You’ve got to move faster than that, son. I think you want to be caught.
You want it all over with, don’t you? It doesn’t have to be prison, Castle. There are other places you can go if you want help.
Punisher War Journal #66
Steven Grant + Hugh Haynes
This plot is yet another event where police forces and superheroes alike take arms against the Punisher, after one step ‘too far.’ Part of this response involves Steve Rogers, who goes out of his way to make this deliberate effort to reach Frank. After this one failed attempt, this endeavor is not touched on again, and that is disappointing as this issue raises a lot of interesting points of characterization.
Steve attempts to reach Frank as a soldier. He stresses understanding and speaks to him with the respect of a fellow service person, while still chastising his brutality. It’s worth note that Frank does not once say a single word to Steve aloud. He does not agree or deny any of Steve’s assumptions. While he keeps himself silent, his inner narrative is heavy: he speaks of how Captain America was a symbol of worship for him in the army, like the flag itself. Knowing he’ll lose hand-to-hand, Frank reads his options as this: shoot Steve or surrender. He viciously refuses to kill Steve (who is already suffering a disease in this point in canon, which Frank picks up on as they fight) and he also refuses to return to prison. His mind stresses and reaches for a third option, but he can’t find one.
However, Steve does offer a third suggestion. He does not specify what exactly but he does say: ‘there are other places you can go.’ The only real option this seems to indicate is that he would see Frank treated like any soldier suffering with PTSD. This coincides with the ongoing theme that the two are very opposite sides of the spectrum as a pair of soldiers: Steve sees this third option, where Frank does not even acknowledge its existence: that is the difference in the kind of men they are. Above all, it seems to indicate that Steve would be willing to be an active figure on Frank’s side, should this be the case, because Frank’s arrests do tend to land him in prison by default, not in any mental health facility — and this is mostly due to his own responses to his arrests and trial. Steve stresses that he understands, and he is willing to help.
The idea of Steve Rogers taking a personal investment in Frank Castle, and the potential of his rehabilitation, speaks a lot for this dynamic