blind_joe_death-punisher-pwj75-mostfull-front BLIND JOE DEATH

Real Name: Unrevealed (see comments)

Identity/Class: Human (semi-high-tech weapons-user)

Occupation: Professional criminal; assassin

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Zafiro and his associates;
    formerly Heathen,

EnemiesHeathen, Lynn Michaels (aka Punisher), Mr. Michaels (Lynn's father), Mondo Pain (Edmondo Paina), Payback (Eddie Dyson), Ricky, the Terminal / Punishment Squad (none identified), VIGIL (notably Letz), a trio of would-be muggers, numerous others unidentified

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Blind Man" (from Mondo Pain and some would-be muggers); "Blindman" (from Heathen)
    Sammy (from an associate of Zafiro; see comments)

Base of Operations

First Appearance: (Unidentified) Punisher War Journal I#74 (January, 1995);
Punisher War Journal I#75 (February, 1995)blind_joe_death-punisher-pwj75-blade-cane

Powers/Abilities: Blind, Joe had highly acute auditory (hearing) and olfactory (smelling) senses. He could hear quiet sounds that escaped most others, and he could navigate in darkness better than sighted people. He could appreciate the current or former presence of someone in an area by the scent of perfume (or cologne, presumably), at least. He could even appreciate such odors even when surrounded by garbage. 

    He used to a cane to help him navigate when walking.

    Blind Joe's cane was grossly normal in size and appearance, but he could fire bullets from it. He only used it occasionally, and so it presumably could only fire a bullet (or perhaps a few) before being re-loaded. The curved handle of the cane had a dagger-like blade that was sheathed within the shaft of the cane until he released it. He also used the cane as a blunt weapon.

    Joe's blind nature caused most people to underestimate him, allowing him to catch them off guard with swift and/or silent but deadly (sorry, couldn't resist) assaults.

Height: Unrevealed (in most images, he looks to be perhaps 5'8" to 5'10", but the image of him next to the 6'1" Punisher makes him look like he's barely 5' tall, although he is somewhat leaning forward on his cane)
Weight: Unrevealed (perhaps 200-220 lbs.)
Eyes: Unrevealed (he may have had some obvious pathology of his eyes, which his dark glasses covered; one close image makes them look more of a solid white character, but it is a lateral view)
Hair: Gray (sometimes darker, almost black, sometimes a medium gray, and sometimes almost white), with male pattern baldness



(Punisher War Journal I#75 (fb) - BTS) - Lynn Michaels and other police heard stories of Blind Joe Death as a blind killer, but he was considered a police myth, a bogeyman that accused murderers would trot out as another suspect. 

     All who referenced the blind killer were laughed at and convicted.

(Punisher: Official Index to the Marvel Universe) - Blind Joe Death posed as "Sammy," the owner of Philadelphia newsstand.


(Punisher War Journal I#74) - Blind Joe worked out of a newsstand visited by Frank Castle (the Punisher, at the time believed dead). He asked Castle what he was getting or if he was just there to read. Noting the cost to be seven dollars, Castle gave him a ten and told him to keep the change. 

    Mondo Pain then arrived and called out to the "Blind Man," telling him he was supposed to meet a man (Zafiro) there and that he was supposed to talk to him (the blind man). Blind Joe told Mondo that the man he was to meet was running late and that maybe Mondo should come back. Mondo instead suggested that perhaps he should get a good look at the blind man's eyes, as he didn't need them for anything. 

     Zafiro's agents then confronted Mondo and took him away at gunpoint to meet with Zafiro. One of the men told "Sammy" that he had done a good job, and Blind Joe noted that Mondo's voice sounded like a razor through tin foil; Blind Joe further noted that he was creepy and that he didn't want him around again. Giving Blind Joe some cash, the man told him not to worry as Mondo would not be around again.

(Punisher War Journal I#75) - Blind Joe confronted Ricky, a young man who was apparently a memberblind_joe_death-punisher-pwj75-spinfire of an Asian gang who had alleged promised Heathen the Punisher' War Journal (apparently one of multiple copies). After Blind Joe advised Ricky that it was bad manners to keep Heathen waiting, Ricky recognized him and shouted out his name, after which Joe shot Ricky, apparently fatally with his cane gun, after which he claimed Ricky's version of the journal, noting, "very bad manners."

