Creator of the Punisher is organizing a Black Lives Matter benefit to reclaim the skull symbol from police

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/06/10/creator-of-the-punisher-is-org.html

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The creator and others who work on the Punisher books have made it clear time and time again. For example:

What Frank Castle isn’t taking into account is that Cap punches Nazis rather than tipping them off and making sure they feel safe.

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I’d argue that the symbol still does. Rather than try to reclaim it – which, you know, good luck – instead the true meaning needs to be signal boosted so anyone that sees it knows the cop sporting it is a dirty fucking cop.

Wait… a “symbol of VIGILANTE justice,” right?

Again, I think it’s damned important they display their love of fascism. It makes identification a lot easier. Get them all marked, identified, and then one day tried and convicted (assuming fascist takeover part 2 isn’t a success). It’s their equivalent of the Nazi armband.

I’m also not certain it’s just being appropriated by cops. I’ve seen a fat middle-aged white guy with a beard driving around my city in his black Hummer with the Punisher logo on the hood and doors. I’m pretty sure he’s not a cop, just a racist.

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Artists have a right to try and reclaim their creations when they’ve been appropriated by scumbags. Giving up isn’t the answer, even if it’s unlikely the effort will succeed.

True. This graphic piece about what you’re describing is worth a look.

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I’m sure that Frank Castle is very aware of that. On the other hand, I’m sure that Frank Castle also knows that Steve Rogers became Nomad when he felt that the name Captain America was tainted by corruption and fascism in the American government.

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I’m picturing a Punisher meets Pepe the Frog “Marvel Team Up.”

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The police shoudn’t be using any skull or death iconography.

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Obligatory at this point: Are we the baddies?

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Good for him and good luck! This was an issue with poor Pepe the Frog, too. The cartoonist killed the character as a result. I don’t see those memes so much anymore, so maybe it worked.

One thing: “legal action against police who are using the Punisher symbol in violation of copyright law. Of course, this assumes that police care about enforcing the law.” I don’t think your cop on the beat enforces copyright law, so it wouldn’t come to that. It’s a civil thing.

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They need to sell the symbol to a record company. Those bastards are ruthless with copyright.

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Are we the baddies?

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No need. The Mouse already owns Marvel. This is one time Disney’s attack dog IP lawyers could use their power for good.

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Obviously. Even when an officer killing a suspect is justified, it represents a tragic failure rather than a victory since peaceful resolution should be every cop’s primary goal. Killing a suspect means they failed in that goal.

Holding up “killing the bad guys” as a measure of success is like praising a surgeon based on how many limbs they’ve amputated rather than how many they’ve saved.

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Make it a symbol of Antifa.

No.

“Fighting Nazis” is a good-guy thing to do. “Glorifying death and violence” is a bad-guy thing to do.

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I think it was first appropriated by the military and subsequently by all the tacticool wannabes (which includes police).

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I applaud the effort for sure, but I think part of the problem is that skull iconography—even apart from “Punisher”—is tough to tie to a nonviolent, largely positive protest movement. Like, I clicked through and looked at the shirt designs, and others’ mileage may vary, but I don’t see an obvious iconographic tie between a fleshless skull and the slogan Black Lives Matter.

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Yeah, well, good luck with that.

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I agree. I’m just saying it’s quite an uphill battle when the people you are trying to get to stop appropriating your work are the fucking police – the nation’s law enforcement officers.

If he instead focuses money and effort to make it widely known that by wearing that symbol, any LOEs are tacitly supporting vigilantism, and admitting cops can’t do the job, perhaps they will voluntarily shift toward some other white power imagery… like:

Yeah, I read that and shared it when bb first posted about it. It’s very well done.

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Disney IP lawyers are scarier than any wannabe fascist police force. One does not mess with The Mouse and expect to remain in one piece.

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