Comic book writer Gerry Conway -- co-creator of Marvel Comics' Punisher -- has explained in no uncertain terms how he feels about police officers wearing the character's infamous skull logo.
Conway took to Twitter to blast members of law enforcement who wear the murderous vigilante's logo in an official capacity (i.e. when on duty). The writer's comments were prompted by a Gizmodo report detailing an altercation at a community oversight meeting in Dallas, during which a police officer was seen sporting a Dallas Police Department baseball cap adorned with a Punisher skull.
"Any 'cop' who wears a Punisher logo in his official capacity is identifying law enforcement with an outlaw," Conway wrote. "These 'cops' are a disgrace to serious police officers everywhere. They show an imbecilic level of irresponsibility and should be fired immediately."
Any "cop" who wears a Punisher logo in his official capacity is identifying law enforcement with an outlaw. These "cops" are a disgrace to serious police officers everywhere. They show an imbecilic level of irresponsibility and should be fired immediately. https://t.co/8mJ0Mzp89x— Gerry Conway (@gerryconway) October 11, 2019
Conway created Frank Castle/the Punisher alongside artists John Romita Sr. and Ross Andru, with the character making his first appearance in 1974's Amazing Spider-Man #129. While Frank started out as an out-and-out antagonist, he soon evolved into an anti-hero, with various comic books chronicling his violent battle against the criminal underworld.
Over the years, the iconic skull symbol Frank sports as the Punisher has controversially been adopted by various law enforcement officers and military personnel. The controversy stems from the fact that while Frank is an ex-Marine who has made it his mission to rid the streets of crime, he is still -- at the end of the day -- an unwell man with absolutely no qualms about killing anyone he feels deserves to die. The controversy is especially pertinent this day and age, given increased scrutiny regarding police officers' use of lethal force.
Marvel Comics itself has acknowledged this discourse. A recent issue of the current Punisher solo title saw Frank Castle chastising a group of police officers for wearing his symbol, telling them that he is not someone they should be idolizing. This sentiment is evidently shared by the writer who helped bring the character to life in the first place.