I confess I’m a big fan of comic book characters, I regularly read the adventures of both The Batman and The Punisher recently I noticed that both characters just aren’t happy individuals, they’re both bitter and they both hold grudges. They’re both well liked, within the comic book community, for being such dark bitter angry asshats. But they’re not good role models because we shouldn’t be bitter, hold grudges or be angry.
Only recently I caught myself, in conversation, expressing hate towards people I once knew, once worked with, later in the day I examined, inspected, observed and researched my anger and notion of hate and realised I don’t actually hate anyone I was just being overly dramatic. Being hateful, holding grudges just seemed ridiculous I laughed at myself and then mocked myself for being a nincompoop. A nincompoop is a fool and being a fool is something I’ve always been.
The Batman and The Punisher are also fools, grand nincompoops, both have suffered tragedy but rather than getting over it, and themselves, they instead allowed themselves to be consumed by hate and embraced psychopathic tendencies.
I don’t know who is more unhappy The Batman or The Punisher ones a billionaire with a fetish for dressing as a giant bat and beating up the poor the other enjoys killing people both are assholes but ones probably worst than the other.
At an early age Bruce Wayne saw his mother and father gunned to death in the Gotham streets. The killer may have had mental health issues and just required professional help and medication. The murderer might have been a low-life criminal scumbag with a drug problem, gambling debts, nowhere to call home, no one to love him and in a desperate situation committed a desperate act that haunted him for the rest of his life.
Obviously the murder of his parents affected Bruce Wayne in all kinds of weird and wonderful ways but instead of becoming a psychopath preying on the poor he could have used his inherited wealth to help the poor of Gotham. Improved education, ensured the poor had access to affordable, or free, medical care, provided jobs, built housing but no instead Bruce Wayne blamed poor people for the death of his parents and went to war on them.
What an asshole.
Was already a psychopath before his family were accidentally slaughtered during gang warfare. I suspect his descent into the abyss was inevitable. Unlike The Batman Frank Castle had already been brutalised by institutions the military industrial complex had turned him into a killing machine without mercy, remorse or empathy. If his family hadn’t been killed accidentally by criminal scum he’d probably have killed them himself because they were annoying, needy, too noisy.
It’s weird that The Punisher, a mass murderer and serial killer, is considered a hero there’s not many villains in Marvel comics with a bigger body count to their name than Frank Castle, now you could justify The Punisher’s murderous assault by claiming criminals deserve to be punished until they’re dead but everyone of his victims was a son, or daughter, to parents who loved them, some of The Punisher’s victims were probably parents themselves. A lot of The Punisher’s victims sold drugs, their only crime, they weren’t all killers or paedophiles, and what’s worst selling drugs or killing people? If murder is worst than drug dealing then The Punisher is a worst person than most of those he’s killed.
Both The Batman and The Punisher need punishing for their violent crimes, arrest followed by prison sentences, Frank Castle for life, and while suffering in prison both characters need to lighten up a little, stop taking life so damn seriously, both vigilantes/madmen are perfect examples of miserable people.
Both The Batman and The Punisher are hanging on to things that cause them to be unhappy and both express their unhappiness via violent means. Does The Batman ever take time out just to enjoy being Bruce Wayne? No, when he’s not obsessing over a crime he’s obsessing about his parents deaths decades before. I don’t think The Batman loves anyone or anything, I doubt he has love for himself, The Punisher probably loves his guns but nothing else. Neither character seems to learn from their mistakes the stories told about them seem to go over and over the same mistakes again and again and again without end. If you don’t learn from your mistakes then you’re doomed to repeat them.
Both The Batman and The Punisher are examples of the type of person who cares what people think though they fake being indifferent. Why spend any time worrying about what people think? If you’re a good, honest, decent person then what people think doesn’t matter if you’re a bad person you don’t care because fuck ’em but The Batman and The Punisher care because it’s a kick to their massive egos, how dare people criticise me? Who do they think they are? I’ll fucking smack ’em. Stab their eyes out with my trusty Army knife.
Does The Batman have any friends? His colleagues in the Justice League might respect, even fear, him but are any of them his friends? I know he and Superman are supposed to be the best of friends, super friends, and that was true Pre-Crisis but Post-Crisis Batman is such a psychopathic asshole I can’t see Superman being his friend. As for The Punisher if he had any friends he’s either gotten them killed or killed them himself.
Being a happy person requires regular daily sleep and I’ve never seen The Batman or The Punisher sleeping they’re always to busy making someone else’s life as unpleasant as their own and is that their purpose? To bring down misery and pain because they’re miserable and in pain?
What are their long term goals? The Batman hasn’t made Gotham a better place, in fact it’s probably worst and The Punisher’s war on crime is impossible to realise all he can do is keep on fighting until the bitter end.
I think there are lessons to be learnt from The Batman and The Punisher they’re not characters to admire or idolise instead they are learning tools, don’t be as unhappy and bitter as The Batman and The Punisher otherwise you’ll end up a psychopath.