Barracuda (comics): Wikis

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Barracuda
Barracudapunisher.jpg
Promotional art for Barracuda in The Punisher (vol. 6) #50
Art by Howard Chaykin.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The Punisher (vol. 5) #31 (May 2006)
Created by Garth Ennis
Goran Parlov
In-story information
Alter ego Unknown
Abilities Ex-special forces
Highly trained in armed and unarmed combat
Exceptional strength and endurance

Barracuda is a fictional American comic book character owned by Marvel Comics who opposes the Punisher. He is a mercenary gangster of great physical strength, endurance, fighting ability, and exceptional intelligence. He shows an incredible sense of optimism and "glass half full" thinking (even maintaining a cheerful attitude as the Punisher cut off all the fingers on his right hand), profane humor, and a tendency to betray anyone if he can benefit from it. He first appeared in The Punisher (vol. 6) #31.

At a panel at the 2008 Philadelphia Wizard World comic convention Garth Ennis stated that the basis for the character of Barracuda was the song "Stagger Lee", especially the version recorded by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

Contents

Publication history

Although his first appearance was in the closing panels of The Punisher #31, he became a primary character in the ensuing story arc in the following issue #32. After a six-issue story arc in The Punisher, Barracuda was launched in 2007 as an eponymous 5-issue mini-series in the MAX title Punisher Presents: Barracuda.

Fictional character biography

Barracuda grew up in Boca Raton, Florida, the eldest of two brothers and a sister. His father was an alcoholic who, in the night before he abandoned his family, burned Barracuda's hand on a grill while telling him to be "hard as the motherfucking world itself." He got into a fight in elementary school where he shoved his thumbs into a classmate's eyes.

After castrating a would-be attacker while in a youth detention center, Barracuda was recruited by the U.S. Army. As a Green Beret, Barracuda's A-team helped the CIA install Leopoldo Luna, a South American dictator in the 1980s. According to his recollection, in another mission in Africa he engaged in cannibalism to prove his masculinity.

After leaving the service, he became a feared gangster. Police arrested him after finding him after a shootout at which site Barracuda calmly waited with the decapitated head of a gangster on his lap. He spent time in jail afterward where he struck a profitable partnership with Harry Ebbing, a corrupt and violent corporate CEO.

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Fighting the Punisher

Years later Ebbing hires him to assassinate the Punisher, who is investigating Ebbing's corporation, Dynaco, which plans to sabotage Florida's power grid for profit.

During his fight with the Punisher, Barracuda loses an eye and the fingers on his right hand. Although Barracuda wins the fight and could easily kill his opponent then and there, he takes the Punisher out to sea so he can watch him be killed by sharks. When the Punisher informs him that he has lost the chance to have his fingers reattached (by putting them on ice without using a plastic bag, since direct ice contact kills the nerve endings), Barracuda simply laughs at his own carelessness. He tosses the Punisher overboard, along with a local gangster that had wronged him. The Punisher uses the gangster to trick Barracuda into thinking both of them are slain by a great white shark. The Punisher sneaks back to land by hanging onto Barracuda's boat.

Barracuda becomes deeply involved with Dynaco and the affairs of the CEO's mistress and his right hand man Dermot. The plan is to set Dermot up as the new CEO during a shareholder fishing trip. Dynaco's plans, leaked to the media, result in the CEO committing suicide and Dermot, with the backing of the shareholders, expresses the opinion that Dynaco can do what they want, that the Punisher cannot touch them.

The Punisher realizes that, with Barracuda's help, the ship is now vulnerable. He sinks it, sending all the shareholders (the crew was in on it also) into the ocean, where they are slain by sharks. Barracuda tries to come aboard Frank's boat, only to be shot at point blank range. Like Frank, he survives by hanging on to the boat.

Miniseries

An undetermined amount of time later, Barracuda is approached by Chris Angelone, an Italian Mafia boss. Angelone has been feuding with Leopoldo Luna about the price of cocaine, so he has decided that his 20-year old hemophiliac son Oswald will kill Luna with Barracuda's assistance, not knowing Barracuda is an old ally of Luna's. Barracuda immediately betrays Angelone and has Luna take custody of Oswald to blackmail the gangster. He also betrays Luna by sleeping with his wife Wanda and then calls an old cross-dressing Green Beret buddy Fifty for backup (who Luna begins sleeping with, not knowing Fifty isn't a woman).

This is all part of a plan to gain the money he needs to get revenge on the Punisher. He announces to Luna's inner-circle that he intends to kill the dictator and put Wanda in his place, kill Angelone and put Oswald in his place, restart the cocaine trade between the two factions and get an American reconstruction firm (represented by an accountant he knew in prison) to start up work in Santa Morricone. One of the circle reveals this plan to Luna and he invites Barracuda and Fifty on a helicopter trip to the local volcano, planning to kill them; Barracuda salvages the situation by getting Fifty to show off his penis, causing the dictator to leap out of the helicopter to his doom.

