Punisher co-creator Gerry Conway says the Marvel Comics character’s symbol can be salvaged, but the hero likely needs a reboot.
Legendary writer Gerry Conway believes the punisher should be rebooted into something new, while Marvel can reclaim its iconic skull logo from far-right extremists. In an interview, the anti-hero co-creator admitted that it’s probably time for the Punisher to evolve into something different, as he gave his thoughts on what he’d like to see the character become. transform. However, when it comes to the Frank Castle logo, he wants to see it reclaimed from its current use as a symbol of hate and division in the real world. Marvel’s handling of the symbol has come under renewed scrutiny after it was used in the 2021 attack on the Capitol in Washington.
The Punisher is one of Marvel’s most notable characters, having become a fan favorite of many comic book readers since his debut in Amazing Spider-Man #129. Co-created by Gerry Conway, John Romita Sr. and Ross Andru, the Punisher is a former Marine who – after his family is killed in a shootout – abandons his moral code and the law to wage a murderous war against all those he considers responsible. Punisher’s lethal and lawless approach hasn’t stopped his symbol from being unofficially invoked by the military and law enforcement, and the skull logo has become increasingly linked to far-right politics. . Conway has attempted to reclaim the Punisher’s logo in the past with his “Skulls of Justice” campaign, which redesigned the logo with all proceeds going to Black Lives Matter. Now, Marvel is changing the logo for a high-profile upcoming story, and the future of the symbol is unclear.
Conway recently appeared on the endless thread “The Punisher Skull” episode of the podcast (with a transcript available at 99% invisible), where he opened up about his attempts to reclaim The Punisher logo and his hopes for the anti-hero in the future. Conway expresses that the Punisher is an anti-hero and an enemy of society, his stories generally portraying him contrary to how the symbol is often invoked, and describes Frank Castle as “a Rorschach test” who interprets the time in which he wrote through this lens. Conway said there will be a time when Marvel reboots the character, sharing that he’d rather the Punisher become a black veteran who returns from war and faces real-world issues.
You know, there will come a time, like in the 80s, when this character can be rebooted, you know, and turned into something new. I mean, my personal preference would be for the next iteration of The Punisher to be a black vet, you know, who comes back and deals with the issues facing minorities around the world today… Again, as I say , like a Rorschach test. And when he does, you know, I’ll be proud of him again.
Speaking about the “Skulls for Justice” campaign, Conway said he hopes the original Punisher logo can still be reclaimed. But if that’s not possible, “Hitting the eye of the bad guys is always good business” calling the campaign and the funds raised a “Big ‘F-you’ to people who deserve to have an ‘F-you’.”
Conway co-created the Punisher and is obviously crestfallen seeing the logo of the anti-hero he helped popularize used as a symbol of hate and division. Although the skull logo may one day be reclaimed, Marvel Comics continues to face criticism for its lack of response to the anti-hero’s cultural impact and appears to be acting in Jason Aaron’s next prestige series. , Jesus Saiz, Paul Azaceta, and Dave Stewart, where the Punisher will sport a new logo and seemingly go on a new mission involving the villainous cult known as the Hand. Time will tell if Frank Castle is Punisher the skull symbol can be recovered or the character and its logo will be transformed into something completely new.
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