Although DC’s version of Marvel’s Punisher appeared in the Batman Beyond animated series, it didn’t get its due until much later.

Through his bloody quest for revenge, the Punisher has blazed a path of destruction through the Marvel Universe, and Frank Castle’s sinister mission has even inspired copycats in fictional worlds, including in the future DC Universe of Batman Beyond.

The Punisher was created by Gerry Conway, John Romita Sr. and Ross Andru and debuted in Amazing spider man # 129 in 1974. After becoming one of the most prominent antiheroes in comics, Batman Beyond introduced Mad Stan, a character who was heavily informed by Castle, in 1999. Like the Punisher, Stanley “Mad Stan” Labowski was a one-man army, only he was a radical nonconformist who tried to wage a one-man war. only man. against the “system” in Gotham after getting fed up with the bureaucracy and information overload present in the city.

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The similarities between Mad Stan and Frank Castle don’t end with the vigilante mentality. Like the Punisher, Mad Stan makes up for his lack of superpowers with explosives and a proficiency in hand-to-hand combat.

Mad Stan first appeared in the Batman Beyond episode, “Rats”, when he turns into a rampage and attacks Batman. He also appears in the episode, “Eyewitness”, where he is apparently killed by Batman. After beating Stan in a fight, Terry McGinnis announces that he will prevent Stan from escaping from prison again and makes good on his promise by using one of Stan’s bombs to hit his head. However, it is later revealed that Batman was framed. for the mysterious Spellbinder and that Mad Stan is alive and well inside one of Spellbinder’s virtual reality rooms. Mad Stan also appeared on “Countdown,” one of the show’s final episodes. In this episode, Mad Stan places a huge bomb on the back of the robot, Zeta, and tells Batman that he has until midnight to find Zeta and disarm the bomb.

Mad Stan was introduced to the Batman universe as a disappointing villain of sorts who was typically used as an introduction to more complex plots. His career in Batman Beyond It was relatively short-lived, but Mad Stan didn’t completely disappear when the show ended in 2001. Stan entered the DC Universe comic with 2012 Batman Beyond Unlimited # 3-6, by Adam Beechen and Norm Breyfogle. The story, “The Trigger Man”, describes Mad Stan’s return after being allegedly killed by Hush.

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Stan is furious to learn that his former partners have continued in his absence and have shut him out of the business. Then he goes on a vindictive rampage when his precious dog, Boom-Boom, is taken from him. In this John Wick-style story, Batman Beyond works with Mad Stan to get his dog back and prevent further damage as Stan becomes increasingly unstable.

While Mad Stan has only been sporadically involved in the DC Universe, he is far from a mere Punisher clone, but the similarities between the two are undeniable. And as long as Batman Beyond has a place in the DC Multiverse, Mad Stan may very well return to make the DC Universe a more explosive place.

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