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Wolverine Vs Punisher: One Violent Marvel Fight Is Way Too Gross For The MCU

Wolverine and the Punisher have had a long history in Marvel Comics, with the two first crossing paths in 1988's "The Punisher: War Journal" #6 by Carl Potts and Jim Lee. While they initially fight, the pair end their encounter as uneasy allies. But this isn't the last time they face off, including one fight that's too violent to ever make its way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In 2002's "The Punisher" #16 and 17, by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, we see Frank Castle and Logan once again out for each other's blood, and the books provide plenty. The Punisher opens up this meeting by unloading a shotgun straight into Wolverine's face, blowing the skin off, and revealing the X-Man's Adamantium skull underneath. But Wolverine is relentless, and as Frank is in the midst of the upper hand, he takes a baseball bat and smashes Wolverine right between the legs, temporarily incapacitating him. And that's just for starters.

Shortly after Wolverine recovers from the bat, Punisher follows up with a second shotgun blast, this time right to the family jewels. "They'll grow back," Frank assures Logan. Yet he still isn't done. Knowing the mutant will quickly recover from his injuries, the Punisher slowly drives a steamroller over Wolverine and flattens him like it's the finale of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" Of course, Wolverine recovers, but considering these were Marvel Knights books — a Marvel Comics imprint catering to older, more mature readers — this was an exceptionally brutal superhero confrontation. It's almost certainly too grim for the Disney-owned Marvel Studios to touch if an onscreen battle between the two ever happens.

Will Wolverine and the Punisher meet in the MCU?

While there hasn't been any indication that Wolverine and Punisher will be doing battle in live-action, either as allies or enemies, the stage is already somewhat set for the two characters to meet in the MCU.

Hugh Jackman will be making his long-awaited return as the berserk mutant in "Deadpool & Wolverine," which is also in a position to introduce several recently acquired properties into Disney's sprawling cinematic universe. This includes the Netflix Marvel series "Daredevil, "Jessica Jones," "Luke Cage," "Iron Fist," "The Defenders," and, most crucially, "The Punisher." 

Jon Bernthal made his debut as Frank Castle in "Daredevil" Season 2 before leading his own solo series for two seasons. Since Charlie Cox has already reprised his Netflix role as Matt Murdock in "Spider-Man: No Way Home" and "She-Hulk," it could be argued that Bernthal's take on the character is already in MCU canon. With Beranthal poised to return as the Punisher, and now that Wolverine is officially part of the franchise, the pieces are in place for a brawl between two of Marvel's most brutal characters. But whether they ever meet or not, while Marvel Studios is finally exploring R-rated offerings, it's unlikely that anything as gruesome as the fight that happened in these books will ever make it to the big screen.