    As Blind Joe scaled the stairs of the subway with the journal, he was confronted by multiple members of the Terminal, and -- as one of them had seen him with "that Punk" (Ricky) -- they correctly suspected he had the journal. When one of the members noted that "dead peepers" didn't cut any slack with the Terminal and demanded he give the book to them immediately, Blind Joe responded to their identification by noting that that changed everything, and he used his cane to shoot the Terminal member closest to him, grabbed his automatic weapon and then he spun in a circle, firing on the other Terminal members, either hitting them or causing them to drop to the ground (he made no effort to avoid civilians, who also dove to the ground and/or may have been hit). He further noted that he had never heard of them, but he introduced himself as Blind Joe Death and suggested that maybe they had heard of him. VIGIL subsequently arrived on the scene, causing the Terminal to flee while Blind Joe slipped into a museum.

    Inside the building, which was also entered by the Punisher (Lynn Michaels) and members of both the Terminal and VIGIL, Blind Joe evaded gunfire by members of the Terminal while firing back with the automatic weapon and was spotted in the shadows by Michaels.

(Punisher War Journal I#75 - BTS) - Blind Joe led Michaels to a confrontation with Heathen, which was subsequently interrupted by VIGIL agents.

(Punisher War Journal I#75) - Blind Joe then seated himself in a room down a corridor. VIGIL agent Letz subsequently entered, threatened Joe and demanded to know where "he" was (presumably Heathen?), and when Heathen taunted Letz with threatening a blind man, Letz aimed his gun at the sound of his voice, at which point Blind Joe stabbed Letz with the dagger contained within the handle of his cane. Joe stood silently as Heathen mocked they dying Letz.

(Punisher War Journal I#75 (fb) - BTS) - Heathen threw Letz off the roof...

(Punisher War Journal I#75 - BTS) - crash on a car in front of a number of VIGIL agents, intentionally or unintentionally facilitating Lynn Michaels' successful flight from them.blind_joe_death-punisher-pwj76-muggers

(Punisher War Journal I#76) - Traveling down an alley, Blind Joe was confronted by a trio of muggers. When he sensed their presence and asked who was there, they advised the "blind man" that they were the guys to whom he was going to give his wallet. Replying, "Don't think so," Joe smacked them men on either side with the ends of his cane as he smashed the central man in the throat. With all three would-be attackers down, Blind Joe scented flowers and honey under the garbage and smoke and rot, and he smiled as he appreciated that this represented a woman.

    Blind Joe subsequently reported his findings to Heathen, noting that Heathen's informants were right and that "the girl who wants to be the Punisher" (Lynn Michaels) was there. Blind Joe complimented Heathen, noting that he had "the jazz" and "the touch." Standing on a rooftop above Blind Joe, Heathen noted that he was just tying up loose ends, and that there was a storm raging in the city, from which he (Heathen) would ultimately be the one to benefit.

(Punisher War Journal I#77) - As Blind Joe accompanied Heathen to Lynn Michaels' hotel room, they set off a sensor notifying Lynn of their approach. Hearing a click sound, Blind Joe warned Heathen that they had set off a switch of some kind, advising Heathen that "us blind guys got hearing like a rabbit. Maybe you heard that."blind_joe_death-punisher-pwj77-shot

    Acknowledging that there was no point in stealth, Heathen kicked in the door of Michaels' room. When the man inside (Lynn's father) feigned surprise and asked if they were there to rob him, Blind Joe asked who was there, and when Heathen noted that it was only an old man eating soup, Blind Joe noted that he didn't smell any soup cooking but that he did smell the honey-woman smell (referring to Lynn Michaels). When Heathen noted that the soup was cold, Lynn's father used a gun hidden under the table to fire at Heathen, who dropped to the ground to avoid serious injury. Blind Joe rushed in, firing his cane gun at Lynn's father and repeatedly asking "Where's He?"

    When Lynn and Payback (Eddie Dyson) rushed in and returned fire, Heathen pulled Blind Joe in front of himself, and Joe grunted as he took multiple bullets to his chest, abdomen, right arm, and right leg. Either Heathen deliberately pushed himself and Blind Joe backwards and out of the window behind them and/or the impact of the bullets drove them back to that effect.blind_joe_death-punisher-pwj77-car

(Punisher War Journal I#77 - BTS) - Payback fired on them from the window, and Blind Joe landed atop a car a short distance below.

(Punisher War Journal I#77) - Payback fired at the fleeing Heathen to no avail, noting "his little buddy was a goner, though." Blind Joe was left for dead atop the car he had struck.

Comments: Created by Steven Grant, Melvin Rubi, and Frank Percy.

