The skull logo has become the subject of controversy lately in that it has been embraced by police and members of the military. It’s on patches, tee-shirts, stickers and is nearly as omnipresent as the Superman logo. Rather than happily banking this income, the corporate holder of the intellectual property (Disney) as well as the author of the original character find this discomfiting. They want customers, but not those customers! There has been talk of retiring the character or changing the logo.
Yep. Great. Don’t mess with success. Remember New Coke? C’mon — it wasn’t that long ago.
I always loved The Punisher, but I always knew he was a derivative character. He was a knockoff of The Destroyer, The Executioner and a bevy of other gun-toting anti-heroes from the pulps all of whom had better names. The name The Punisher fits now after almost 50 years of publication, but back then it felt like they were scraping the bottom of the barrel for a name that wasn’t already taken. Why not Big Meanie With a Gun?
I always wondered why the King Features Syndicate who owned The Phantom didn’t bring suit against Marvel Comics. The skull motif definitely looks like a lift from the earlier comic strip character. Give Punisher a hood and a harlequin mask and he would be The Phantom!