I’ve gotten to do some seriously awesome stuff since I embarked on this little adventure of full-time writing. For example: Last night, at the 2012 Nebula Awards, I got to stand on a stage and present the Ray Bradbury Award for Best Dramatic Presentation to Neil Gaiman in front of a banquet hall packed with science-fiction and fantasy’s literary luminaries. If I never do anything else of note in my life, I did that.
But I just got permission to squee about something that’s on the same level.
Most of you know that I’m fortunate enough to have the amazing Michael Komarck handling the covers of my SHADOW OPS series in the US (Larry Rostant has the gig in the UK). Komarck recently contacted me and asked for some help. He had been commissioned by Marvel Comics to do a cover featuring a fight between two of my favorite superheroes: The Punisher and The Hulk.
Now, Komarck knew that the Punisher was a hard-bitten lead-slinger with an unlimited arsenal. He also knew that the Hulk was a veritably bullet-proof indestructible tower of rage.
So, Komarck’s question to me: If I were the Punisher, kitting out to go take on Dr. Banner’s dark side, what sort of heat would I pack? (Restriction: One short gun, one long).
Well, Mr. Komarck, you asked the right guy:
You see, the Punisher is gun-savvy enough not to even consider going up against the Hulk with anything less than high-powered .50 caliber ammunition. If you think of the Hulk as the equivalent of a bull elk or something even more sizeable/thick (like an elephant), then your most powerful handgun option is the Smith & Wesson 500 (.50 cal). It’s a handgun so big that you can use it to hunt big game (like elk). I doubt it would do a whole lot against the Hulk, but if you want to at least remind the big guy that you’re in the neighborhood, this is the short weapon to do it.
Now, the standard long gun for the Punisher is an SOPMOD M4. That’s your standard infantry weapon (albeit tricked out), but it’s only firing a 5.56mm round, which isn’t going to bother the Hulk all that much. The gold standard for high-powered rifles is the .50 cal BMG. The M82 variant is intended as a sniper rifle (single shots taken from a REALLY long way off), but it’s an INCREDIBLY powerful weapon, and if anything is going to have a chance in making a dent in the Hulk, it’ll be this.
So, those were my calls, and you can see the results below:
I’ve been reading comic books since I was a kid, and this is the first time I ever had any influence over how they turned out. So cool to see the Punisher going into battle against the Hulk with an arsenal of my choosing.
Good luck, Mr. Castle! Hope the kit serves you well. The Hulk is one tough customer, and I’d want more than conventional arms on my side. But if bullets are all you’ve got to rely on, this will give you the best chance.