The Punisher: Assassin’s Guild, by Jo Duffy et. al. ISBN 0871354608
Four out of five stars
This story is based on the premise that there is an assassin’s guild being run out of an oriental restaurant. All of the assassins are oriental, and they openly talk about it being a career profession followed by their ancestors before them. When a potential client appears and lays down their money, there is a conference and the members conduct a negative auction to determine who will do the task.
The Punisher becomes aware of the group and he openly courts one of the female assassins in a deadly game. He is immediately recognized when he goes into the restaurant, so there is no subterfuge on his part. After a suitable interval that includes sexual adventures, the Punisher and the guild agree to join forces to take down the leader of a criminal enterprise that is very heavily guarded.
Two of the assassins’ team with the Punisher to form an assault unit to move through the heavily guarded building and kill the kingpin. As is always the case with the punisher, the action is brutal and unforgiving, there are no wounded left behind when the Punisher and the assassins do their work.
One of the most interesting aspects of this story is that the two groups know of each other and have a natural enmity, yet they work together. The reader wonders throughout the story whether the ending will include a climactic battle between the Punisher and the members of the assassin’s guild. All are professional killers of the highest caliber.