So, ever since the Punisher has been introduced to media when he bitch slapped Spider Man around, he has been a rather interesting figure. In may ways, Punisher and Batman both went down KINDA similar paths.
Both had things happen to them; Of course, Bruce Wayne had a paid butler to feed him, lived in a gaddam mansion, and had a unending financial support system. Those things allowed him to train and exercise all day, make highly effective non-lethal weapons during the afternoon, and punch palookas at night.
Frank Castle, on the other hand, HAD A GADDAM JOB, being a 1. Vietnam Vet, 2. FBI Agent, 3. Cop, or 4. Whatever dumbass writers thought up because they didn’t bother reading the comics. It wasn’t until his family was killed IN FRONT OF HIM, and left for dead, that he decided to become The Punisher. Well, actually– and this is important– He became the Punisher because the guys that killed his family were getting away with it.
So, if you were to really look into this, Batman and Punisher are nothing alike. Jesus, who do you think is more messed up, someone who had a trauma as a tween and had access to a millionaires health care, or an average human being who had their life savagely torn apart in front of their eyes?
THEN ask yourself, “which one is more realistic?” I mean, the average Joe will not win enough in the lottery to become as rich as Bruce Wayne, but hey! They can buy guns! They’re JUST LIKE PUNISHER!
THIS is why you see punisher stickers with the American Flag. THIS is why you see meatheads walking around with Punisher skulls, treating people in ways that would make a Punisher-in-the-flesh shoot them in the kneecaps.
This is the fallacy that gun owners fall into. I have heard it called the “John McClane” syndrome. These wannabe heroes think that if they are in a shootout, they will be able to take down the shooter and save the damsel in distress, all while barefoot.
Is this Punisher’s fault? No, I don’t think so. I think the Punisher is a lot like Uggs; they may not be good for you, but some people are gonna want to be all up inside them.
BUT, I think everybody can agree that Punisher does NOT represent America. He represents what is WRONG with America. Would Punisher have become a vigilante if his families killers were convicted in court? Who knows? Would Batman?
I don’t know. I would write some fanfic on how Frank Castle would deal with everyday life in an alternate reality, but I got too much TV to watch.
SPEAKING OF TV, it seems that Netflix has delayed the premier of the Punisher miniseries, mainly because of the Las Vegas shooting. I can understand; that is the classy thing to do. But NOW, there are some people talking smack about Punisher.
Charles Pulliam-Moore wrote an article for IO9, talking about how there is never going to be a ‘good’ time to release the Punisher series. Why, because of guns? Not quite;
Though he’s most often framed as a complicated antihero who abides by a personal code that defines his sense of justice, the Punisher is Marvel’s equivalent to a mass shooter.
I mean, sure, Punisher is one of the most realistic characters in the comic books. And, while he was in Netflix’s Daredevil, he was even more painfully realistic. And I think that’s what makes it horrible for normies to grasp. Punisher’s guns are not pretend armor or space rocks or crap, they’re real guns. The bad guys are not aliens, or robots, or spores, they’re other humans that are as evil as bad guys are IRL. And that’s kinda scary for some. So naturally, they think that Punisher is bad.
Stephen Paddock was not Frank Castle, and to suggest that Paddock was inspired by the character is unfair, but the two do exist in a larger conversation with one another that’s important to suss out. Like Paddock, at the end of the day the Punisher is just a man with a lot of guns (and gun knowledge).
Ok. lets follow the logic for a sec. Punisher is bad because he is a mass shooter. However, as documented in the comics, he PLANS all his attacks to make sure there are no civilians in danger. There have been plenty of examples where Punisher backed down because of too much collateral damage.
Avengers, on the other hand?
Avengers have killed more innocent people than Punisher ever has… Probably.
That is beyond the point, though. Doesn’t he understand Punisher is a SYMPATHETIC character? He isn’t only a bad ass who can shoot and kill bad guys. He is also DEAD INSIDE. He has NOTHING to live for. The Punisher is too proud to commit suicide, but he IS suicidal. He gets into suicidal situations all the time, and the ONLY reason he is alive is because his instincts and training pull him through.
He isn’t like Batman, who has love interests with hot feline chicks or whatnot. He is destined to live alone forever. BY HIMSELF. TO DIE, ALONE. And NOT as a billionaire, but as a fugitive.
He has DIED, not to forgive our sins, but to punish others. He is a sympathetic character whom NOBODY SHOULD EVER WANT TO BECOME!!! And if you DO want to be the Punisher… there is something wrong with you.
So shut up. Unless they make Neflix’s Punisher meet up with Kimmy Schmidt, I think America will survive.