Created in 1974, Frank Castle, aka The Punisher is a murderous vigilante, who has no problem taking the law into his own ruthless hands. While his skull has become iconic, it has also become a symbol worn by white supremacist and nationalist groups as well as the police. .
He has been brought to life over the years, first by Dolph Lundgren in 1989. Then by Thomas Jane in 2004 and finally, Punisher: War Zone with Ray Stevenson in 2008. None of these iterations of The Punisher seemed to really connect with audiences.
The one version that did score was Jon Bernthal’s two-season Netflix series which was cancelled along with the other Marvel series.
With the controversial emblem now adorning the clothing (or uniforms) of civilians and police officers (btw Castle is no fan of cops) engaging in the violent oppression of protesters, the co-creator of Castle has had enough.
Screenwriter and comic book writer Gerry Conway, who co-created the character with artists John Romita Sr. and Ross Andru in 1974, has decided to reclaim The Punisher’s iconic logo for the cause of equal justice with a Black Lives Matter fundraising campaign called Skulls for Justice.
“For too long, symbols associated with a character I co-created have been co-opted by forces of oppression and to intimidate black Americans,” said Conway. “This character and symbol was never intended as a symbol of oppression. This is a symbol of a systematic failure of equal justice. It’s time to claim this symbol for the cause of equal justice and Black Lives Matter.”
Conway has been working with several talented artists to create a line of shirts featuring new renditions of The Punisher‘s logo.
Three are currently available for purchase, with a new tee set to drop every two days.
The Geek is a working screenwriter, director and screenwriting instructor.