The following incorporates spoilers for Punisher #5, on sale now from Marvel Comics.
It’s protected to say Frank Castle (aka the Punisher) will most likely stay certainly one of Marvel’s hottest characters for a while to come back. As it presently stands, followers are desperate to see him again within the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Jon Bernthal’s epic Netflix sequence. Interestingly, probably the most contentious subjects in latest occasions surrounded the enduring cranium emblem Frank wore to strike worry into his enemies.
Sadly, that image was co-opted by sure segments of the pro-law enforcement motion, notably those that opposed Black Lives Matter. Punisher co-creator Gerry Conway overtly criticized utilizing the logo on this manner, making it clear that real-world cops who embrace the Punisher’s strategies have been endorsing police brutality and lawlessness. Marvel responded to the controversy by changing the cranium, having Frank put on a brand new brand together with his new affiliation with the Hand. However, Punisher #5 (by Jason Aaron, Jesus Saiz, Paul Azaceta, Dave Stewart, and VC’s Cory Petit) intoduces another person into the titular position who might probably clear up the problems regarding Marvel’s use of the cranium.
This subject ended with Frank unsuccessfully attempting to interrupt away from the Hand upon realizing that he was getting used as a pawn, whereas the group held his spouse as collateral. Nevertheless, Frank went after the previous Avenger Ares, killing his apostles earlier than trying to place an finish to the God of War.
Shockingly, Frank discovered Ares now carrying the cranium himself, presumably in an effort to taunt the Punisher. Previously, the God of War expressed a need for Castle to be free of the grip of the Hand, as he respects the extent of carnage and bloodshed the anti-hero usually conjures up. He does not see Frank as an emissary or royal, however as an instrument of dying and destruction that shouldn’t be inhibited.
It seems that Ares believes that exhibiting Castle a mirrored image of who he was will kickstart his spirit once more and trigger him to recollect his authentic mission. Interestingly, this additionally presents an effective way for Marvel to carry the cranium again whereas concurrently avoiding the problems which have change into intermingled with the image.
Placing the cranium on the villainous Ares feels natural and demonizes it in one of the best method attainable. He’s not really appropriating it as a result of he, too, is a Punisher. As a end result, the God of War can now personal the brand, making it his moderately than having it taint Frank, who struggles with the killer he has change into and basically simply needs his household again. Ares, however, has no qualms in regards to the horror and destruction he causes, so him carrying the cranium as a brand new Punisher immediately hyperlinks the character to evil.
This transition additionally permits Castle to change into a greater model of the Punisher, protecting the brand given to him by the Hand as a reminder how he virtually bought his soul to the satan. He can now work actively towards Ares, and by extension, what the cranium now represents. Ultimately, it is a reminder from Marvel of what the cranium actually represents and why appropriating it in the actual world may not be one of the best determination.