Bullets and blades blast and slice across Battlerealm as Jake Gallows, the Punisher of 2099, brute forces his way into “Marvel Contest of Champions” as the game’s 100th character.
We talked to Kabam Art Director Gabriel Frizzera and Character Designer Simon Cameron about what makes this particular Punisher tick like a time bomb.
Marvel.com: I gotta ask, how much effort does it take for The Collector to reach through the past and future to snatch up a specimen?
Gabriel Frizzera: The Punisher 2099 was captured in the original batch of Champions for The Contest. But it wasn’t necessary for Collector to reach through time, since Jake Gallows had travelled back to the 21st century to execute Carnage, as part of an initiative by the future Hydra regime to punish criminals in different timelines. They’re very proactive at the Secret Empire— they won’t let small things like the space-time continuum get in the way of their punishment!
Marvel.com: And what makes Jake Gallows so special that he gets to fight it out in The Contest?
Gabriel Frizzera: Gallows was one of the characters Marvel allowed us to redesign for the CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS comic book, and appeared briefly in the last issue—before being quickly dispatched by Frank Castle. We had plans to put him in the game for a while, and when the opportunity to do a Secret Empire tie-in came about, we decided to have him as the villain. Turns out he’s also our 100th playable character, so it worked out great that he’s one of our original designs!
Marvel.com: 100 characters is a super cool milestone, and outside of Angela, this may be my favorite looking combatant in “Contest of Champions.” Seriously, this Punisher looks absolutely awesome! What can you tell us about his design?
Gabriel Frizzera: We are fond of his ‘90s garish outfit and gadgets, but we wanted to push him to look more like a “futuristic shock-police on steroids.” The central piece of the design is the chest skull made of knives and guns—which teleport into his hands; not a second to spare in the future. His whole arsenal is white to contrast with the black and red suit, but also to speak to the nature of 2099’s technology: all weapons would be freshly formed and reconfigured on the spot by nanotechnology. His original concept had way more weapons—like mag-blades on his arms and an electro-baton—and a tactical helmet, which ended up having to be cut for memory reasons. But we kept his bad-ass disintegrating gun and “Grenazers”!
Marvel.com: Aside from his bad ass new look, what sets him apart from Frank Castle?
Gabriel Frizzera: We joke in the office that Jake Gallows makes Frank Castle look like a soft-hearted hippie! We had a lot of fun writing the contrast between the two, the same way other writers love to contrast Frank Castle among more “straight” heroes like Captain America. In the story, when placed between Jake Gallows’ and Steve Rogers’ radically different views of justice, Frank Castle is forced to admit he might be a bit closer to Cap than the fanatic Punisher 2099. It was fun for me to write dialogue where Gallows calls Castle a “half-measure,” the same way Castle called Matt Murdock [“Marvel’s Daredevil” on Netflix]. That shows how far Punisher 2099 has strayed into villainous territory.
Marvel.com: Tell me a little about Punisher 2099’s abilities…
Simon Cameron: Punisher 2099 gets much of his strength from his Nano-Tech, which is powered by the Nano-Tech Battery. This charge builds over time, and his Special 1 gives him an Overcharge Passive effect, giving him additional Nano-Tech charge for a few seconds. This charge is spent by a number of automatically triggered effects—things like: Triggering a Heal Block on an Opponent when they trigger a Regeneration Buff, Draining the Charge to Regenerate Punisher 2099 if his Health drops below a threshold, or adding a Stun effect to his Heavy Attack. He also enters an Overdrive mode if his Charge reaches 100%. This drains his Charge over time, but grants him additional Attack, and reduces the amount of Power his Opponent gains when they’re struck by Punisher’s attacks.
Marvel.com: And what’s Retribution 2099 all about?
Simon Cameron: Retribution 2099 is Punisher’s Signature Ability. It lets him start the fight with his Nano-Tech Battery partially charged; it also adds a new automatically triggered effect to spend his Nano-Tech Charge on. This ability triggers when his opponent hits full power, draining a small amount of it, and power locking them for a couple seconds. It’s a little like a Special 3 get out of jail free card.
Marvel.com: And when can we hope to bring the Punisher’s weapon mastery to bear on the bad guys?
Simon Cameron: Punisher 2099 opens fire on The Contest June 29!