Earlier this year, Punisher creator Gerry Conway spoke about how it unsettles him that police and other law enforcement so often wear the Punisher symbol. Now, the comics themselves have addressed that in an upcoming issue, according to CBR.
As a reminder this is what Conway said about the issue:
“To me, it’s disturbing whenever I see authority figures embracing Punisher iconography because the Punisher represents a failure of the Justice system. He’s supposed to indict the collapse of social moral authority and the reality some people can’t depend on institutions like the police or the military to act in a just and capable way.”
Issue #13 (by Matthew Rosenberg, Szymon Kudranski, Antonio Fabela and VC’s Cory Petit), has our boy Frank Castle back in New York, and while fleeing the scene of a knife fight, two cops stop him and, instead of taking him to jail, they want to get a selfie with him. Within the panels, a cop says, “We have this club, sorta more of a movement […] we believe in you.” They show him a logo they put on their cop car, to which Frank responds, “What the hell is this?”
The cop replies, “It’s not the whole force. Hell most of ’em want you in the ground. But some of us believe in what you do. We’re gonna do whatever we can to take out streets back—” Frank then takes off the logo and rips it to pieces and explains to them:
“We’re not the same. You took an oath to uphold the law. You help people. I gave all that up a long time ago. You don’t do what I do. Nobody does. You boys need a role model? His name is Captain America, and he’d be happy to have you.”
After that, apparently, one of the officers explains Frank has started a movement and it doesn’t matter if he approves or not. Frank replies that he’ll come for them just like he would criminals if the officers attempt to emulate what he does. The two cops leave and tell Mr. Punisher that he has lost his last allies in New York. I’m sure he’s crying himself to sleep over that.
From what’s shown in the panel (which you can see at CBR), it doesn’t get too confrontational in trying to address this issue. They make it clear that it’s only certain cops, but they also draw a hard line in explaining that the police are here to uphold the law and protect people, which is not what Punisher does, and if the police emulated his behavior, they’d be dirty cops and should be taken down for that. While I wish it would be a bit tougher, I do like that they tackled the issue and called out people who have totally misunderstood this character.
Punisher #13 hits stores today.
(via CBR, image: netflix)
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