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Appearing in "Partner In Crime"

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Synopsis for "Partner In Crime"

Frank Castle points his pistols at Spider-Man, who holds both the priest and the boy hostage, as Castle knows that this is the chance to finally kill "Patient Zero" and acknowledges that the chances are the hostages will be killed which Castle will bear. However, Spider-Man knows Castle will do this and questions if he will do it given that he would instantly pull the trigger. Castle then realizes that Spider-Man is risking himself to do this. Spider-Man releases the boy on good faith, allowing Castle to tell the priest to be with the boy. He continues to point his gun at Spider-Man and agrees to listening what the Web-Slinger has to offer.

Spider-Man tells Castle that following the beginning of the epidemic, many superheroes and villains that were infected fought and killed each other in an epic scale which led to some of the superhumans working together to form tribes, such as Spider-Man's who's more successful than the others, into warring each other. These tribes thinned out in New York due to Spider-Man's tribe where some either died, slunk away, or left the city. But now other tribes are returning to Manhattan. So, Spider-Man wants an alliance with Castle in ridding these tribes as Manhattan belongs to his tribe, and for Castle to protect his own, the uninfected. The latter revelation shocks the priest, asking Castle what the reason he fights is, and if the survivors are not his tribe. Castle answers that he doesn't fight for anyone and has never tried to save anyone, but simply fought for himself against the cannibals. He then accepts Spider-Man's news and wants to know more.

It is explained that during the epidemic there was a huge battle in Brooklyn days before the cities went dark. Red Hulk's army and Thing's tribe fought each other and what is left of the U.S. The National Guard and a few uninfected heroes made a last stand at Coney Island against the cannibals for three days. It was not a random slaughter, but someone was manipulating the entire battle behind the scene into thinning both sides of the war. The uninfected heroes such as Captain America fell, leaving Iron Man the only one left standing, due to his climate-controlled armor. Unfortunately, he eventually fell to "the bug" in which his armor was locked and was shocked alive before dying after screaming for five days. In the aftermath, Spider-Man's tribe took over Manhattan and left the individual who was behind the war and Iron Man's death took control of what is left. Spider-Man called him the "King of Death". Within months, this King of Death systematically wiped out the other tribes and enslaved the weak and the useful. Forcing the strong to join him or die, before entering Manhattan, which was isolated from the outside due to all the tunnels and bridges being destroyed from the chaos.

The King of Death had killed many of Spider-Man's tribe and had also kidnapped his mate, which the latter development greatly spurred Spider-Man to ally with Castle. In further to convince Castle, Spider-Man offers him the locations of the known survivors throughout Manhattan. Castle is skeptical as he believes that after killing the King of Death and rescuing the survivors, Spider-Man and his tribe will likely resume hunting the survivors. But Spider-Man tells Castle that he will keep his promise and that he is tired of the war and killings that have perpetuated for so many years, and only want a peace between his tribe and the survivors in which he will allow the uninfected to leave Manhattan and for Spider-Man's tribe to only rule Manhattan.

After Spider-Man (and Deadpool) have left, the priest asks Castle if he will find the King of Death and rescue Spider-Man's mate. Castle replies that he will not take Spider-Man's offer. The priest insists he takes the offer as it is a way for Castle to make a difference, which Castle still steadfastly refuses and accepts his war against the cannibals. The priest then reasons as to whom he is fighting for, and the point of the violence if no one is saved. He acknowledges Castle for the reason he became the Punisher for losing his family to mob violence, and knows that even though he couldn't bring back his family by eliminating crime, but there was evil and he fought it. With the world having gone to the cannibals, he advises Castle to save instead of destroy as he is the only hero left on Earth. Castle answers back that he is nothing but a killer. The priest, however, tells him that he doesn't think "anything but a killer could save us."

Moments later, the Punisher reluctantly takes the priest's words and accepts Spider-Man's offer as he begins to hunt down the King of Death. Unexpectedly, he meets Deadpool along with Scorpion and Black Widow who are sent by Spider-Man as back-up for Castle. The Punisher accepts them (as cannon fodder), as long as they didn't "step out of line." Punisher, Deadpool, Black Widow, and Scorpion travel to where the King of Death is, near Ground Zero according to Spider-Man. Which would be containing twenty survivors, including Spider-Man's mate: Mary Jane Watson. Punisher and his allies spot the survivors, who are imprisoned inside a caged fence guarded by the King's cannibals, from a fire escape. Castle eliminates the guards through sniper fire, only to fall into the King's trap as his followers ambush Castle and the others. The four are swarmed over, in which Castle soon takes advantage of the slaughter by throwing his grenades before jumping off the fire escape, causing the entire scaffolding to explode and collapse. Castle enters the survivors' enclosure and to his surprise discovers that Mary Jane is uninfected and pregnant with Spider-Man's child. He is then punched from behind by the King of Fear himself, who reveals to be none other than the Kingpin.

Solicit Synopsis

Mankind has fallen, civilization is extinct. All that remains are tribes of savage cannibal predators who used to be humanity's heroes. Frank Castle believes himself to be the only uninfected survivor…until he discovers that a handful of humans still live. Some are being hunted by the cannibals, others are used as pawns between warring tribes. Everyone believes that there is no one left to protect the innocent and avenge the fallen. They’re wrong. The Punisher still lives, and the Last Gun on Earth is willing to wage total war to save the last humans on Earth. NY Times-bestseller Jonathan Maberry and artist Goran Parlov lock and load for the third bloody installment of this Marvel Knights event.

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