2020 US Election - Current Events


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The co-creator of the Punisher, Marvel’s murderously violent vigilante crimefighter, is calling on comic-book artists to create artworks reclaiming the character’s famous skull logo in the name of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Writer Gerry Conway opposes the appropriation of the symbol by police officers, some of whom have been seen wearing it at demonstrations protesting the killing of George Floyd

When this article was first published on November 16, 2017, ahead of the release of Netflix’s show The Punisher, relations between many Americans and the police were unquestionably tense. Now, in June 2020, that dynamic has combusted into national protests against state-sanctioned violence. One media figure unambiguously on the side of the state is Fox News’ Sean Hannity, who went on air recently wearing a skull-shaped lapel pin. It is the logo of the Punisher, a violent vigilante from Marvel Comics who has become something of a totem for cops and soldiers. We’re republishing this article to offer background on the role the Punisher plays in the self-conception of many members of the police and military professions.

It’s a relationship that became explicitly incongruous last year when the Punisher himself canonically addressed it. In July 2019, writer Matthew Rosenberg
inserted a scene into an issue of Punisher in which a group of officers run into the outlaw, whose name is Frank Castle, and fawn over him. “We believe in you,” one of them says while pointing to a Punisher-skull sticker on his car. Frank rips the sticker off and says, “We’re not the same. You took an oath to uphold the law. You help people. I gave all that up a long time ago. You don’t do what I do. Nobody does.” A cop replies, “Like it or not, you started something. You showed us how it’s done.” Frank is unmoved. “If I find out you are trying to do what I do,” he murmurs, “I’ll come for you next.” Here are panels from that issue, with our original story below it.

The punisher is a symbol for abandoning the democratic cornerstone of due process, and stripping human rights from those whom you perceive as criminals.

It's unethical in any philosophy that respects the human individual.

Mick West

Staff member
One of the militia who was inside the chamber bore a motif of a flag that looked like the traditional stars and stripes with a stylised skull overlaid on it. Googling for that was futile, as it kept returning skulls with US flags on them, rather than US flags with skulls on them - any idea what group or ideology that represents?
Tip: Put a search in quotes to get more focussed results


Without seeing the image (please post screen captures if possible), I'd guess a Punisher flag (vigilante justice), but it's also a common biker motif symbolizing piracy (independence) and patriotism.

Often the symbolism plays second fiddle to coolness, so don't read too much into any individual example.

“It’s not me being disrespectful,” said Veziel, 51, who is originally from Montreal but became an American citizen in 2002. “To me, it’s just an American flag with a cool thing on it. I think it’s awesome.”


New Member
Search for "punisher", a character from Marvel comics.

Thanks. It's definitely closest to a stylised Punisher (rounder, but essentially the same - long "teeth" bits, no crossbones). The guy in question is the one Mendel posted an image upthread on page 7: https://www.metabunk.org/threads/2020-us-election-current-events.11439/post-244088

So it's just a "cartoons are cool" guy, that's fine, rather than a particular movement. I like Asterix. (Yes, that's levity involving litotes.)


Then in 2012, Iraq veteran Chris Kyle published his memoir American Sniper, in which he distorted his war record and bragged about spray-painting the Punisher logo on his unit’s equipment during the 2004 battle of Fallujah. Kyle’s machismo and tall tales about shooting “looters” during Hurricane Katrina made him a hero to the far right. When his book was adapted for film in 2014, the Punisher skull gained increased currency among police unions, gun-loving militiamen, and neo-Nazis. Marvel, who did not respond to requests for comment, told Gizmodo last week that it was “taking seriously” unlicensed use of Punisher imagery while its notoriously litigious parent company Disney has not made any legal challenges.
Gerry Conway, the Punisher’s politically progressive co-creator and writer, is launching an unusual fundraiser: his own line of shirts designed by people of colour to take the symbol back from the right, with proceeds to go to Black Lives Matter.
Of possible interest...

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