Stop Asking Marvel To Keep Cops From Wearing Masks With 'The Punisher' Skull On It

from the policing-isn't-supposed-to-be-commerce dept

Regular readers here will certainly know that movie-sequel maker and occasional comic book producer Marvel is quite notorious for protecting its intellectual property in a rather heavy-handed way. Some of the examples of its protectionist actions are, ironically, cartoonish. Such as when it used copyright to crush the creator of Ghost Rider. Or refusing to allow copyrights for some of Marvel's most famous characters to revert back to the folks who actually created them through termination rights. Add to this that Marvel is now a part of Disney, a company nearly as famous for its forays into shaping copyright law as it is for anything else. With all of the above, perhaps it was understandable when people saw a whole bunch of cops in the news for all the wrong reasons adorned in face masks imprinted with the logo for The Punisher that those same people wondered aloud why Marvel wasn't suing the police over it.

You tend to see it in articles like this, where members of the public and/or other comic creators beg Disney or Marvel to sue police who wear the logo while they're out proving the point of the protesters.

The Punisher is one of the most brutal, violent characters in comics. Yet, somehow, his iconic skull logo has been co-opted by some police officers who use the symbol to show their support for "Blue Lives Matter." Now, certain comic creators are urging Disney to take legal action against police forces who have used the logo without permission.

So, first thing first: the fact that officers of the law are taking on the logo of a vigilante that operates brutally and specifically outside the law should tell you everything you need to know about the officers who wear those masks. These imbeciles seem to take great pleasure in proving the point of the current movement for whatever reason.

But as to any legal action Marvel could take against them, as this post points out, there's likely very little that can be done specifically with the police.

However, while many fans would love for Marvel to tell the cops that they cannot use the trademarked skull logo of the Punisher, Marvel is likely stuck without a whole lot of legal recourse for achieving a ban like that.

The key problem with enforcing the use of the trademark with police officers, though, is found in the word trademark itself. A trademark, simply put, is a mark that is used in trade. This means that the intellectual property is being used in commerce. If the intellectual property is not being used in commerce, there is not a whole lot that the owners of the trademark can do about people using the trademark.

And, aside from the happy pilfering of society via civil asset forfeiture, not to mention police unions that aggrandize the danger of the average cop in order to continue siphoning tax money to buy better weaponry toys, policing is just a racist enterprise, not a commercial one. Legal action against the police would be tossed out of court quickly.

Which tends to move the public onto different targets out of a desperate sense that someone somewhere needs to do something. That's when they begin to scream, "Why is Marvel refusing to enforce its trademark on the logo among those selling those masks?"

As protests against police brutality go global and enter their third week, Marvel Comics has faced increasing calls to get the Punisher skull off of police gear. The skull is often added to bootleg tactical merchandise used by police and the military (both at home and abroad), as well as, occasionally, official police gear. When pressed on the matter, though, a Marvel spokesperson told io9 precisely nothing. The spokesperson affirmed to io9 that they were taking the issue very seriously, referred readers to a page from a recent issue of the Punisher’s comic, and pointed to the company’s prior statement on social media.

Disney, Marvel’s parent company, is notoriously litigious enforcing its trademarks. Before purchasing Marvel Entertainment and all its comic characters, the company once sued three Florida daycare centers for painting likenesses of Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters on their walls. And Disney refused to grant permission for a child’s Spider-Man gravestone, telling his grieving father that they wanted to protect the “innocence” and “magic” of its characters. There are more than 1,000 results for “thin blue Punisher” gear on Amazon.

So, a couple of things. First, the use of the Punisher logo is so widely prevalent that this likely explains how police are finding them and wearing them. Certainly, it's not as though Marvel or Disney, rich enterprises though they may be, could pay enough lawyers to fill up enough courtrooms to go after all of these people all of the time. Second, Marvel most certainly does police the Punisher trademark. It's done so on companies that have used similar logos on gun products, all kinds of merch and apparel, and elsewhere.

As for the masks the police are using like some kind of dumb superhero symbol that couldn't be more tone-deaf, Marvel actually has made its stance pretty clear.

“We stand against racism. We stand for inclusion. We stand with our fellow Black employees, storytellers, creators and the entire Black community. We must unite and speak out.”

The spokesperson also referenced the Punisher's own stance against police using their logo to io9 as their own stance. In Punisher #13 by Matthew Rosenberg, Szymon Kudranski, and Greg Smallwood, the Punisher isn't pleased to see cops using his logo. The Walt Disney Corporation earlier this week pledged $5 million towards nonprofit organizations that advanced social justice, including $2 million going to the NAACP.

Bottom line: there is no world in which Marvel wants to see its character symbols resting on the faces of cops brutalizing peaceful protests. Stop asking them to sue the police; they can't. And if you're upset that they haven't sued rogue apparel makers using the logo as of yet... give it time. It is Disney/Marvel, after all.

