• Annie Banks

Comic Fans Pressure Marvel to Retire 'Punisher'

The United States is still reeling after the Capitol was surged by those who are associated with extreme Conservatism, as the riots that had taken place in Washington, D.C. have been deemed as an act of domestic terrorism.

There has been more of a demand for Marvel Comics to now retire Frank "Punisher" Castle and his iconic skull logo. A modified version of the symbol was spotted during the riots at the Capitol, where it was displayed as an icon of hatred and division.

The Punisher logo has been adopted by a number of groups over the years but has spiked in prominence in more recent months. Those who have written the character, who is a former Marine, have been specific to make sure that it is known that Castle's murders are out of vengeance and not out of any patriotic spirit. The Punisher himself had admonished the police from making use of his symbol but despite the blatant disapproval, the logo had been worn by police, soldiers, and those demonstrating in D.C.

Multiple photos of the logo have surfaced, with the skull placed on the American flag in some instances, which can be spotted on shirts, hats, and backpacks during the attempted coup. In the wake of the chaos, which resulted in lives lost amid the unease, comic creators looked to Marvel for their next move.

Gerads was not the only comic creator to speak up on the issue at hand, and BLACK artist Jamal Ingle had chimed in.

With the conversation now started on social media regarding the fate of the Punisher and the unethical use of the character's image, there have been suggestions made for Marvel to consider instead of simply removing a popular character from its universe. One combative move is to redirect Castle's motives and to pin him against systemic injustice and abuse of power. Another is a strategy that Marvel has used before, by recasting the Punisher as a person of color, as the comic book publisher has done time and time again with other characters.

Marvel has declined to comment on the use of the Punisher logo at the Capitol, and have not spoken upon the situation that compromises the use of their property. Regardless, there still remains to be a call for change in regards to the Punisher's future. Marvel cannot turn a blind eye forever without risking its reputation in a time of political and social turmoil.

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