This Is Why The Punisher’s Symbol Is a Giant Skull

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The Punisher is probably best known as the Marvel superhero who shoots everyone in the face, mostly due to his penchant for shooting everyone in the face. However, we think he should be known as the Marvel superhero with the best costume, and not just because we think skulls look really cool.

No, we think it’s because of all the most popular heroes out there, the Punisher’s costume is by far the most practical. Along with being an actual set of regular street clothes, which are arguably much easier to walk around and punch criminals to death in, the Punisher’s costume is a stroke of psychological genius. Especially the skull the Punisher lovingly paints across his chest each and every night.

It's a shame he's remember for his hundreds of murders instead of his skull paintings.
It’s a shame he’s remembered mostly for his hundreds of murders instead of his skull paintings.

We don’t mean that the big skull on the front is artistic or something boring like that, we mean that the skull really does help stop the Punisher being shot in his ruggedly handsome face whenever he shoot-kicks his way into a crack den. You see, the huge white skull is not only intimidating due to it suggesting the Punisher murdered a giant to get the proportions just right, it also causes criminals to instinctively shoot directly at it, leaving the Punisher’s face, relatively bullet and debris free.

In more direct terms, when criminals see that big white skull on the Punisher’s chest, the symbol of punishment and a sign they’re about to have their ribs become as rare and hard to find as ivory, they shoot at it instead of the man attached to it. Which is kind of stupid since the man attached to it is powered by hate and the broken necks, but hey, criminals are pretty stupid. This is also the same reason Batman has a giant yellow bat on the front of his costume even though he prides himself on being a master of stealth with decades of ninja training, to make bad guys shoot at the most armoured, heavily protected part of his suit first.

Notice how the dick area is conspicuously free of bat logos.
Notice how the dick area is conspicuously free of bat logos.

As you’ve probably guessed by the fact that The Punisher spends 80% of his time wiping brain matter off of the sole of his shoe and the other 20% of the time putting it there, his chest is covered in armor that we’re going to guess is ripped straight from the sides of tanks. The only metal we can think of that wouldn’t shatter instantly by being in such close proximity to his balls.

This means, the big white skull on the Punisher’s chest isn’t just an emblem, it’s an invitation for criminals to shoot him where he knows it won’t hurt. It also means if you see someone wearing a Punisher T-shirt, you should probably punch them in the tit just to see if they’re also wearing body armor like a true fan would.

Along with this, in early Punisher comics (and some of the later ones) each individual tooth of the skull has doubled up as a spare magazine for whichever gun the Punisher is currently using to to perforate criminal lungs and livers. Sadly, this also means as the Punisher reloads, he runs the risk of his trademark skill looking like a goofy, buck-toothed parody instead of a the kind of thing that makes criminals shit themselves to death in fear, but that’s the risk of looking fucking fabulous.

Essentially, the Punisher’s costume is custom designed to store as many bullets as possible and he openly invites anyone to try shooting at it if they don’t think it’s rad enough. When the only thing your superhero costume takes into account is “people will probably be shooting at me, and I will need to shoot them back”, you transcend being stylish and should realistically only be capable of communicating through Viewtiful Joe style poses.

The Punisher literally punches someone so hard their head explodes in this movie, which only makes us love him more.

Punisher: War Zone [Blu-ray]


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  • WMccreery

    Actually that is the reason Batman has a the bat symbol on his chest, because he couldn’t armor his face.

    • Prise Fiter

      Couldn’t he, though?

  • So the Punisher painted a skull on his chest so criminals would shoot at it, then stores his ammunition in the teeth? That seems… counterproductive.

    • Ben

      It was in the EARLY days of the comic sooooo, someone apparently agreed with you.