Filed Under: police, punisher, trademark, use in commerce
Companies: disney, marvel


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  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Jun 2020 @ 7:46pm

    Does anyone else see the dark humor in people sincerely asking Disney, of all companies, to file lawsuits and manipulate IP law in its own favor?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2020 @ 7:50pm

    To hell with defunding the police. Nuke them from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

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  • icon
    K`Tetch (profile), 11 Jun 2020 @ 8:19pm

    My local public defender has it on his work car.

    Or did, I just noticed earlier this week that its gone from his car (his work car is an ex cop-crown vic)

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  • icon
    Thad (profile), 11 Jun 2020 @ 9:01pm

    Or refusing to allow copyrights for some of Marvel's most famous characters to revert back to the folks who actually created them through termination rights.

    Well, the heirs of the folks who actually created them, in that particular case. Jack Kirby died in 1994; his heirs sought copyright reversion in 2009 (and settled in 2014).

    Steve Gerber (Howard the Duck) and Marv Wolfman (Blade) would be better examples of creators themselves attempting to claim copyrights to their characters and getting smacked down by Marvel.

    After Thanos appeared at the end of the first Avengers movie, his creator, Jim Starlin, posted some early drawings he had from before he sold Thanos to Marvel. This was clearly a veiled threat: he hadn't created Thanos as work-for-hire, he'd created him first and then sold him to Marvel, which meant that in 2029 he'd be able to reclaim the copyright -- and he had proof. In his case, either because of new management (Disney had purchased Marvel by this point and had started moving to settle with creators rather than go to court) or because they knew Starlin had them dead to rights and would most likely win if they went to court, Marvel chose to negotiate a new deal with him in exchange for his agreeing he wouldn't seek termination. I'm guessing he made a pretty good chunk of change off the last two Avengers movies.

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  • identicon
    Agammamon, 11 Jun 2020 @ 10:20pm

    Stop Asking Marvel To Keep Cops From Wearing Masks With 'The Punisher' Skull On It

    You really have to wonder WTF is wrong with cops and cop shops that either no one knew this was happening among the ranks or they knew and . . . thought 'yeah, the optics of this is OK'.

    I mean, even the US military clamped down on 'non-professional' shit with masks back in March - long before there was any notion that we'd be having National Guard out in the streets. Because you can damn well bet that any Soldier, Sailor, Airman (ok, maybe not an Airman), or Marine would have the stupidest shit he could get on his face as soon as Amazon could get it there.

    That was a simple matter of being aware of the image that individual servicemembers create of their service in the public's mind.

    And keep in mind - these aren't podunk, rural, police forces full of rednecks and militias hired by racists from racists. These are the police forces of cities run by Liberals (and currently) Progressives. Those are the people who hired the morons who hired these asshats.

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 12 Jun 2020 @ 12:14am

      Re:

      You really have to wonder WTF is wrong with cops and cop shops that either no one knew this was happening among the ranks or they knew and . . . thought 'yeah, the optics of this is OK'.

      If the last couple weeks has taught you anything, it should include cops don't seem to care much about the optics of what they're doing.

      Well, that and a few other things too I guess.

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2020 @ 1:50am

        Have the last couple of weeks taught us anything?

        "This is not Capitol Hill Block Party. Don't forget what happened a week ago."

        https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2020/06/12/43894920/the-capitol-hill-autonomous-zone-jus t-keeps-growing

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpW1u3jOjh8

        Where will be a TEST of AMericans and it will begin in CHAZ!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2020 @ 4:42am

          Re: Have the last couple of weeks taught us anything?

          so, yeah. How's that autonomous zone working out in relation to taxes, policing, etc?

          And why did you decide pushing your youtube video twice was the way to go?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2020 @ 6:45am

            Re: Re: Have the last couple of weeks taught us anything?

            Just checked his channel info, and this is a 4channer from the UK, so can be ignored.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              bhull242 (profile), 12 Jun 2020 @ 12:43pm

              Re: Re: Re: Have the last couple of weeks taught us anything?

              So, he has absolutely nothing to do with anything he’s talking about?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2020 @ 6:14pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Have the last couple of weeks taught us anything

                It's goddamn 4chan, what did you expect?

                I still remember the days when 4chan and Anonymous were more or less synonymous, if not at least surgically joined at the hip, and everyone treated them as the edgy, hip new kid on the block for fuck knows why. Something about humiliating the Church of Scientology. That at least made them tolerable until they started doing dumb shit like making swastika symbols in HabboHotel then wondering why people got pissed off, and raging about it.

                It's goddamn 4chan. I don't know why anyone's surprised at this point. They literally call themselves the asshole of the Internet and people are still shocked that they shovel nothing but shit.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 12 Jun 2020 @ 2:44am

      Re:

      "You really have to wonder WTF is wrong with cops and cop shops that either no one knew this was happening among the ranks or they knew and . . . thought 'yeah, the optics of this is OK'."

