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Linus "Microchip" Lieberman (often known as Micro) is a fictional comic book character in the Marvel Universe. Created by writer Mike Baron and artist Klaus Janson, he first appeared in The Punisher #4 (Nov. 1987) as an ally of The Punisher for many years. He assisted the Punisher by building weapons, supplying technology and providing friendship. Micro served as a cross between Q, from the James Bond novels and films and Alfred Pennyworth, the loyal butler of Batman.

Fictional character biography

Linus "Microchip" Leiberman was a legendary computer hacker in the early days of the hacking business, performing numerous scams and hacks still held in awe today, until one scam brought him too close to real-world criminals forcing him to go into "retirement" as a quiet unassuming businessman. This ended when his nephew, attempting to follow in his favorite uncle's footsteps, was caught and killed after accidentally hacking into the private computers of Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime. While personally investigating his nephew's murder, Leiberman met The Punisher and the two began working together. Microchip's help proved invaluable to Castle working not just as a hacker and cyber-investigator but also helping Castle manage and launder his finances (taken from the criminals he terminated), set up and equip safehouses, train in more "specialized" skills useful for his war on crime, and obtain harder-to-get ammunition and equipment. Less obsessed with the war, Microchip also acted as a defacto counseler to Castle, encouraging him to take occasional vacations and breaks so as not to get burned out or crazed.

The Punisher War Zone

The Punisher's 1992 spin-off entitled The Punisher War Zone was launched, written by Chuck Dixon and penciled by John Romita, Jr.. It later turned into an out-of-continuity anthology. The first issues included character arcs for Micro, where Linus goes so far as to see a psychiatrist and take up acting in theatre as part of his therapy. After Castle discovers this, the two have a disagreement and Micro goes into hiding, working as a barman.

Apparent death

Ultimately, Castle and Micro had one final fall out just before the cancellation of all three major Punisher titles in 1995. This fight came to an end in the closing issues of The Punisher War Journal (vol. 1). Micro had a falling out with Castle due to their disagreements over his methods, his feeling that Castle had lost sight of their original goals, and that Castle had gone over the edge. Soon after, Micro then tried to replace Castle with a new handpicked "Punisher", former Navy Seal Carlos Cruz. Micro and Castle eventually came face to face in one of Micro's safehouses in what appeared to be a final confrontation. A gun battle ensued between the two former partners. In the midst of this battle, Micro appeared to die at the hands of rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. agent "Stone Cold". Castle moved on, showing no visible remorse over the apparent demise of his former friend, noting that if Stone Cold had not finished Microchip off, he would have.

Dark Reign

The Hood brings Microchip back from the dead and offers to bring his nephew back to life if he helps in dealing with the Punisher. Microchip later sends Megatak to attack Punisher's hacker ally Henry. To start off Hood's revival ritual upon the Castle family after Punisher was captured, Microchip shoots G.W. Bridge in the head.

Other versions

MAX

In the Punisher: MAX universe Microchip has been presumed dead for some time. However he returns to attempt to pressure Castle into working for the CIA's black ops unit to participate in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. The Punisher declines, as he prefers his autonomy to indentured service to an institution such as the government. Microchip confesses to Castle that the source of funding for the operation came from the CIA funneling arms and heroin out of Afghanistanmarker. Castle gives Micro a chance he has not given his victims since before he officially assumed the role of the Punisher: the chance to run. Microchip declines, obligated to help Castle in a CIA/Mafia firefight. Taking a possibly mortal injury in the fight, Micro attempts to humanize Castle again, only to be met with a point-blank shotgun round to the head.

In other media

Television

  • Microchip appeared with the Punisher in the 1990s Spider-Man cartoon voiced by Robert Axelrod. His nickname was Chip rather than Micro, and he tended to act as Frank's conscience, urging him to use the non-lethal weaponry.


Films

  • Microchip was included in an early draft of 2004's The Punisher by Michael France.
  • Microchip appeared in 2008's Punisher: War Zone film portrayed by Wayne Knight. In the film, no explanation is given as to how he came to work with the Punisher, although he appears to support his war on crime. He lives with his mother, who is physically disabled and can barely move. When Jigsaw and Loony Bin Jim hear about him, they kill his mother, kidnap him, and give the Punisher a choice to either kill Microchip or Angela Donnatali and her daughter Grace (who they also kidnapped) or they will kill all three. Microchip heroically offers his own life, but the Punisher instead uses his one bullet on Loony Bin Jim, killing him. An enraged Jigsaw then promptly shoots Microchip in the head, killing him. Before his death, Castle reassured him that he "won't feel a thing" implying that he knew that Jigsaw was going to kill him and that his fate was inescapable. The Punisher, now enraged, frees Angela and Grace before brutally dispatching Jigsaw. He odes supply the Punisher with weapons and is presumably a former Government agent.


Video games



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