Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Stefano Landini
Cover: Clayton Crain
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Colorist: Clayton Crain
After refusing to give back the War Machine armor, the Punisher began a one-man assault mission against the criminal element of New York before focusing in on elements of Hydra leftover from the Secret Empire event. Frank runs into Baron Zemo his main target and some of his allies engaging them in combat. After being overwhelmed and almost killed, he is saved by Black Widow, Winter Soldier, Mockingbird, and Hawkeye. They dispatch the villains with Widow and Bucky turning on their friends. They join Frank and turn this into a mission of vengeance…
Our heroes are still on the run and find themselves in a restaurant. After Frank and Bucky trade verbal low blows, they set their plan up and head out. They end up at a Hydra base which doubled as a jail. An attack starts before they can hit the place so they spring into action and start attacking the installation. In the ensuing chaos they gain entry only to find inmates still locked in their cells. Baron Zemo, who is present, opens the doors to all the cells letting the inmates fight our heroes. They hold their own for quite a while and attempt escape before they’re overwhelmed by sheer numbers. As they attempt escape, they’re accosted by other members of the super hero community. The entire scene turns to chaos with Zemo escaping and finding an old friend he rescues from lockup. The Punisher attempts to intercept him but is intercepted by an old acquaintance of his own.
This issue was an adrenaline-soaked ride all the way through. It’s always a treat to see the Punisher doing his murdering thing and there is plenty of murder here. Winter Soldier and Black Widow (also adapt in the art of killing) join Frank for this mission and are good company even if Frank and Bucky can’t stand each other. The humor, violence, and the twist at the end makes this an unforgettable issue for me.