      No really. It's the same mindset that lets officers get away with things like beating and killing unarmed black men and "accidentally" having cameras turned off at the time. They'd rather protect each other than serve the community. Hence the protests.

      "And keep in mind - these aren't podunk, rural, police forces full of rednecks and militias hired by racists from racists. These are the police forces of cities run by Liberals (and currently) Progressives."

      Strange how want to make respect for human life a partisan issue and don't think that cities can have racist cops. Does it take too much effort to say "racist assholes should not be cops" without bringing partisan politics into it? It shouldn't matter which party the mayor belongs to, the behaviour is wrong regardless..

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2020 @ 3:01am

        You are such a liar, PaulT

        Riiight. Killing unarmed black men. Lots of 'em.

        Overall, there were a total of precisely 10 cases in the United States last year, according to The Washington Post, in which unarmed African- Americans were fatally shot by the police. There were nine men and one woman.

        Now, as we said, a lot is at stake. The country is at stake. So we want to take the time now to go through these case by case, into the specifics.

        The first was a man called Channara Pheap. He was killed by a Knoxville police officer called Dylan Williams. According to Williams, Pheap attacked him, choked him and then used a taser on him -- the suspect on the police officer before the officer shot him. Five eyewitnesses corroborated the officer's claim, and the officer was not charged.

        The second case concerns a man called Marcus McVeigh. He was by any description a career criminal from San Angelo, Texas. He had been convicted of aggravated assault, assault on a public servant and organized criminal activity.

        At the time he was killed, he was wanted on drug dealing charges. The Texas State trooper pulled him over. McVeigh fled in his car, then he fled on foot into the woods. There he fought with the trooper and was shot and killed. The officer was not charged in that case.

        Marzua Scott assaulted a shop employee. When a female police officer arrived and ordered the suspect toward her car, he instead charged her and knocked her to the ground. At that point, she shot and killed him. The entire incident was caught on body camera. The officer was not charged.

        Ryan Twyman was being approached by two LA County deputies when he backed into one of them with his vehicle. The deputy was caught in the car door. He and his partner opened fire. The deputies were not charged in that case.

        Melvin Watkins of East Baton Rouge, La. shot by a deputy after he allegedly drove his car toward the deputy at high speed. The deputy was not charged.

        Isaiah Lewis, meanwhile, wasn't just unarmed, he was completely naked. Williams broke into a house and then attacked a police officer. The police tased Williams, but he kept coming at them and attacking. The officer shot him. They were not charged.

        Atatiana Jefferson was shot by a Fort Worth deputy called Aaron Dean. A neighbor had called a non-emergency number after seeing Jefferson's door open, thinking something might be wrong. Police arrived. Jefferson saw them approach from a window and was holding a gun at the time.

        According to body camera footage, the officer shot Jefferson within seconds. That officer has been charged with homicide.

        Is our nation being ripped apart by a total and complete lie, a provable lie? A lie used by cynical media manipulators and unscrupulous politicians who understand that racial strife -- race hatred -- is their path to power, even if it destroys the country.

        Christopher Whitfield was shot and killed in a place called Ethel, La. He had robbed a gas station. Deputy Glenn Sims said his gun discharged accidentally while grappling with Whitfield. Sims, who is black himself, was not charged in that killing.

        Kevin Mason was shot by police during a multi-hour standoff. Well, Mason turned out not to have a gun. Mason claimed to have a gun, claimed to be armed and vowed to kill police with it. They believed him. Mason had been in a shootout with police years before.

        And finally, the tenth case concerns Gregory Griffin. He was shot during a car chase. An officer called Giovanni Crespo claimed he saw someone pointing a gun at him. Later, a gun was in fact found inside the vehicle, and yet Officer Crespo was charged anyway with aggravated manslaughter.

        Those are the facts. That is the entire list from 2019, last year -- 10 deaths. In five deaths, an officer was attacked just before the shooting occurred. That is not disputed.

        One allegedly was an accident. That leaves a total of four deaths during a pursuit or in a standoff. So out of four, in two of those cases -- and fully half -- the officer was criminally charged.

        These are facts. Educate yourself, moron.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 12 Jun 2020 @ 3:24am

          Re: You are such a liar, PaulT

          "Overall, there were a total of precisely 10 cases in the United States last year, according to The Washington Post, in which unarmed African- Americans were fatally shot by the police"

          Citation? Although it's funny how you said "shot", which would mean that George Floyd would not be included in your figures. Almost as if you's being willfully dishonest...hmmm...

