Speaking of the Punisher, plans are afoot to give the character his own series. For those unfamiliar with the character, Frank Castle (aka the Punisher) is a Marvel Comics vigilante (with a military background) whose wife and children were killed as a result of criminal activity. An enraged Castle sought revenge and killed those responsible. Realizing that criminals often slip through the cracks of the criminal justice system, Castle took on the identity of the Punisher and launched a one-man war on crime. Utilizing his extensive military and hand-to-hand combat skills, as well as a huge arsenal of weapons, the Punisher targets all manner of criminals with his unique brand of “punishment”. From mob bosses and gang leaders to gunrunning militias and corrupt city officials to drug kingpins and human traffickers, his single-minded quest quickly made him the scourge of the criminal underworld (not unlike a certain bat-themed character at DC Comics, though their methods are vastly different). Starring in various comic books during the 80s and 90s, the Punisher enjoyed a huge amount of commercial success, though his popularity waned in the late 90s (it has seen something of a resurgence since then). Now, I’m not a big fan of the Punisher (and I’ll go into why in an upcoming post), but I did see the last two movies headlined by the character so I’m mildy curious to see which of the four (including the upcoming Daredevil version, four actors will have played the role of the Punisher) cinematic versions of the character will resonate most with fans. Will it be:
Masked vigilantes prowling the streets doling out justice to ne’er-do-wells are typically the province of comic books. These fictional vigilantes operate outside of the law and rarely have any official oversight, no governing body to regulate their actions. Usually, their strong moral character ensures that they only punish the guilty (leaving aside the fact that the vigilante sets themselves up as a judge and jury; something else they have no authority to do) and don’t typically present a threat to civilians (though as we see every day in USAmerica, organizations who are governed and regulated by official entities still trample on the rights of civilians and get away with it). For these reasons and more, it behooves civilians to not engage in vigilante activities, no matter how well-meaning they might be.