To say that the signature skull logo for The Punisher is iconic may honestly be an understatement. However, it has become synonymous with the hero and several different controversial groups as well. For example, many police officers used altered forms of the symbol in response to Black Lives Matter protests, and several people were spotted wearing it during the January 6th riots at the capitol.
While co-creator of The Punisher Gerry Conway said that he wanted to “reclaim the Punisher skull as a symbol of justice rather than lawless police oppression” back in 2020, it looks like Marvel has decided to abandon it entirely. The company shared several images of their new 13-issue prestige limited series, which showed off the new logo, which you can see in the gallery below.
“This story is the destined next step in the dark and tragic evolution of Frank Castle, from troubled kid to heroic soldier to revenge-driven vigilante…to the duly anointed King of Killers,” said Jason Aaron, former architect of the Avengers comics and writer for the current Punisher comic. “Believe me when I say, I am as excited about this story as anything I’ve ever written for Marvel.”
However, it seems that not every fan is as excited for the major change in the comic as Aaron is. Quite a few Marvel fans online haven’t been mincing words, with at least one going so far as to call it garbage.
Another user suggested that changing the logo at all wasn’t the correct move, especially if it just looks worse. Instead, they suggested that using the same old logo while making the character extremely unappealing to those who had taken it up wrongly for their causes would be far more effective.
Even Punisher actor Jon Bernthal agreed that the people co-opting the logo didn’t understand it. “These people are misguided, lost, and afraid,” he said in a tweet back in January of 2021. “They have nothing to do with what Frank stands for or is about.” He may have approved of this strategy with this in mind.
However, plenty of people found the new logo quite appealing, especially as it took on a particularly Asian flair in its design.
One user even thought this might be a sign that the iconic character may return to the MCU proper through future Shang-Chi movies due to this.
The next chapter of Punisher hits bookstores in March 2022.