When ComicsAlliance contributor Chris Sims wrote a glowing review of "The Punisher" #11 -- in which the title character's dismembered body is stolen by a swamp monster and stitched up by Morbius the Living Vampire so that he can defend Monster Island from a renegade team of Japanese monster-hunting super-samurai -- a reader responded by saying that he didn't see the appeal of this concept being used "in the core Marvel Universe."

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To put it mildly, we completely disagree with this sentiment. Yes, there are some concepts that don't work, and the Punisher specifically has had his fair share of those, but to dismiss an idea as too crazy for the Marvel Universe gives us the idea that you've been reading different Marvel comics from the rest of us. That place is built on high concepts that verge on the insane, which is why we've recruited Chris to show us what else has gone on in the Core Marvel Universe over the years.

In the Core Marvel Universe, a scientist who tried to beat the Russians to the moon by hijacking a spaceship with his best friend, his girlfriend and her kid brother -- which resulted in them becoming monsters, albeit popular and famous monsters -- faced his greatest challenge when a spaceman made of metal came to Earth on his flying surfboard to see if it was a good enough planet for his boss, a giant spaceman in a purple mini-skirt who survived the Big Bang, to eat.

In the Core Marvel Universe, the most popular person is a 120 year-old Canadian berserker samurai who has who has been to the moon and was in love with a psychic who destroyed an alien planet and came back from the dead, married to both Japanese royalty and a green-haired terrorist, and had a child with a woman from a hidden region of Antarctica where dinosaurs and cavemen live. When he is not fighting his enemies -- most of whom are versions of himself, some of whom have claws made of lasers -- he reaffirms his status as as tough-as-nails loner as a member of at least three superhero teams.

In the Core Marvel Universe, the flagship character's girlfriend was tragically killed when she was thrown off a bridge by an industrialist on a flying piece of sheet metal who later died, but came back and killed an alien queen in the head on television. This man, pictured above, is now the defacto head of Homeland Security.

In the Core Marvel Universe, a "gritty crime story" is one where a blind lawyer ninja dressed as the Devil fights a massive Sumo wrestler with a cane that shoots lasers, who employs both a Major League Baseball pitcher who killed a batter with a fastball and the blind lawyer ninja's girlfriend, the daughter of a diplomat who herself became a ninja, died and came back to life, and was once replaced by an alien shape-shifter.

In the Core Marvel Universe, a man who got his powers from the wizard Merlin and fought vampires that were shot out of a cannon on the moon by Dracula (who came to earth in a magic pirate ship), has a twin sister who was kidnapped by an interdimensional television executive and later had her mind transferred to the body of a Japanese assassin who could make a knife out of psychic powers.

In the Core Marvel Universe, an alcoholic robot that used to hang out with a bunch of 2,000 foot-tall Space Gods (who are themselves responsible for evolution, and one of whom can destroy a planet with the "formula for World Destruction" written on his thumb) fought an entire planet full of zombies with super-powers.

In the Core Marvel Universe, there are countries ruled by people with names like Victor von Doom and Blackagar Boltagon.

In the Core Marvel Universe, worldwide espionage is handled by a World War II veteran who is immortal thanks to a serum, and who spends a good deal of his time thwarting either his evil brother, who leads a cartel of horoscope-themed villains, or HYDRA, which is not an acronym but is always capitalized anyway, an organization whose plans have included blowing up Washington DC with a horn. He does this by employing a flying aircraft carrier, robot duplicates of himself, a flying car, and a suit that is also a kite.

In the Marvel Universe, Thor -- the literal Norse god of Thunder -- was turned into a frog for three issues, including one where his magic hammer turned him into a 6'6" frog-man (er, frog-god), which had the side effect of chipping his hammer so that another frog (who had once been a man before he was cursed by a fortune-teller) could turn into a normal-sized frog-god, which came in handy when he had to team up with a teleporting dog and a sabretooth tiger to get magic gems back from an alien from Jupiter's moon who was in love with the living embodiment of Death.

In the Core Marvel Universe, the Punisher fought a giant bulletproof transvestite who survived being smothered by the fat of a morbidly obese man, decapitated, and thrown off the Empire State Building, in that order, before he was finally done in by a nuclear bomb.

This is considered one of the more serious Punisher storylines.

When Chris put his thoughts out on Twitter, other people got in on the act too! Here are a few of our favorites:


In the Core Marvel Universe, a man who shoots lasers out of his eyes cheats on his space-god wife by shacking up with a lady made of diamond who can also read minds.

In the Core Marvel Universe, a former weapons dealer and Secretary of Defense who wears a cybernetic suit of armor pushed through legislation and convinced the president to use that law to chase down and fight a World War II hero revived from a block of ice, among others


In the Core Marvel Universe, a clone of Adolf Hitler fought an astronaut who was turned into a space werewolf by a ruby necklace.


In the Core Marvel Universe, a grown man in a cat suit runs an African country that has better technology than the rest of the world.


In the Core Marvel Universe, President Nixon, in blue/purple robes, tried takeover of USA by landing spaceship on White House lawn. Suicided later.


In the Core Marvel Universe, an android burned Adolf Hitler to death to end World War II.


In the Core Marvel Universe, the evolutionary future of mankind lives on the moon with their giant teleporting dog

If you want to play along, add your own favorite Marvel U moments on Twitter with the hashtag #coremarveluniverse

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