WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Punisher #1. The Punisher gets an all-new logo in his latest series from writer Jason Aaron and artists Jesus Saiz and Paul Azaceta. There's been a lot of controversy surrounding the logo in recent years, with individuals co-opting it for political means to brand on police uniforms, cars, and military garments. Still, no one expected Marvel to give the logo an extreme makeover, but it's actually happened. The details behind the change are complicated and tie into Frank Castle's new affiliation with the ninja assassin organization known as The Hand.
When Punisher #1 opens, we're introduced to a new terrorist group called the Apostles of War. They're in the middle of stockpiling their impressive catalog of weaponry when the lights are cut out and someone attacks them from the shadows. When the lights turn back on, only one of their members is left standing, with the others laying dead bleeding out on the floor. The murderer is The Punisher, who is wielding a sword instead of a gun while wearing his new skull logo that takes inspiration from The Hand.
The logo now sports two horns extending out from the forehead, along with beastly teeth. It's an impressive and fearsome look, especially when Frank has on Shaolin-like body armor to complete his transformation into The Hand's elite killer. A flashback sequence takes readers back to the point when the Arch-Priestess of The Hand shows up with an army at Frank's hideout. A brutal and bloody fight kicks off, with Punisher mowing down his attackers while the Arch-Priestess watches on with a gleeful look on her face.
Punisher passes this test, as the Arch-Priestess makes Frank an offer he can't refuse: work for them in exchange for the resurrection of his dead wife, Maria. "Maria has a big impact on the series going forward," Aaron told ComicBook.com in an exclusive interview. "This is the first time we've really gotten to see Maria's POV. She's only been seen in brief flashbacks. Fans will get to see what she thinks about Frank's mission as The Punisher since her death."
Punisher #1 actually wasn't the first appearance of his new logo. Marvel snuck a quick cameo of Punisher's new status quo into the final page of Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #3. AKA and Arch-Priestess have a conversation regarding Elektra, with the two women clearly holding different opinions on how she should be dealt with. AKA sees Elektra as The Hand's fiercest former warrior, while Arch-Priestess isn't impressed at all. Arch-Priestess' main goal is bringing back the Beast, which she sees The Punisher as a means to that goal. She refers to Frank as "My Lord," showing how he holds a lofty title in the shadowy organization.
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