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        • identicon
          Rocky, 12 Jun 2020 @ 3:28am

          Lying by omission

          Here's the facts: https://mappingpoliceviolence.org

          But I doubt you want to understand those facts since you rather lie than confess you where wrong.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 12 Jun 2020 @ 3:38am

            Re: Lying by omission

            He won't confess. But, it's an interesting example of how these people lie - I said "beating and killing unarmed black men", and in response he tried telling me I was wrong by providing an uncited sample size that removed all of those who didn't die, and all of those who died from means other than being shot.

            Even if the wall of bullshit that followed was 100% correct (and I very much doubt it was), it does literally nothing to refute what I said, as it removed the majority of what I was referring to.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2020 @ 4:40am

              Re: Re: Lying by omission

              Silence is golden. Facts are facts. Accusations are .... what again? Infinite, unbounded and worthless? Yeah, that could be it.

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              • icon
                bhull242 (profile), 12 Jun 2020 @ 12:51pm

                Re: Re: Re: Lying by omission

                And the fact is that you failed to refute PaulT by excluding survivors who were shot or beaten and those who were killed by means other than gunshot wounds (including George Floyd). You also failed by not citing specific article(s) for your claims.

                And regarding accusations, I believe you shot first here.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 12 Jun 2020 @ 8:05am

          Re: You are such a liar, PaulT

          1098 people dead at the hands of police in 2019 and 2020 is...10 so far?

          I see your assertions about the approximate mass of Russel's Teapot aren't backed up by much other than 10 very cherry-picked anecdotes about fringe cases.

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2020 @ 8:07am

            Re: Re: You are such a liar, PaulT

            You know, I think it's great that you guys have "come out". No logic, no facts, nothing to say but "blah blah blah racism sexism burn America".

            Good for you for being honest.

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      • identicon
        Agammamon, 12 Jun 2020 @ 11:20am

        Re: Re:

        Does it take too much effort to say "racist assholes should not be cops"

        Will you not question why the people who not only say 'racist assholes should not be cops' but have the power to hire cops - keep hiring racist cops?

        At least the Repblicans - being racist assholes themselves - have an excuse for hiring racist cops. What's the excuse for the party that says its against racism?

        Why are they still hiring racist cops?

        If you can't look clearly at your own team's missteps then you'll never fix the structural racism that is at issue here.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 12 Jun 2020 @ 3:41am

      The comparison between the military and the police feels disingenuous. The United States military, a fully nationalized and centralized organization, has standards of conduct for all its “employees”, many of which are the same across each major “department” (the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard). No such centralization exists for police departments; one department in a major metropolis might ban the use of the Punisher logo, but departments in far smaller localities may condone its use (or at least look the other way).

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  • icon
    McKay (profile), 11 Jun 2020 @ 11:16pm

    Perhaps what Disney should do...

    Is take out billboards by police stations that are divided on two:
    It should a Cap shield logo on one side that says something like "Captain America represents the good cops. He stands up for what is right."
    Then on the other side have the Punisher log with something like, "Punisher represents the rioters, punishing those who they think have been doing evil."

    This would possibly shame them into dropping the logo.

    (I hereby relinquish whatever rights I have in this idea to Marvel so they can use it without recompense. Although I wouldn't mind a recompense.)

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2020 @ 1:32am

      Think about the young people

      One edge of youth culture consisted of politically active people:
      organizers, embattled artists, people's musicians, free schoolers, mothers and
      fathers and children of communal families. What has happened to this large
      grouping of people as the fat of affluence has dissolved over the last three
      years?

      We are all together, here in the Capital Hill Free Zone! Come stay with us!

      https://mynorthwest.com/1934076/seattle-capitol-hill-autonomous-zone/

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2020 @ 6:24am

          But First, Mr. Stephen T. Stone

          But first you have to dedicate your integrity and public word to being a phony pony idiot that has decided to have a "secret mission" that only you and your pinky swear friends know about. Infiltrated? You worry about being infiltrated? What a pathetic public spectacle of a disingenuous asshole you are. Have fun in your "secret" society.

          Just sayin..

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2020 @ 7:24am

            Re: But First, Mr. Stephen T. Stone

            I think Mr. Stephen T. Stone is a scholar of the left, he understands history. He recognizes the writing of Bill Ayers when he sees it. He knows about the 70's, and the Weather Underground, and everything that happened. He knows. He knows how Bill Ayers talks. He knows Bill Ayers is a revered historical figure of the left. He would NEVER say that Bill Ayers doesn't talk the way a leftie talks.

            Would he?

            Or is he just another fucking uneducated leftie idiot?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Rocky, 12 Jun 2020 @ 7:49am

              Re: Re: But First, Mr. Stephen T. Stone

              Do you know how you spot uneducated idiots?

