Having worked for sometime with the Thunderbolts - a covert team of killers hired by General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross aka Red Hulk - Frank Castle aka The Punisher quits angrily under the pretense that Ross has finally gone too far with his methods of crimefighting. Ross is known for creating as many problems as he sets out to solve, which has angered the Punisher on a number of occasions now!
Upon preventing a group of snipers from eliminating the Avengers, Red Hulk, Punisher, Elektra, Deadpool and Ghost Rider follow clues and evidence back to a school where they find Dr Faustus to be at the centre of the conspiracy after having killed all the pupils.
When Punisher decides the best way to deal with Faustus is to kill him so that he can never commit such an atrocity again, Ross stops him, planning to use Faustus's powers to aid the team instead, as his own form of punishment. Considering that Punisher knows nobody wants another Red Leader or Mercy on board, he quits, only to be told that nobody quits the Thunderbolts. Angry and begrudging Ross's views, Punisher is training at a safehouse when he finds a bomb in his refrigerator, with a note attached. The bomb levels his safehouse but Punisher survives and takes it as a call to arms.
With the Thunderbolts dismayed by these recent events, the Avengers meanwhile investigate the scene they left, having found the dead snipers. Iron Man sends Hawkeye on an investigation after finding graffiti that links both Punisher and Deadpool to the event.
So begins the Punisher's war on Red Hulk and the Avengers' journey to the discovery of this elite crimefighting team. But are these events all that they appear to be, or is Red Leader finally taking cue to being free from Ross and the Thunderbolts?