The Punisher: Street by Street, Block by Block – Matthew Rosenberg, Szymon Kudranski & Antonio Fabela (Marvel)

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All things must come to an end. That’s how the Universe works. Nothing lasts forever, and in Street by Street, Block by Block Frank Castle’s one man war against crime and, following his brief ill-informed dalliance with them during the Secret Empire saga, Hydra reaches its conclusion. Having fixated on Baron Zemo, the figurehead of the loathsome group he despises, Castle has been to hell and back in his quest to extract a modicum of vengeance and see “justice” served to his elusive nemesis. 

But Frank Castle doesn’t give up, he doesn’t quit and doesn’t know how to surrender. With his quarry “trapped” in New York and with a rag-tag bunch of heroes serving as his back-up, Frank slowly, but surely, zeros in on his target.  Battling foes seen, and unseen, and constantly trying to catch up with the stratagems and intrigues sown by Zemo and his “supporter” in chief Wilson Fisk, The Punisher goes to war against Hydra’s army and pays the ultimate price to fulfil his objective. In orgy of unmitigated violence, gunfire, explosions and death, Frank at long last brings the pain to Baron Zemo’s door.

It’s been one heck of a blood soaked, gore splattered journey, but Matthew Rosenberg’s time as the architect of The Punisher’s destiny has ceased. Working to the principle that you should always go out with a bang, Rosenberg throws everything at the canvas that the master of rampaging noir brutality and destruction Szymon Kudranski has loving crafted for him, and every single thing he launches at it, sticks. A study in the effectiveness of the power of will and an examination of endurance and determination, Street by Street, Block by Block adheres to the guiding principle that Rosenberg has clung to throughout his run. Let Frank be Frank and let him do what he does best.

And what Frank does best is kill absolutely everyone who gets in his way and falls within his mission parameters. Matthew Rosenberg gives Frank all the leeway he needs in order to be himself, but also ensures that his avatar of annihilation is governed by Newton’s Third Law. That for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, something that knowing Frank as well he does, Rosenberg implements it the only way he can and utilises it to end this chapter of The Punisher’s saga in grand and glorious fashion. Frank Castle is dead. Long live The Punisher…  Tim Cundle

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