Meanwhile Angelone, angry at being betrayed and humiliated, has been trying to launch a coup in Santa Morricone and successfully swings part of the army to his side. Barracuda and Fifty have to fight their way into the presidential palace to grab Oswald & Wanda and then flee back to the helicopter, but Fifty is gunned down in the second half of the plan and he remains behind to cover their retreat. (To his face, Barracuda seems stoically upset about this but grins and calls his old comrade "dumbass" when out of earshot.) They escape in the helicopter and when Angelone (who'd grabbed the landing gear) rises up to get his revenge, Oswald shoots his father dead. He and Barracuda celebrate his becoming a "hardcore motherfucking gangster!"

Barracuda then gives Oswald a friendly pat on the back, which due to his hemophilia kills him - right as it turns out the helicopter has too little fuel and no compass. Barracuda and Wanda are left floating in the Pacific Ocean in a boat with no food or equipment, and it is strongly hinted that he's going to cannibalize her.

Long, Cold Dark

While formulating a plan to get his revenge on the Punisher, Barracuda receives information from an unknown source that leads him to the home of Yorkie Mitchell, Castle's British friend and former SAS and MI6 agent (retired after the Punisher's Man of Stone story arc). After interrogating and killing Yorkie and his wife, Barracuda stumbles across some startling and very useful information; unbeknownst to the Punisher, he has a very young daughter, the result of a tryst between him and now deceased CIA agent Kathryn O'Brien. The baby is in the care of O'Brien's sister and brother-in-law in La Jolla, San Diego, California. Barracuda travels to La Jolla and kidnaps the child from a day care center, killing a worker in the process.

Barracuda returns to New York in order to draw the Punisher into a trap. He secretly sets up a meeting between several criminal organizations in a high rise hotel, knowing full well that such a meeting would attract the Punisher. Barracuda is not at this meeting himself; in fact the criminals are totally unaware of who set up the meeting in the first place. Frank, who is hiding in the ceiling, plans to strike amongst the confusion when he realizes that the entire place, including his own location, has been wired with explosives. Barracuda then steps off an elevator into the meeting and massacres the entire group (with intentions of taking over their businesses once he has finished with the Punisher). Frank joins the fray in order to escape the explosives and is easily captured by Barracuda, who escapes with an unconscious Punisher to a nearby building via zip line.

When the Punisher awakes, he finds himself bound to a chair. Barracuda gloats to him about his plan and reveals his daughter to him. An enraged Punisher breaks his bonds and attacks Barracuda, biting off his left cheek. Barracuda stabs the Punisher in the side and tosses him through the window. The Punisher lands on the hood of a police car and is arrested and hospitalized. Seeking treatment for his own injuries, Barracuda disappears with Frank's daughter.

Soon Frank escapes from police custody and travels to California to try to head off Barracuda. When he arrives he confronts Barracuda at the home of O'Brien's sister to rescue Sarah. Barracuda kills the child but Frank realizes that it was a fake baby and attacks him resulting in Barracuda getting shot twice, his glass eye getting smashed and then getting tortured by having his testicles hooked up to a car battery.

After telling Frank where Sarah is, Frank sees that the baby's seat is attached to a Claymore mine. Barracuda goes insane from his wounds and attacks Frank with an M60 that was in Frank's car. Luckily, Frank finds the M60 in Barracuda's car and the fight is on. After the fight, Barracuda, who is covered with burns and gunshot wounds, tries to beat Castle to death. Castle escapes by tearing Barracuda's nose off with a pair of pliers. The fight ends in an elementary school where Barracuda tracks Frank down but he gets caught off guard. Frank chops Barracuda's arms off with a fire axe and then blows his head apart with Barracuda's own AK-47.

In the next arc, Valley Forge, Valley Forge, it is revealed that Barracuda was sent by the U.S. Military Generals who organized the military operation in the arc Mother Russia to silence the Punisher.[1]

Abilities and training

Trained as a Green Beret, he is a capable opponent and is also intelligent. He is able to mastermind a coup against Luna, lead his team to victory during the 1980s, and generally find his way out of many binds. He has incredible endurance as he took a shotgun blast to the gut at point blank range. He is just as resourceful as seen by his survival at the hands of the Punisher by grabbing the side of the boat which brought him to safety. Barracuda has often demonstrated incredible physical strength, able to rip through steel chains and kick out through the boot of a car after undergoing torture, as well as a high level of combat skill, as he could fight the Punisher equally.

Other Barracudas

Other versions

Marvel Noir

In The Punisher Noir, Baracudda appears as a prohibition-era enforcer of Bumpy Johnson, specializing in wrecking night clubs rivaling those of his employer.

In other media

Video games

  • Barracuda is a playable character in the PlayStation Network exclusive game The Punisher: No Mercy.

Collected editions

Barracuda's appearances have been collected in a number of trade paperbacks:

  • Barracuda (TPB collects Punisher MAX #31-36, 2006, ISBN 0-7851-2023-8)
  • Punisher Presents: Barracuda Max (TPB collects 5-issue mini-series, September 2007, ISBN 0-7851-2465-9)

References

  1. ^ Punisher #55

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