              It's easy - they can't stop themselves from talking shit in an effort to hide their inferiority complex. And the really stupid ones, they repeat the same shit over and over again in a belief that next time it will make a difference.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 12 Jun 2020 @ 8:01am

                Re: Re: Re: But First, Mr. Stephen T. Stone

                "And the really stupid ones, they repeat the same shit over and over again in a belief that next time it will make a difference."

                Well, Baghdad Bob's been doing this shit for a lot of years now and he still hasn't learned. By now I think he's just acquired a set of conditioned responses which make him squawk "But Obama!" and "But Pirates!" whenever he hits certain keywords.

                It's pretty ironic that googlebot and wolfram alpha are better conversationalists. Tells you a lot about white supremacy that their loudest advocates would fail turing tests actual bots would pass.

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2020 @ 8:02am

                Re: Re: Re: But First, Mr. Stephen T. Stone

                You are so right. Hard to top that one.

                The white race was pictured as "pure" and "superior"; the
                Black race as dirty, stupid and inevitably inferior; the yellow
                race as sharing in deception and cowardice . . , everything
                great, everything fine, everything really successful in human
                culture was white.

                Ah, Bill Ayers, a sage and truth teller.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 12 Jun 2020 @ 8:12am

              …I’m still not going to fuck you.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 12 Jun 2020 @ 7:47am

          Re:

          Well, the tells are pretty obvious. If you see someone trying to defend "black lives matters" by quoting out-of-context soviet propaganda from 1960 while switching out the obvious references with what they think is more relevant, including a "But Obama!" at least once, then what you've got is probably a confused little stormfront refugee unable to understand why he's being laughed at since the real world is just a bit different than how it's described to be inside the echo chambers he gets his world view from.

          And as we can all see the response to people calling him on his bullshit is just pure Baghdad Bob - a string of ad hominems with nothing else on offer.

          What sad little covfefes these little hatemongers are. Still all traumatized over a black man actually being elected president.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 12 Jun 2020 @ 3:07am

      Re: Perhaps what Disney should do...

      This would possibly shame them into dropping the logo.

      That would require the police to be capable of shame, and at this point it's pretty clear that that simply isn't the case.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 12 Jun 2020 @ 7:38am

        Re: Re: Perhaps what Disney should do...

        More likely Trump himself would come out condemning Captain America to be, well, unamerican.

        Along with the rest of the "greatest generation".

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2020 @ 7:46am

          Re: Re: Re: Perhaps what Disney should do...

          Racism. The left must make clear at every point its unswerving and
          militant support for the liberation of Black, Puerto Rican, Chicano, Native
          American and all Third World peoples. It must refuse to compromise this
          active support for short-term "gains," or to win the approval of whites we
          are trying to organize at the workshop, in the schools or the communities.
          This is true for the whole movement and for every individual in the
          movement. The creation of an anti-racist white movement is the necessary
          foundation for the functional unity of Third World and white enemies of the
          empire. Anti-racist organizing and action can create this unity. Where this
          kind of work has begun, it should be broadened and extended.

          Got that?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 12 Jun 2020 @ 7:54am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Perhaps what Disney should do...

            ...and as usual the sockpuppeting white supremacist keeps quoting out-of-context 70's political standpoints while failing to understand what that speech actually means and outright states.

            Only an alt-right asshat would consider the goal of eliminating racism or bringing anti-racism to white people somehow "bad".

            That's not "leftist". It only calls for "the left" to embrace and strive for what appears to be normal universal human rights. Come back when you find some collectivist claptrap instead...oh, wait...that's become the calling card of the extreme right these days.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2020 @ 8:04am

              Universal Rights

              Marcus Garvey claimed a million members for his Universal Negro
              Improvement Association. This movement expressed an upsurge of Black
              consciousness of oppression as a colonized people. It also expressed a
              well-grounded lack of faith in the reliability of white allies. Garvey set up a
              steamship company and developed plans for an exodus to Africa. The
              collapse of some of these projects combined with state repression of the
              UNIA contributed to the organization's decline. But its spirit lived on, as
              evidenced in Black nationalist movements of today.

              I saw bring back the million members, and help them get home! SteamShips!

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Jun 2020 @ 3:21am

                Re: Universal Rights

                "I saw bring back the million members, and help them get home! SteamShips!"

                Ah, that old call of the racists trying to appear humanitarian by advocating a "gentler" form of ethnic cleansing.

                Because the obvious alternative - accepting that americans with dark skin are also american, simply won't appear in the mind of the confused moron who thinks there's no need for education or a career as long as he manages to get born with fewer melanophores than the next man.

                I have some bad news for you, Baghdad Bob - white supremacists very rarely end up winners in life. In fact it's pretty much guaranteed that as soon as their views become known outside of the echo chamber they end up ostracized.

                Perhaps a better idea than the tired old "Get back on the banana boat" concept you guys might look into a gated whites-only community where your only neighbors will be white people who think exactly like you do?

