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​True Origin Of The Punisher Skull Logo That's Being Used By Special Forces

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​True Origin Of The Punisher Skull Logo That's Being Used By Special Forces

With SAS troops reportedly using the Punisher logo to commemorate their first kill, it seems not everyone is aware of the image's controversial associations.

The skull logo is famous as the marking used by the violent Marvel character Frank Castle in The Punisher, but outside of the popular TV series and comics, it now also has associations with the far-right, who have adopted it as their own.

The emblem first appeared in a 1974 Spider-Man comic, worn by Vietnam veteran turned assassin-for-hire Frank Castle. Later comics showed how Castle became The Punisher after witnessing the murder of his family, prompting him to avenge their death by waging his own war on crime.

But it has since been associated with the police and far-right groups such as anti-government militia movement the Three Percenters and conspiracy-theory community QAnon.

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Credit: Sean Rayment
Credit: Sean Rayment

Gerry Conway, who created The Punisher, recently said the character was never meant to symbolise oppression, and hopes the skull symbol can be reclaimed from both the police and fringe admirers.

Speaking to Forbes, he said: "The Punisher is representative of the failure of law and order to address the concerns of people who feel abandoned by the legal system.

"It always struck me as stupid and ironic that members of the police are embracing what is fundamentally an outlaw symbol."

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The Thin Blue Line variant of the Punisher skull, associated with far right groups within the police, on a vehicle in Munich, Germany. Credit: PA
The Thin Blue Line variant of the Punisher skull, associated with far right groups within the police, on a vehicle in Munich, Germany. Credit: PA

Some rioters even wore the logo during the attack on the US Capitol in January - something that Jon Bernthal, the actor who played Frank Castle in the Netflix Punisher series, has criticised.

Speaking on the Independent American's podcast, he said he was utterly 'disgusted' and 'horrified' by the sight.

He said: "How folks could have gone and done what they did on that day is just something I can't wrap my head around, and the fact that symbol is at all tied into that is something that I'm horrified by and disgusted with."

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Bernthal continued: "It's all about flag-waving and rhetoric and bulls***.

"I truly believe that people who have walked the walk, people who have actually been in combat, people who have actually sacrificed, people who have really lost - you know, that's really what that symbol is about.

"And I think people who have been in that valley understand that it's about proximity - it's about coming together, not about drawing apart.

"And everything that happened on 6 January... all that was about was divisiveness and pushing people away."

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Featured Image Credit: Marvel

Topics: World News, News, The Punisher

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