In most situations new writers take over an established title (like Batman, for example) with the goal of writing about the characters they grew up with. As a result many books tend to stagnate, since both readers and writers are unwilling to take the risk of introducing new characters and shaking up the status quo.
However, there are a brave few whose creations have taken on a life of their own. Today we look at one of the most recent, and greatest additions to the Marvel Universe’s pantheon of crime: Barracuda.
Originally created in 2006 by Garth Ennis, Barracuda (whose real name is unknown) is a former Green Beret who went on to become a powerful gangster on the streets of Miami. His ruthless nature, combined with his combat training made him extremely wealthy as a private hitman, and it wasn’t long before he was hired by the criminal underworld to assassinate Frank Castle, aka The Punisher.
As you can imagine their encounter was nothing less than brutal, and Barracuda lost several fingers and his eye in the battle. While this would discourage a lesser criminal, it only made Barracuda more determined to kill The Punisher.
Perhaps Barracuda is obsessed with what he sees as a worthy adversary, or maybe he just has a death wish. Either way, what eventually follows is probably one of the most graphic battles I have ever seen in a comic, which I’m not going to describe in great detail here. Needless to say, things did not turn out very well for Barracuda, or The Punisher. Ew.
One thing that sets Barracuda apart from regular thugs is his psychotically upbeat nature. He seems to find great humor in violence, even when confronted the sight of losing his own appendages. This, combined with his ruthless nature, has quickly made him the Punisher’s arch-nemesis in less than two year’s time. His popularity was even enough to support his own five-issue mini-series, which focuses on him trying to earn enough money to carry out yet another plan against Frank Castle. There is a lot of dark humor with the character, which is a relief given the rather graphic violence that surrounds his life.
Due to him appearing in Punisher’s MAX (Mature Readers) title, it’s unlikely that Barracuda will ever see an appearance in the VS. System, or the mainstream Marvel Universe. This is a huge shame since the Punisher has a really, really limited rogue’s gallery, and Barracuda could prove to be an interesting foe for all kinds of street-level heroes.
We’ll have to wait and see if he’ll make an appearance in our favorite card game, but until then we can dream.
Every time Barracuda is attacked by The Punisher, it ends up costing him dearly. I wanted a way to get around The Punisher’s KO effects, while also giving Crime Lords a bit of firepower. I think this card is extremely powerful, but not ‘broken.’ Plus, it fits the character pretty well.
Ultimately I’d like to see a more aggressive Barracuda card in the game, but I’d be happy just seeing the guy with a blank text box.