Marvel’s Forgotten Punisher Should Join the Hand, Not Frank Castle

Sosumi Brown is the Punisher in one of Marvel’s alternate universes. She is also the best person to replace Frank Castle as the modern day Punisher.

The answer to Marvel’s search for a way to rebrand or reboot the Punisher should be focused on Sosumi Brown, rather than Frank Castle. Brown, who served as the Punisher in the one-off comic Marvel Mangaverse: The Punisher, checks all the boxes for what Marvel needs in a new Punisher for modern times.

The Punisher is one of the comic world’s most popular and iconic characters, and Marvel has recently sought to update the vigilante. However, after several far-right extremist groups began using the Punisher and his signature skull symbol as their own, both Marvel and creator Gerry Conway have been less willing to promote the character in his previous form. Both are now open to a reconstruction that maintains the Punisher’s intensity while avoiding those aspects that are attractive to extremists. So far Marvel’s revamping efforts have centered on tweaking Frank Castle’s character and mindset away from guns and his “If you’re guilty, you’re dead” mentality. In a preview to the upcoming Punisher standalone series from Jason Aaron, Jesús Saiz, Paul Azaceta, and Dave Stewart, Castle joins the ninja clan known as the hand and changes his skull logo to one that more resembles an oni-demon face.


Related: Punisher Creator Says Symbol Can Be Reclaimed, But Hero Needs a Reboot

While Marvel is free to make the changes it wants, if the publisher wants the Punisher to take on a more ninja or martial arts expression, it seems that it forgot or overlooked, Sosumi Brown, the one Punisher who is a martial artist. Brown is part of that alternate Marvel universe known as the mangaverse, which takes place on Earth-2301. While her backstory is unclear, she is portrayed as the owner and principal of a school in Tokyo by day, while serving as the Punisher at night. Like Castle, the focus of Brown’s ire are the gangsters and thugs who operate with impunity in the city.


Brown’s Punisher would be a more appropriate reboot than Castle in a number of ways. Unlike Castle, she does not use guns and bombs. Instead, she uses a variety of tools including feathers, paddles, canes, and a whip. While she can inflict punishing damage on an opponent, she does it more humanely, and without the loss of life. Additionally, since her alter-ego is a pillar of society, she is more likely than Castle to understand the need to follow and respect the law, even when hunting down the most heinous criminals. Indeed, her motto seems to be, “If you’re guilty, your punishment will be proportionate to the crime.”

Brown is more complementary to Marvel’s oni-based logo revamp because she has experience with the oni. One element of Brown’s backstory that is revealed in the comic is that she has a deep understanding of Jigoku, the supernatural world where oni come fron and live. She even fought the oni named Yew. But for her ownership of a centuries-old Tachi sword, Yew would have killed her. Lastly, there is the fact that Brown has ninja-like martial arts skills that allow her to deflect bullets with Wonder Women-like precision and escape into the shadows in the blink of an eye.

In short, Sosumi Brown would be a better fit for the rebranding of the Punisher that Marvel wants to accomplish. She’s tough, knowledgeable, skilled, and clearly would have no problem punishing those who have sinned. Moreover, as a woman, Brown would follow similar updates that have occurred to longtime Punisher foes Daredevil and Spider-Man.

Next: Punisher’s New Logo And Armor Get Closer Look In New Marvel Art


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