Punisher Skull Spotted Multiple Times On Capitol Rioters And Police

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.

And on the Senate floor, amid calls for Marvel to further enforce their trademark or abandon the character and imagery entirely.

And news reporters asking further questions.

You can buy such non-Marvel knockoff patches easily online from the website American Sheepdog. Yup, that's what they're called.

Punisher Skull Spotted Multiple Times On Both Rioters And Police
Credit: American-Sheepdog.

But look, you can even buy these knockoff Trump Punisher Skull MAGA Hats at Walmart – and America First Punisher Patriot Skull Shirts – until someone at Walmart reads this article, of course.

Punisher Skull Spotted Multiple Times On Both Rioters And Police
Credit: Walmart

With lawyer John M Phillips noting these shirts, featuring the Marvel Studios Civil War logo transformed into MAGA Civil War.

Punisher Skull Spotted Multiple Times On Both Rioters And Police
Credit: Google cache

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?

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.