I am not going to sit here and pretend that I read Punisher comics growing up. What I did was grow up with Thomas Jane and Ray Stevenson‘s Punisher movies. And I remember spray painting small punisher logos on my friend’s bike after we saw the movie for the first time.
Marvel’s The Punisher and his skull logo are one and the same for most of us fans, even more so for the fans of the comics. While The Punisher is more than just a simple logo, there is no denying that the first thing you think of when you talk about The Punisher is the skull logo. But for a while now right-wing terrorists have co-opted the sign which is giving some fans a pause.
For those who do not know, The Punisher is a vigilante anti-hero who takes the law into his own hands and acts as the judge, jury, and executioner of people he deems evil. For years the character of Punisher has fought with mob bosses and gangsters (with an occasional supervillain to boot). And just because some terrorists decided to take over the skull sign people are calling for Marvel to retire the character.
Some Fans Called on Marvel to Retire The Punisher and its Skull Logo
Ever since the Washington riots and the violent takeover of the Capitol building by right-wing terrorists, nazis, and white supremacists on 6 January 2021, there have been growing calls to ban almost everything. While I understand (do not agree with) the need to ban some people from social media, using this crime to come after The Punisher seems a little weak.
This is not the first time The Punisher‘s skull logo has been co-opted by a criminal entity. During the Iraq war, American humvees featured the skull logo while thousands of people were displaced from their homes and a country was thrown into eternal turmoil.
The Punisher has used the skull logo since the character’s inception in 1974 (correct me if I am wrong). It was never meant to be a sign for warmongerers, racists, and white supremacists. The logo was supposed to intimate criminals while also inadvertently making them shoot at the bulletproof vest while The Punisher did his thing.
Yes, just like I made up some stuff about The Punisher logo right above, the terrorists are doing the same. And just because a terror organization took over your sign does not mean you have to stop using it. Cancel culture and their war on anything and everything is never going to stop, and I for one am sick and tired of unrelated things getting retconned into everything.
Just because a sign is associated with a hate group, no, a terrorist organization, does that means we need to retire it altogether? If that is the case, let’s all stop drinking Fanta, that stuff was made in Nazi Germany. While you are at it pour gasoline on that Volkswagen right around the corner and burn it, Hitler rode on the back of that car.
Something that is co-opted can be reclaimed, canceling and exiling things and people is never going to have an effect. Yes, you got rid of Milo, but thousands have taken his place and it is only making the world more and more divisive.
Where is our fighting spirit internet, we all need to learn something from the K-pop fans and how they hijacked the white power Twitter trend with K-pop videos. Canceling stuff does not work, so let’s take back the ‘ok’ sign (don’t even get me started on that one), and let’s take back The Punisher‘s skull logo.
That logo was never meant for white supremacists, and their infatuation should not deter us from giving up the things we love. Also, one last thing, does that logo have to be The Punisher‘s skull logo? Can’t it simply be a skull used by terrorists to foster fear? Well, that was worth a try I guess.
Jon Bernthal is Against The Punisher or His Logo’s Retirement
Jon Bernthal was the man who was responsible for reviving the military vigilante on Netflix. He is considered to be the best Frank Castle to ever put on the infamous skull logo featuring a bulletproof vest. For two seasons the actor played the character on Netflix, he hopes to do it even more in the future, and he is opposed to the idea of Frank, The Punisher, or the skull logo getting an early exit from society.
Responding to a supportive fan on Twitter, the actor wrote, “I’m with you. Beautiful work. These people are misguided, lost, and afraid. They have nothing to do with what Frank stands for or is about. Big love. J.” And for those lazy a-holes who will not click on the link, by “these people” Jon means people using the logo as a symbol of hate and toxicity.
I know I have not convinced those who are calling for The Punisher‘s skull logo to be retired. Frankly, it was never my intention to do that in the first place. The one thing I’ve learned these past few years is everything has become sides now, there is no middle ground and both sides are hell-bent on killing each other. So, I guess you kept, as well as, expressed your opinion, I am also doing the same thing.
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