YouTube video, Chuck Dixon - Screenshot
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Legendary comics writer Chuck Dixon recently revealed why Marvel and the woke gatekeepers in the industry's mainstream despise the Punisher and other characters like him: "they hate their fans."
Dixon has worked on hundreds of comics, including Marvel's pre-woke "Punisher" titles and various "Batman" titles for DC Comics. He also recently collaborated with BlazeTV contributor Eric July on his Rippaverse Comics.
Afforded decades' worth of insights into the art and the industry, Dixon fields questions from fans and comics aficionados on his YouTube series, "Ask Chuck Dixon."
On an episode of the show last month, he read a letter from a fan that said, "Chuck, I have been a fan of the Punisher since I was a kid, I've always wanted to ask: Do they hate the Punisher because he doesn't fit into their vision? Or do they hate him because of the idea and the fans liking the idea that refutes most of their 'heroes don't kill' argument?," reported Bounding into Comics.
To the questioner's point, there has been a concerted campaign in recent years to snuff out the Punisher — or at the very least chase away undesirables among his fan base.
In a 2017 Gizmodo piece entitled "There's Never Going to Be a 'Right Time' for The Punisher TV Series," Charles Pulliam-Moore wrote, "[I]t’s impossible not to see how he’s also a celebration of the kind of gun culture that makes actual mass shootings possible," warning that to "make the Punisher the star of his own TV show is to valorize his character."
Newsweek's associate editor Jon Jackson wrote in 2021, "Marvel has a popularity problem with one of its B-list characters: the Punisher, aka Frank Castle, a troubled ex-Marine turned vigilante who metes out lethal justice to the corrupt and criminal ('The people I kill need killing'). Right now he's too popular with the wrong people."
Jackson stressed that the "wrong people" could be found "among the MAGA hats, Don't Tread on Me Flags and Trump 2024 banners."
Jon Bernthal, the actor who played the character on Netflix's "The Punisher," canceled in 2019, suggested that the rightists amongst the character's following "are misguided, lost, and afraid. They have nothing to do with what Frank stands for or is about."
Gerry Conway, one of the character's co-creators, told Newsweek, "I could definitely see it might be time for him to step back for a bit. Not because there's anything necessarily wrong with the character, but given where we are right now in our society."
Conway, a leftist, previously attempted to take the Punisher skull symbol "back from the right," claiming "[The skull] should be a symbol for Black Lives Matter," reported the Guardian.
Conway was reportedly apoplectic that police should use the symbol, claiming their usage had left the character "completely defiled."
Marvel, similarly antipathetic to the Punisher's un-woke fans, has finally put the nail in his coffin.
In what might be the final Punisher series, woke Marvel writers transmogrified the titular character into something pathetic and intentionally unlikable, ditching the skull for a devilish Asian insignia and his guns for swords.
Screen Rant reported that in the finale, he ends up in the custody of the Avengers. After long punishing the criminal underworld following his wife's murder, Frank Castle ends up in a confrontation with his undead wife who chastises him for killing "in her name." Afterward, an all-but-gelded Punisher essentially kills himself.
Responding last month to the question about why the Punisher is so hated, Dixon dismissed the suggestion that Frank Castle was exceptional in that he kills bad guys, noting that "we see other comic book heroes, superheroes who kill. It's hard to believe Captain America didn't kill a lot of Nazis. ... To single out Frank Castle because he kills people — you know, if that’s their argument it’s an inaccurate one."
The real reason Marvel and leftist critics don't like the Punisher, suggested Dixon, is who his fans are.
Dixon suggested that the anger over the Punisher's popularity with the "wrong people" parallels blue-collar Americans' embrace of the character Archie Bunker in the 1970s sitcom "All in the Family" — a character the writer Norman Lear intended for audiences to hate and whose ultimate fans he meant to lampoon.
Similarly, when Marvel went woke, Dixon said those running the show were "just embarrassed about everything about the Punisher, particularly his audience. They didn't like the Punisher and they didn't like the people who liked the Punisher."
"Most comic book characters are either brainiacs, mutants, scientists, you know, whatever. There's very few superheroes that have blue-collar origins," continued Dixon. "Frank Castle and Guy Gardner are blue-collar superheroes. They are average guys driven to extremes. And a lot of readers respond to that because a lot of readers aren’t brainiacs, mutants, or scientists. They’re driving a truck, or stocking shelves, or, you know, working for a paycheck."
"People respond to these characters because ... they have blue-collar origins. When they’re written correctly, they say stuff and do stuff that other comic book characters won't," said Dixon.
Dixon said the final straw for the Marvel bigwigs and liberal critics was when American police and soldiers began wearing and/or displaying the Punisher symbol.
"'Cops are wearing the symbol, ewww! Our soldiers are wearing the symbol, boo!'" Dixon said, mocking the thinking at Marvel. "'We're going to take the Punisher, and we're going to mangle him and we're going to destroy him. We're going to do what no other entertainment company ever has done. We are going to ... tear it to the ground.' And that's what they did."
"Any other lofty reason they give is B.S.," emphasized Dixon. "The main reason they wanted to get rid of the Punisher is because they hated the Punisher and they hate you for liking it. It's that simple."
Ethan Van Sciver, an American comics artist who worked as an artist on numerous DC Comics and Marvel titles, appears to have reached a similar conclusion.
Sciver noted on Twitter, "It's not so much that Marvel Comics hates The Punisher. They were happy to cash in on merchandise, media, apparel and comics featuring him for decades. They hate YOU. And they hate that you love The Punisher. So this is for you, Conservative comics fan, with a big Go F*** Yourself from Disney."
Ask Chuck Dixon #152 Why Marvel hates the Punisher and hates you. And life in the Rippaverse!youtu.be
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Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.