Frank Castle continues to undergo pointless reworkings via PC advocates, as reported on Yahoo, and it doesn’t seem to be going over well with the crowd Marvel must’ve assumed would like this. But first, let’s ponder what Jason Aaron has in store:
The Punisher has always been one of the more extreme characters in the Marvel Comics pantheon. Now, the gun-toting vigilante is getting an extreme … makeover. In the upcoming 13-issue prestige series, Punisher — set to hit comic-book store shelves in March — Frank Castle trades in the skull symbol that has been part of the character’s costume since his 1974 debut in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man and has also adorned his appearances in other media, including the two-season Netflix series that starred Jon Bernthal.
The first images from Punisher, which is written by Jason Aaron with art by Jesús Saiz and Paul Azaceta, reveal the redesigned skull, which now sports horns and sharpened teeth to reflect his new role as a member of the Hand, a shadowy league of assassins. “This story is the destined next step in the dark and tragic evolution of Frank Castle, from troubled kid to heroic soldier to revenge-driven vigilante … to the duly anointed King of Killers,” Aaron remarks in a press release obtained by Yahoo Entertainment. “Believe me when I say, I am as excited about this story as anything I’ve ever written for Marvel.”
So now Frank’s joining with a group of crooks? Notice how it doesn’t clearly state whether Frank’s going undercover; that’s exactly how fans could feel annoyed at their direction through Aaron, who’s proven quite a social justice caterer, recalling the time he replaced Thor with Jane Foster, using the exact same name for the gender-swapped role. Yet as Breitbart notes:
Marvel Comics in under fire for revamping its popular Punisher character by not only making him the leader of an Asian assassin group but redesigning his iconic skull logo, a move some fans have blasted as cultural appropriation.
[…] In the limited series, written by Jason Aaron with art by Jesús Saiz and Paul Azaceta, Frank Castle will travel down his most violent road, yet, to become the leader of the Japan-based assassin group The Hand — a villainous group that originated in 1981 in the Daredevil comics.
[…] Some fans praised the new design. For others, it smacks of a white character appropriating Japanese culture.
And they provided several examples some leftist sites aren’t. However, I’m very annoyed how they say these are “Marvel fans” slamming the changes, because I honestly doubt all of them are, and they certainly aren’t into this hobby for non-political reasons. Complex also brought this up, and opportunistically attacked right-wingers with this news:
As for the re-imagining of the logo, The Punisher’s new design was met with some pushback from comic book fans. Some right-wing extremist groups like the Proud Boys have co-opted the iconic skull for a while now. Many comic fans knew that Frank Castle’s iconography would eventually be changed, but some are upset at Marvel’s choice with the replacement.
Yet the examples they provide say nothing about “cultural appropriation”, and besides, did they ever ask whether Japanese have any issue with this? I remember once reading about an Australian woman who trained to become a geisha in Japan, and for the most part, she succeeded. Any controversy within the country stemmed more from how they felt she wasn’t fully sticking to the rules they believed in, and also believe it’s ludicrous to commercialize the concept, or to commoditize it.
If Japanese have no problem with foreign women wanting to practice local customs like those, then nobody should have an issue with Frank Castle wearing a symbol similar to anything Japan’s developed. Does this also mean Stan Lee’s guilty of “appropriation” by making Daredevil a martial artist, easily the most notable of Marvel’s martial artists in the Silver Age? Why, do these opponents of alleged cultural appropriation also believe Elektra symbolizes “appropriation” because she originally took the job of a kunoichi assassin? It’s not difficult to guess the attacks on Aaron and Saiz’s reworking of Punisher’s logo stem from opportunism to attack anything they see fit, with no consistency abound in how they write up their pointless slams.
And the way Complex used this subject as an excuse to attack right-wingers was decidedly uncalled for, yet that’s the tunnel these leftists are going down today, with nary a mention of left-wing extremists like Antifa and BLM. They don’t seem particularly disappointed the Punisher’s being made into leader of a criminal gang either, with no clear mention whether this is supposed to be an undercover justice job. But, that’s modern Marvel for you, alas.
Anyway, this does look like a sign Marvel’s going the PC route with the Punisher, as was bound to happen sooner or later. It’s enough to make one feel it a shame these characters have been held hostage to the way serial fiction’s being produced in the US, without any consideration for why it might be better to change the format to something more self-contained, and why it might even be a good idea give the characters a rest for a change, and not have to suffer all this politicized abuse all the time. None of which interests the MSM, who couldn’t care less if it all failed in the end.
Originally published here.