Greg Rucka's time with Frank Castle has come to an end and I'm happy to say it's one helluva swan song. You know you've just read something special when your immediate reaction is a slow clap once you're done with the read.
We all know Frank has a zero percent chance of fully eluding or defeating the Avengers -- but that's not his goal, now is it? Castle just wants to save Rachel Alves from the system, and that feat is far more obtainable. But now that he has her, how can he save her from all of the Avengers? Well, Rucka knows exactly how Frank would react in this situation and, believe it or not, the fight against the Avengers is written in a mostly believable and highly entertaining manner (Spider-Man's speed is downplayed at one time). It's a safe bet you'll be seeing this one in Friday's 'Best Battles' feature.
The script is tight and absolutely hysterical at times (most notably with Iron Man). This may be Frank's last stand against impossible odds, but Rucka still manages to make it an action packed event that'll give you quite a few chuckles ("Spider-Man's never going to let me hear the end of this.").
The art is a little rough around the edges at times (especially when characters aren't close up), but overall it's a good looking issue filled with plenty of cool panels. We're treated to everything from Thor's lightning to Iron Man's high tech vision modes.
The art feels a bit rushed at times, but aside from that this is a solid conclusion.
This issue comes as a double-edged sword. On one end, it's a stellar conclusion to Rucka's run with Frank and a wonderful way to end the story. On the other end, it's the end of Rucka's run and that's something to be sad about! It certainly ends on a very interesting note and I'm very anxious to see if Marvel is crafting a follow-up to this conclusion. He's leaving the character(s) with a lot of potential and I would love to see the story continue. Regardless, this is definitely a must read for any Punisher fan out there.