The Punisher is a character known for using unlawful tactics in order to fight crime, including murder, violence, and torture. While Punisher is clearly more of an anti-hero, many of the worst people are wearing the Punisher’s skull logo, as many white supremacists wore the skull on the march in Charlottesville in 2017, and Punisher’s logo has appeared on QAnon literature. But most recently, this skull was seen worn by several people in the violent mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol building. Now, the star of Netflix’s The Punisher, Jon Bernthal has addressed such people using the Punisher logo for their own means.
Jon Bernthal responded to a Twitter user who mentioned the “nut-jobs” that were wearing the Punisher logo, and misunderstand what the logo represents. Bernthal called these people “misguided, lost, and afraid” and have nothing to do with the character of Frank Castle. Bernthal has mentioned the use of the Punisher logo for other purposes in a 2018 interview with Esquire. While he said he felt honored that soldiers might wear the logo, when asked how he felt about the alt-righters who wear it, he simply said: “F— them.”
After seeing the hateful use of the Punisher logo, Gerry Conway, the co-creator of Punisher, looked to reclaim the use of the logo by launching a fundraising initiative for Black Lives Matter and called for artists of color to use the logo in their own T-shirt designs. Many have also called for Marvel to change the logo for Punisher, since it is being used as a de facto logo for nefarious groups. While Marvel has yet to take a stance on the logo, it’s clear that people like Jon Bernthal and Gerry Conway are trying to reclaim what the logo means.
While it seemed like Disney wasn’t going to incorporate characters from the various Marvel Netflix series into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it seems like we might have not seen the last of Jon Bernthal as The Punisher. Bernthal first appeared as Punisher in the second season of Daredevil. The character then received his own Netflix series with The Punisher, which only lasted for one season.
However, Charlie Cox, who played Daredevil on various Marvel Netflix series, has been cast in the upcoming third Spider-Man film. With Spider-Man 3 supposedly playing with multiverses, and with characters from past Spider-Men films coming into the Marvel Cinematic Universe – such as The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s Electro played by Jamie Foxx, and Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock from Spider-Man 2 – it’s possible the Netflix character could be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If Jon Bernthal wants to reclaim the Punisher logo for good, what better way than to return as the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
But it’s clear that those who wear this logo, as Jon Bernthal states, don’t stand for the same things as Frank Castle. Like the people who stormed the Capitol building, they are misguided, lost, and afraid. If Marvel wants to change the logo, that’s completely understandable, but true fans know that these nut-jobs don’t represent The Punisher.