                Or is it just that you have an inkling as to exactly what sort of shit-pit that would be and that's why you and yours keep wanting to go to the places we liberals hang out in?

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bloof (profile), 12 Jun 2020 @ 2:51am

    Why would anyone want people who are itching to assault civilians from wearing a symbol that identifies them as such? When the dust settles on thus, it'll make them easier to identify and sure won't do them any favours when charges are filed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2020 @ 7:49am

      Re:

      Here in the Free New Hill City on Top of Seattle,
      and at this early stage in the armed and clandestine struggle, our forms
      of combat and confrontation are few and precise. Our organized forces are
      small, the enemy's forces are huge. We live inside the oppressor nation,
      particularly suited to urban guerrilla warfare. We are strategically situated in
      the nerve centers of the international empire, where the institutions and
      symbols of imperial power are concentrated. The cities will be a major
      battleground, for the overwhelming majority of people live in the cities; the
      cities are our terrain.

      We are HERE! We are going to WIN! We need FOOD!

      https://therayfield.com/the-capital-hill-autonomous-zone-is-coming-to-america

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bshock, 12 Jun 2020 @ 8:20am

    I would never ask Marvel (or Their Mousy Masters) to assert stronger copyright on The Punisher or any other property.

    Rather, I would ask Marvel to make it very clear in The Punisher comics that the title character has a very, very small penis.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Agammamon, 12 Jun 2020 @ 11:28am

      Re:

      Or, they could point out that Frank Castle enforces the law with lethal effect. ALL LAW.

      Including copyright violations . . .

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 12 Jun 2020 @ 7:41pm

      'Wearing a shirt of a guy that hates you, bold choice.'

      No need to mock the character just to spite the scum trying to use his image to puff up their egos, there are better ways to handle it.

      A storyline about a corrupt police department assaulting/killing people and the Punisher making crystal clear how much he absolutely loathes scum like that and how they are worse than the usual criminals he goes after for example might get the message across.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 12 Jun 2020 @ 12:37pm

    Does the Punisher go after serial sexual assaulters?

    Recently I was asking similar questions about Batman (The World's Greatest Detective who doesn't seem to care about our teeming backlog of rape kits) and Superman (who is more likely to stop bankrobbers and rescue cats from trees than intervene in domestic violence, which he'd be really good at.)

    Do we still have this image of street thugs in makeshift masks and inmate orange or jail stripes (id est, dressed like The Hamburglar)? That crime is committed not by citizens of the state but of some kind of vermin?

    I mean, it's 2020, not 1950. We've had some time to readjust our view of what crime looks like and what turns people into criminals, and our comics have had that time to adjust. Mostly, our superheroes go after their own rogues galleries (Joker, Two-Face, Penguin, etc.) but then the street thug seems to still make a frequent showing.

    Between both DC and Marvel, maybe it's time to change the fucking narrative, or cancel these guys they way we're doing COPS.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 12 Jun 2020 @ 1:11pm

      Re: Does the Punisher go after serial sexual assaulters?

      Superman (who is more likely to stop bankrobbers and rescue cats from trees than intervene in domestic violence, which he'd be really good at.)

      Ahem.

      *pushes up glasses*

      The very first thing Superman did in Action Comics #1 in 1938 was confront a man who was beating his wife.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 12 Jun 2020 @ 2:00pm

        Action #1

        ...The next twelve pages showed Superman attempting to save an innocent woman about to be executed while delivering the real murderess, bound and gagged, and leaving her on the lawn of the state Governor's mansion after breaking through the door into his house with a signed confession; coming to the aid of a woman being beaten up by her husband, who faints when his knife shatters on Superman's skin; rescuing Lois Lane (who also debuts in this issue) from a gangster who abducted her after she rebuffed him at a nightclub, which leads to the cover scene with the car; and going to Washington, D.C., instead of South America, to "stir up news" as his editor wants to investigate a Senator who he suspects is corrupt, and prompting a confession by leaping around high buildings with the terrified man, which leads into the next issue. All the while, Clark tries to keep Superman out of the papers. -- Wikipedia

        Fair enough.

        Our comics still have a surfeit of problems to be solved by punching them really hard, and a dearth of the acknowledgement that domestic violence is by far the leading form of violence in the US, which the police does little to nothing to solve.

        Granted, it's more exciting to watch things hitting each other.

        It could be that as someone who grew up in the cold war and close to people who had to professionally consider nuclear exchange scenarios (and how to avoid them), I was raised with the principles that power was not just the ability to discharge strength, but included the capacity to determine where and how much it is needed. Less like the Punisher or Batman and more like a power plant or the Wayne Foundation.