    Blind Joe Death was one of the more interesting characters in the search for the Punisher's war journal. He was certainly more interesting than Heathen, and it's a shame he went out so quickly and ignobly when Heathen sacrificed him to save himself.

    "Sammy" the blind newsstand owner in Punisher War Journal I#74 looks over a foot shorter than the 6'1" Frank Castle (the Punisher), and he seemed to be legitimately intimidated by Mondo Pain (although it could have all been part of an act). When Blind Joe Death went into action in Punisher War Journal I#75, he was as tall as the Terminal/Punishment Squad member he confronted, and he looked to be more like 5'10"; there was no reference to his work/activity as Sammy Other than that, the two characters are virtually identical...blind, balding, gray-haired, unshaven, somewhat thick black men with no obvious differences in facial structure, build, etc.  appearing in consecutive issues by the same writer.
    When we did the Marvel Knights Encyclopedia back in 2003-2004, we listed Blind Joe Death (in the Punisher section of the Appendix) as having first appeared in Punisher War Journal I#75. That was almost 20 years ago as I write this profile, but I vaguely remember that the writers discussed it amongst ourselves and we decided that "Sammy" and "Blind Joe" were just coincidentally similar in appearance.
    The 2012 Punisher: Official Index to the Marvel Universe noted "Sammy" to be Blind Joe, posing as a newsstand owner.
    While, I wasn't part of the index discussion, I do know that the indexes and handbooks were much more thoroughly researched and discussed than the encyclopedias, which were a smaller group of writers with more superficial summaries.

    When I wrote the Heathen (and Payback, Trust, Stone Cold, and probably Lynn Michaels and the other would-be Punishers from the time, etc.) profile for the Appendix back in 2003, it was done as research for the Marvel Encyclopedia profile(s). I had intended to cover VIGIL and Blind Joe Death at the time, and I had even put links in Heathen's profile to them. Blind Joe didn't make it into the final cut for profiles in the Punisher section of the Marvel Knights Encyclopedia, and neither he nor VIGIL received Appendix profiles. Jacob/Proto-Man eventually covered VIGIL in 2016, and Blind Joe finally gets his profile in 2022, prompted by a fan request...

Profile by Snood.

Blind Joe Death
should be distinguished from:

: (without ads)

Punisher War Journal I#74, pg. 2, panel 1 (newsstand);
            panel 5 (face in profile);
    #75, pg. (mostly full; front);
        pg. , panel 1 (spin fire);
        pg. (blade in cane handle);
    #76, pg. 20, panel 4 (taking out 3 muggers);
    #77, pg. 9, panel 1-3 (shot, fall)
        pg. 10, panel 1 (car)

Punisher War Journal I#74 (January, 1995) - Steven Grant (writer), Melvin Rubi (penciler), Frank Percy (inker), Don Daley (editor)
Punisher War Journal I#75 (February, 1995) - Steven Grant & Chuck Dixon (script), Hugh Hayes (penciler), Scott Koblish & Company (inkers), Don Daley (editor)
Punisher War Journal I#76 (March, 1995) - Chuck Dixon (writer), Melvin Rubi (penciler), Frank Percy with Reggie Jones (inkers), Chris Cooper (editor)
Punisher War Journal I#77 (April, 1995) - Chuck Dixon (writer), Melvin Rubi (penciler), Steve Moncuse & M. Peter Keating, assisted by Mike Kraiger (inkers), Chris Cooper (editor)
Marvel Encyclopedia Vol. 5: Marvel Knights (2004) - Jeff Christiansen (head researcher), Kuljit Mithra (Daredevil writer/researcher), Jeff Christiansen, Ronald Byrd, Michael Hoskin, & Kyle Sims (Punisher writers/researchers), Barry Reese (Blade & Ghost Rider writer/researcher), Jen Grunwald (assistant editor), Jeff Youngquist (editor)
Punisher: Official Index to the Marvel Universe (2012) - Daron Jensen, Stuart Vandal & Jeph York (head writers/coordinators), Paul Bourcier, Chris Buchner, Russ Chappell, Chris McCarver, Jacob Rougemont, Al Sjoerdsma, Robert J. Sodaro & Kevin Wasser (writers), Alex Starbuck & Nelson Ribeiro (assistant editors), Jennifer Grünwald & Mark D. Beazley (editors, special projects), Jeff Youngquist (editor)

First posted: 01/08/2022
Last updated: 01/31/2022

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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