Tuesday, February 28, 2012
While Archie Andrews and his pals had met some golden age superheroes back in the mid-1940s, including his number one hero the Shield, it was in the 1990s when he met the strangest hero ever. Or more accurately, an anti-hero, in the Punisher. Formerly Frank Castle, a battle-hardened veteran who lost his family due to a malevolent mob, took up his vigilante alter ego to strike terror in crime. Eventually, he was drawn to the peaceful burg of Riverdale, tracking down "Red" Fever for the government, and encountered Red's near-double in Archie Andrews. After a brief and tense first meeting, Punisher left the teen behind to continue tracking down his quarry through the streets of Archie's hometown. Turns out, Fever had a trump card of his own in case he had been cornered.
Disguising himself as Melvin Jay, a young entrepreneur, Fever took out Archie's on-again off-again girlfriend Veronica Lodge to a dance. Using her as a hostage in a standoff versus the Punisher, it ended up being Red's lookalike Archie who clumsily took down the criminal, with the aid of an old friend of his. As Fever was pulled from the social scene into the sky above, his foot hooked to a rope tied to a float of the Shield, Riverdale was safe once more from the criminal element. And so, Frank Castle bid his new acquaintences adieu. And they, for their part, eventually forgot about this entire surreal episode!