Today's The Punisher #16 brought Matthew Rosenberg and Szymon Kudranski's run on the character to a close, in a finale that was as out-of-the-box and violent as Frank Castle himself. And with a slew of Marvel heroes and villains being roped into the crusade, not everyone made it out of the conflict alive. Spoilers for this week's issue of The Punisher, "War on the Streets: Part Five" below! Only look if you want to know!
The issue picked up in the immediate aftermath of the battle between Frank and Baron Zemo, which had ended with the latter kidnapping Rachel Cole-Alves. Frank and Ghost Rider followed Zemo's trail, leading them just outside of Fisk Tower. A brutal fight between Frank and Zemo soon ensued, as Frank got dangerously close to unmasking and killing Zemo. Ghost quickly intervened, and Zemo managed to escape and visit Fisk on the roof of the tower. Fisk began to ask Zemo if he really thought he would be able to outsmart Frank and become the villain that he so desperately wants to be.
Fisk then says that Zemo never should've hunted him or Frank to begin with, before ordering Ghost to essentially vaporize Zemo out of existence.
Given the fact that Frank and Zemo had essentially been intertwined in a cat-and-mouse game ever since the series began, there's something surprising and satisfying about seeing Zemo finally meet his demise. Of course, that event then complicates things with Frank for the rest of the issue, as he gets upset that he wasn't the one to ultimately kill Zemo. Frank's own fate is then thrown into question later on in the issue after Black Widow accidentally uses her Widow's Bite to zap him off of the rooftop.
Of course, given the medium of comics, it will be interesting to see if this truly is the final demise for Baron Zemo. Considering the fact that Daniel Bruhl is supposed to reprise his role as the character in the upcoming The Falcon and The Winter Soldier television series, it doesn't seem completely impossible that Zemo could be resurrected sooner than later.
The Punisher #16 is available in stores now.