        I haven't read the Punisher so I'm not sure how his disproportionate violence is played as heroic. By the time I was reading Superman (in the 1970s), he was fighting Mr. Mister Mxyzptlk and Bizarro. Batman, who I followed off and on from then to now mostly seems to be working out inner angst by punching things, and has nightmares if he doesn't punch anyone for too long.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Thad (profile), 12 Jun 2020 @ 3:04pm

          Re: Action #1

          Oh, I was just being a comic book nerd; I actually agree with your larger point. (And the Superman of today is not the working-class crusader of 1938.)

          There is an inescapable undercurrent of fascism to the superhero genre, I think, and it can be balanced but I don't think it can ever be fully avoided.

          That said, my favorite depictions of Batman have always been the ones that played up Bruce Wayne making a difference in his day job, not just being the grim avenger of the night but also a humanitarian who believes in stopping the causes of crime, not just punching people.

          Like a lot of people my age, I consider the definitive take to be Batman: The Animated Series. That featured episodes where Bruce Wayne volunteered at a soup kitchen, argued for Harley Quinn's release for good behavior at her parole hearing, and offered a job at Wayne Enterprises to a henchman he'd intimidated as Batman.

          It is, ultimately, escapism for children, and it's hard to get around the premise that it's about solving problems by punching things. But there's plenty of room for the message that all that stuff is fantasy, and the real solutions aren't through beating people down but lifting them up.

          As for Punisher, he's been depicted a lot of different ways by a lot of different people over the years, but he was introduced as a straight-up villain and has mostly been played as an antihero over the years -- a broken, traumatized man who no longer believes in justice and only believes in, well, what it says on the tin. Sometimes he's like John Rambo in First Blood, sometimes he's depicted more like John Rambo in the sequels.

          Not for nothin', Punisher co-creator Gerry Conway is currently advocating for reclaiming the Punisher skull as a BLM symbol.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Jun 2020 @ 3:27am

      Re: Does the Punisher go after serial sexual assaulters?

      "Between both DC and Marvel, maybe it's time to change the fucking narrative..."

      I hate to say it but...look at DC. Their attempt of making their story universe "inclusive" was, lately, adding a token green lantern who was black, and a pink lantern corpse for the women. Pretty obvious their editors are stil reacting by what an alarmist white middle-aged man escaped from a 1960 time capsule might think feminism and race equality is about.

      Marvel is better at this but still has the problem that the bad guys are evil just because - or because they're clinically insane. Whereas all the heroes are angsting over their responsibilities and shitty social lives, when they aren't simply being dicks.

      The world of comic books isn't meant to teach. It's at best trying to take over the old storyteller's role of spinning a good yarn which tells everyone just what they already want to hear.

      Exception made for the very few, such as Neil Gaiman et al.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 15 Jun 2020 @ 3:55am

        Re: Re: Does the Punisher go after serial sexual assaulters?

        "Their attempt of making their story universe "inclusive" was, lately, adding a token green lantern who was black, and a pink lantern corpse for the women"

        Erm, I'm no expert but the first black Green Lantern was John Stwerart, who first appeared in 1971. That's hardly "lately". Similarly, going by the Wikipedia and a quick Google search, the "pink" lantern is actually part of a team called Star Sapphires, which was introduced in 1947 but the main character Carol Ferris was originally introduced in 1959, although she may not have been a superhero at that time, and was introduced as such in 1962. (I've not been a big comic reader for years and don't have the time for that particular rabbit hole at the moment.)

        Anyway, while the criticism is noted, it appears that the reason why these characters seem to be relic of the 60s/70s is because they are.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Thad (profile), 15 Jun 2020 @ 10:59am

          Re: Re: Re: Does the Punisher go after serial sexual assaulters?

          Indeed, John Stewart's co-creator, Denny O'Neil, just passed away at the age of 81.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Jun 2020 @ 4:28am

          Re: Re: Re: Does the Punisher go after serial sexual assaulters?

          Huh. I stand corrected. Maybe just a tad tonedeaf of DC to expand the various lantern corps into all the colors of the rainbow and present the all-female one as the "pink corps".

          In fact, looking at your correction, this becomes even worse - why the fsck would they, of all things, choose to grab a bunch of bad 70's tropes to fill their comic with...?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 16 Jun 2020 @ 4:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Does the Punisher go after serial sexual assault

            "why the fsck would they, of all things, choose to grab a bunch of bad 70's tropes to fill their comic with...?"

            Well, this is where my knowledge of everything is not as in depth. I'm not sure what's a "bad 70s trope" of having a black Green Lantern, any more than it's a bad trope to have Miles Morales instead of Peter Parker as an alternate Spiderman. The "pink = girl" thing does seem a little dated, though they could have retconned a more up to date reasoning for that being there.

