The Punisher‘s second Netflix season was lacking in multiple ways, and let’s just say that the comic book character could easily be retired — formally retired, especially in light of the George Floyd protests. Fans are now reigniting a beef from the antihero’s creator, Gerry Conway, who brought Frank Castle to life more than four decades ago with the help of artists John Romita Sr. and Ross Andru. And Conway has been quite vocal about his distaste for police co-opting The Punisher’s logo for their own ends. As he explained, police have misinterpreted Castle’s identity, when he actually “represents a failure of the Justice system.” Further, Castle has been written as an indictment of “the collapse of social moral authority and the reality some people can’t depend on institutions like the police or the military to act in a just and capable way.”
In other words, there are members of law enforcement who don’t realize that Frank Castle kinda hates them, so it’s ironic that they’re slapping Punisher skulls on vehicles or wearing it as part of their uniform. In the past few days, Detroit officers have even been photographed while apparently wearing the logo during protests. (And a group of Milwaukee offers were investigated years ago for brandishing The Punisher stickers on gear.)
Also in the past few days, Disney has pledged $5 million toward nonprofit organizations (including $2 million for the NAACP) geared towards advancing social justice.
The Walt Disney Company has pledged $5 million to support nonprofit organizations that advance social justice, beginning with a $2 million donation to the NAACP: https://t.co/Heo5DKaiuf pic.twitter.com/FpSECsstXS
— Walt Disney Company (@WaltDisneyCo) June 3, 2020
Marvel fans want more: they’d like Disney to make a larger gesture against police brutality by suing departments that have co-opted The Punisher’s iconic symbol.
If Disney and Marvel really want to make a big gesture right now (besides committing $100 million to causes instead of 5), they could immediately demand police stop using the Punisher logo and sue departments that continue to
— Matt D. Wilson (@TheMattDWilson) June 3, 2020
Disney famously sued a daycare over murals featuring their characters.
How about suing police departments who’ve co-opted the Punisher skull?
— Eric Palicki (@ericpalicki) June 3, 2020
Disney likes to flex their legal muscle all the time. Why not sue any police department who allows their officers to wear The Punisher symbol as part of their uniform?
— Brad Smith (@bradsmithVR) June 3, 2020
Yo Disney! Can you use the power of your lawsuits and sue all the police department for using the punisher skull logo? They are profitting of your property and I know you hate that more than anything, you’ll be doing us a favor.
— Yesse (@Jazzdragon) June 4, 2020
Again, Frank Castle is not a fan of police!
This right here is why I get irritated seeing cops put Punisher logos on their shit. The Punisher exists because he believes police and the justice system are flawed and useless. It makes zero sense for them to brand themselves with someone who thinks they suck. https://t.co/Tr2ORb9Ozd
— GodzillaMendoza (@GodzillaMendoza) June 4, 2020
As of now, neither Disney nor Marvel have issued an official statement on the protest-related call for lawsuits against PDs. However, Marvel recently tweeted about auctioning off Castle-related props in the Marvel Television Live Auction. It’s odd timing, for sure.
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) May 28, 2020