The Internet’s Calling For Marvel To Retire The Punisher After Recent Riots


The creators or originators of any visual iconography have no control over how others interpret, use or co-opt their designs, leading to several symbols being intrinsically tied to one thing despite initially having no connection to it whatsoever. The most prominent example is obviously the swastika, which was derived from an ancient Sanskrit word meaning ‘conducive to well-being’ and was first used as early as 3000 BC.

The point is, people can use any design for anything they want, and after the recent riots at the Capitol, it appears as though Marvel are facing some backlash in relation to the Punisher. Of course, they have absolutely no say in what Frank Castle’s signature skull logo appears on in terms of unofficial merchandise, but one image in particular has led to calls for the violent vigilante to be retired.

As you can see from the reactions below, some critics don’t think that such a well known company should continue to glorify a character who dispenses their own unique brand of street justice, especially when a certain section of society has adopted his iconic symbol for their own means. That being said, not everyone agrees with this, as you can see from these tweets.

Obviously, the other side of the argument is that the Punisher’s co-creator Gerry Conway has made it very clear that he condemns any and all uses of Frank’s insignia to promote violence, and just last summer he was asking Disney to sue the police for using it. Not only that, but a new Punisher-inspired Black Lives Matter T-shirt was released to show us what side of the political divide Conway lies on.

In any case, the Punisher is a fictional character from the pages of a comic book, and trying to force Marvel into retiring him would border on the censorship of art. Not to mention that it wouldn’t be reflective of either the company or creator’s personal beliefs anyway.