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Trivia / The Punisher

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  • Creator Backlash: As of 2023, the iconic Punisher skull logo has been adopted by various far-right extremist groups, as well as by some law enforcement and even military personnel. This has not gone unnoticed at Marvel, and is definitely not appreciated. Co-creator Gerry Conway has said he's disturbed that far right extremists, as well as various military and police forces have co-opted the logo of a character that is both explicitly anti-authority and is a disturbed man whose crusade against crime isn't something anybody should want to emulate. Garth Ennis has similarly voiced his disgust, calling right wing rioters that were seen with the symbol "halfwits" who don't understand the character.
  • Died During Production: Steve Dillon died in October 2016, when he was the book's current artist.
  • Executive Veto: There's one type of story that will never be published in the main Marvel Universe ('Earth-616') setting: a story where Frank Castle kills an innocent by accident, is filled with angst, and retires. Several authors wrote drafts for variants of this plot twist, but they have never been published. Other continuities do have this story, such as Ultimate Marvel where during the Death of Spider-Man arc, there was a mini-civil war between different factions of the Ultimates, Ultimate Punisher siding with Fury's team battles Captain America's team and in the course of that Frank Castle shoots at Steve Rogers but Spider-Man takes the bullet and a horrified Frank Castle immediately drops his weapons and cries out to be arrested or shot because he shot a child. The wound that Peter suffers played a part in weakening him before Norman Osborn and the Ultimate Six attack Spider-Man and in the course of which battle Ultimate Peter Parker dies though he does get better in later issues.
    • This almost happens in the MAX continuity, but he realizes the girl wasn't shot by his gun, and that drug runners had killed her and staged her corpse where he'd be sure to find her.
    • This plot was also the basis for the plot of Punisher: War Zone where Frank, during a raid to get to the future Jigsaw, shoots and kills an undercover FBI agent and doesn't realize the truth until he discovers a wire on the corpse.
  • Exiled from Continuity: The MAX series for obvious reasons. Lampshaded by Iron Man in the Civil War Handbook
    Iron Man: Although recently Castle has escalated his war on crime even further, with record-breaking body counts, he is paradoxically now rarely encountered in the field by any superhero save Daredevil. (...) It's almost like he inhabits two worlds, one where heroes can capture him and one where they can't, and he can slip from one to the other with ease.
  • Follow the Leader: Almost single-handedly kick-started the Darker and Edgier trend of the late 80s and on through the 90s, and remains one of the few such series/characters to have retained his popularity and effectiveness after it died out (though Lord knows he's had his share of Audience-Alienating Eras).
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Tons.
    • His first ongoing series, The Punisher, Vol. 2 (1988), ran for 108 issues and seven annuals. As of January 2023, only part of the series has been republished as digital comics (#1-26, 28-48, 63-75 and 85-88, plus the first four annuals) - physical collected editions have the same gaps and are printed in Marvel's "Epic Collection" format, with all of the color art converted to black and white.
    • His second ongoing series, The Punisher War Journal, Vol. 1 (1988) ran for 80 issues and less than half has been republished. As of January 2023, some are available as digital comics (#1-19, 45-47, 52-53 and 61-64). A physical collected edition covers the first 19 issues, with the Punisher: Suicide Run and Daredevil: Dead Man's Hand crossover collections including a handful of the later issues.
    • His third ongoing series, The Punisher War Zone Vol. 1 (1992), ran for 41 issues and had two annuals. There are three trades collecting it but issues 7-25 and 37-41 and the annuals remain uncollected and aren't available as digital copies.
    • His fourth ongoing series, Punisher Vol.3 (1995), ran for 18 issues. As of January 2023, it is not collected in any format. Issue #11, which is part of the Onslaught event, is the only one republished digitally.
    • His fifth ongoing series, The Punisher, ran for 37 issues. It was written by Garth Ennis very successful and popular. It was collected in trade paperbacks, save for issues 8-12 which weren't written by Ennis. The paperbacks are out of print. It was released in hardcovers but the hardcover line is incomplete with no sign of Marvel continuing. The hardcovers that do exist are also out of print. Finally, it was collected in one massive omnibus, which also collected the Welcome Back, Frank storyline. This is also out of print. As a final kicker, an issue included within the omnibus is The Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe. This is a very collectible issue and was collected in a trade paperback with Welcome Back, Frank. Welcome Back, Frank has gotten a new trade edition. Kills the Marvel Universe is not included.
      • The non-MAX Ennis issues are now being republished in a series of TPBs as part of a general twentieth-anniversary repackaging of the Marvel Knights sub-imprint, including Kills the Marvel Universe in the first volume.
  • Old Shame: According to Garth Ennis's introduction to the first of the Complete Collection TPBs of his MAX run, he now views the Marvel Knights Punisher series in this light, believing that it was too comedic and had too much superhero-related content.
  • Quietly Cancelled: A Punisher vs. Barracuda miniseries was among many Marvel projects that vanished after the disruption caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The series would have introduced a version of The Punisher MAX villain Barracuda to the main Marvel Universe. It was officially announced and several issues were solicited for pre-orders, but as of 2023 it has never been published.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • A planned Punisher vs. Barracuda miniseries by Ed Brisson and Declan Shalvey would have introduced The Punisher MAX villain Barracuda as a Canon Immigrant to the main Marvel Universe setting. It was announced and solicited to retailers, but then Quietly Cancelled after the initial disruption of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
    • Jimmy Palmiotti wrote a Punisher series with art from Dan Panosian, which has never been published or officially announced. Panosian tweeted some of the art in January 2023, saying that he'd completed three issues and it was still in the Marvel vaults; Palmiotti described it as "one of the craziest PUNISHER stories ever written".