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Punisher co-creator says skull can be salvaged from far-right extremists

Punisher co-creator Gerry Conway believes the hero’s skull logo can be salvaged from the far right by using it for causes such as Black Lives Matter.

Frank Castle co-creator Gerry Conway thinks Marvel can still reclaim the Punisher’s skull icon from the radical right.

In an appearance on the Endless Thread podcast transcribed by 99% Invisible, host Ben Brock Johnson spoke to Conway about how public perception of The Punisher has changed over time. The writer said he believed the Punisher’s skull symbolized justice rather than oppression. Conway also addressed skeptics who say it’s impossible to separate the logo from its modern political associations. “Even if that were the case, getting your finger in the eye of the bad guys is still good business. to have an ‘F- you.'”

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Conway, who created Frank Castle alongside artist John Romita Sr. and Ross Andru in amazing spider man #129, expressed his position on the far-right’s use of Punisher iconography. In 2020, he launched a fundraiser called “Skulls for Justice”, which called on fans to give their opinion on the logo applying it to causes such as racial justice, gender equality and support. to the trans community. Conway used the winning designs on various clothing items that raised money for their respective causes. One such design, which transformed the Punisher’s skull into a black fist, raised over $75,000 for the Los Angeles Chapter of Black Lives Matter.

Despite Conway’s best efforts, the emblem has become synonymous with many far-right causes, in part due to the prevalence of counterfeit Punisher merchandise merging the skull with causes such as “Blue Lives Matter”, “Green Lives Matter” and QAnon. Although these products apparently infringe Marvel’s image copyright, the company has been noticeably lax in dealing with illegal memorabilia.

RELATED: The Controversial Punisher Skull Icon Is Being Replaced By Marvel

Still, Conway has an idea of ​​how Marvel can help address the subject. Instead of continuing to publish Frank comics, he suggests the publisher pass the Punisher mantle to a new character. Conway thinks this new Punisher should be a black veteran, allowing Marvel to explore similar themes and connect to minority issues through a new lens.

While it remains to be seen if Marvel takes Conway’s advice, the publisher plans to turn things around for Frank. In March, writer Jason Aaron, artists Jesús Saiz and Paul Azaceta, and colorist Dave Stewart will form the creative team for a 13-episode prestige. Punisher series. The book sees Frank abandon his Punisher armor for a new role as the Beast, a warlord of the Hand. News of the series has sparked controversy among fans, with many seeing it as a way for the publisher to circumvent the political associations currently plaguing the character.

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Source: Endless Thread, via 99% Invisible

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