Kevin Smith Reacts to Marvel's Punisher Changes: "Nothing is Forever"

Kevin Smith shared his reaction to Marvel's decision to change The Punisher recently. His basic message on the latest episode of Fatman Beyond was simple, "nothing is forever." During that podcast he laid out a basic outline of Frank Castle's origins in Marvel Comics. Then, after establishing a baseline, he delved into the decisions to make the vigilante part of The Hand. A lot of the rage has to do with a new skull emblem and The Punisher using swords now instead of guns. Smith gestures towards the fact that the old logo has become associated with some individuals that Disney and Marvel would like to distance themselves from. In changing the skull and pivoting course, it allows both companies some distance from those individuals or groups.

But, the Clerks director also points to his own time with Marvel Knights. A series of stories that allowed themselves to get a little weird with established characters from the company. In that iteration, Frank Castle became a much more supernatural character. But, in the end he reverted back to a more recognizable Punisher afterward. Smith thinks the same thing will happen here as "everything old becomes new again" at some point. Read what he had to say down below and check out the video yourself.

"This character has been insanely popular for decades. He's recognizable by the skull on his chest. Apparently, the skull on his chest became problematic because it's been co-opted by some folks that Marvel doesn't want to be associated with. So, this seems like their fix. Also, maybe the character has come under fire in recent years for all the gun use and stuff." 

"So, what they've done is changed the skull into a proprietary looking skull. That's the other reason. Marvel/Disney cannot own, or trademark the image of a skull as seen on The Punisher. 'Cause it's too close to a regular skull. By adding the horns and stuff, that is their Punisher logo now. It removed them from the Punisher logo as it's traveled in the world to places that they don't want to be associated with. Frank Castle no longer using machine guns or any sort of guns because he's all swords now."

"Naturally, some folks are all upset. I don't read the comics, so I got no skin in the game. But, as a long-term comic book reader, this is what I will say. If you wait long enough kids, everything comes back around. This is not the first time that Frank Castle has been turned into a different version of The Punisher. They did this when we did Marvel Knights. They did Frank Castle got killed, went to Hell, came back as a guy who would only kill bad people and monsters. You know, supernatural characters and stuff like that."

"It's a character that sometimes, based on the culture, has butted up against the culture. So, Marvel has tried to find ways to still keep a beloved character viable while not being associated with whatever they don't want to be associated with. This is yet another example of that. So, if you're like 'Oh, I can't stand what they're doing!' Take it from an old comic book fan, just wait 10 minutes, nothing is forever kids. You think that skull is gone from The Punisher's chest forever? No. And when they put it back on his chest, they will sell a bajillion copies."

Have you seen The Punisher's new look? What do you think? Let us know down in the comments below!