Where have you seen a Punisher Skull recently? As a result of a Bleeding Cool investigation, I understand that DC Comics lawyers chose to stop the Proud Boys using the DC logo in their Washington DC march promotions last year. There are now calls for Marvel to do something similar regarding both the Punisher and Civil War logos as seen during the riot that took place yesterday.
The Punisher skull logo has been a bit of a problem for Marvel for years now, being used by police, army, militia, white supremacist groups, QAnon events, and Hannity on Fox News, without a scintilla of suggestion that there may be some irony in that. The character's co-creator Gerry Conway has spoken out about its use by such groups and has tried to reclaim it. He recently started his own line of shirts designed by people of colour to take the symbol back, with proceeds going to Black Lives Matter-related charities. Marvel Comics has been fighting them in the courts when they've tried to trademark it, actors have criticised its use, police commissioners have also criticised their use, and comics creators have divided over its use. Marvel has even addressed this in the comics, with the Punisher threatening police who use his symbol.
Yesterday the Punisher skull was spotted several times. On backpacks taken into the Capitol building.
Protesters are on the third floor of the Senate, walking door to door, shouting "Where the f-ck are they?" They're in the gallery — Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 6, 2021
And on the Senate floor, amid calls for Marvel to further enforce their trademark or abandon the character and imagery entirely.
The seditionists that invaded the Capitol today wore a Punisher logo. I say @marvel needs to either aggressively enforce their trademark so it isn't printed everywhere or abandon the Punisher completely. You can't allow your characters to be used by terrorists. — ComicTropes (@CTropes) January 7, 2021
And news reporters asking further questions.
Is this a Tennessee blue line patch??? If you have info, my DMs are open for tips! Send NOW! — Phil Williams (@NC5PhilWilliams) January 7, 2021
You can buy such non-Marvel knockoff patches easily online from the website American Sheepdog. Yup, that's what they're called.
With lawyer John M Phillips noting these shirts, featuring the Marvel Studios Civil War logo transformed into MAGA Civil War.
The Moteef website selling these shirts, hoodies, and masks has now been taken down but can be found on Google Cache.
It may be notable that Marvel Comics is no longer publishing a Punisher comic book, with the Punisher Vs Barracuda comic book suspended after the first shutdown. Might there be other reasons it hasn't come back? And will there be a step up from masterful inactivity in the light of this news?