            The most likely explanation is that they're catering to the long history of stories their fans are already familiar with, and you just noticed something and jumped to the wrong conclusions. I would guess that they address some of the problematic areas in the newer stories, but not having read them I can't be sure. Also remember that comics do something just do things for the hell of it sometimes - Marvel has had Thor as a woman, a dog, an orang-utan and even a frog in various issues.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Jun 2020 @ 5:06am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Does the Punisher go after serial sexual ass

              "I'm not sure what's a "bad 70s trope" of having a black Green Lantern..."

              Yeah, I was mainly referring to the all-girl crew of pink lanterns whose domain - where green lanterns represent will, blues hope, red wrath etc...and the all-girl corps gets, of course, "love".
              Basically DC took their bad 70's trope of what a superpowered girl should be and gave them the classical magical girl transformation.

              But I stand corrected on John Stewart.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 16 Jun 2020 @ 5:15am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Does the Punisher go after serial sexual

                "Basically DC took their bad 70's trope of what a superpowered girl should be and gave them the classical magical girl transformation"

                Again, I agree with that, but not having read the issues I can't speak for context. If those issues were a satirical take on what those tropes used to be, then you're wrong to complain.

                Either way, it is a different thing to be criticising something modern for using a 60s-like social attitudes when the character was created then, compared to making a new thing now that uses those attitudes. What you're focusing on is clearly in the former camp. Let's just keep criticism where it's due. Context is key.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Uriel-238 (profile), 16 Jun 2020 @ 7:56pm

            The Pink Corps

            In the 70s, pink was leaning towards a girl's color, but it wasn't decided yet. Plenty of disco outfits (worn by men) were pink (which went well with dark complexions). Zoot suits were also bright colors, including fuchsia pink.

            Curiously, though, the Sea Tiger from Operation Petticoat was mocked for being a pink submarine. (it had been painted with primer but the docks were out of standard navy grays), which is based off a true story during the Pacific War in WWII. I don't know how much of it is true. In the 1940s the department stores debated whether hot colors (red, orange, yellow) were for boys or girls. There wasn't a standard.

            The fashion I learned from the eighties was that drab colors (low saturation, low brightness) were for work and for men while bright colors (high saturation, high brightness) were for women and sports. And pastels (low saturation, high brightness) were for women, children and springtime.

            As for the GLC and other chromatic corps, it's weird it would have a women's only corps since they're multispecies, and here on earth mollusks are androgynous. Spider females dominate their male counterparts. Anglerfish males are barely alive and (if they're lucky) get absorbed into a female it mates with. And some microbes divide without sex, and have sex (genetic exchange) independent from cell division.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Thad (profile), 15 Jun 2020 @ 11:25am

        Re: Re: Does the Punisher go after serial sexual assaulters?

        That's an astounding load of ill-informed, elitist generalizations from someone who I suspect hasn't read many comic books outside of Sandman and Watchmen. (And don't get me wrong, Sandman and Watchmen are both great -- but that doesn't mean you should go dismissing the rest of the medium as dreck. "Dreck", by the way, is a word I learned from comic institution Mad Magazine.)

        There's plenty to criticize about the superhero genre (which, BTW, is not synonymous with "comic books"), and about the Big Two publishers. But statements like "the world of comic books isn't meant to teach" betray a pretty staggering ignorance of the medium and its history. I think John Lewis might have some pointed things to say about the history of comics as teaching tools, and the superhero genre itself has a long history of morality fables intended to impart life lessons. "With great power, there must also come great responsibility" isn't just Stan Lee being flowery; it's a moral, just as surely as anything from Aesop.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Jun 2020 @ 4:57am

          Re: Re: Re: Does the Punisher go after serial sexual assaulters?

          "That's an astounding load of ill-informed, elitist generalizations from someone who I suspect hasn't read many comic books outside of Sandman and Watchmen."

          Wrong on both counts. I guess the mutual takeaway we get is different.

          "... it's a moral, just as surely as anything from Aesop."

          ...and those parts rooted in a form of usable moral are few and far between. The comic book medium is better described as the modern version of ancient greek mythology with heroes and villains fulfilling the roles of deities, monsters and titans - the moral difference of which is often fluid. Yes, moral lessons exist but all too often the message being brought is the wrong one.

          DC is especially bad at this - and unlike marvel it's largely remained tonedeaf about a number of important issues.

          That's not too surprising however, since comics, for the longer time of their existence, had to adapt to a target audience which was young and male, thus adapting the message brought to that demographic...a legacy which still has them pounding out some seriously disturbed messages about gender roles and body expectations. (no, seriously, cartoonists, a woman's back does not bend that way, and why the heck is a dude whose strength is based in telekinesis ripped like a midget Hulk?).

          I'd take your argument about comics being moral guidance and educators if it hadn't been so clear that a lot of the teaching material is outright toxic.

          I''ll admit that modern comics are often better at providing moral bearing than, say, manga and anime...but that's usually a low hurdle to clear, even compared to real old-style grimm brothers fairy tales.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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