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Punisher: The Necessary Evil
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ― Edmund Burke
There are some people in life who are so beyond saving. They have sunken so low to the depth's of immorality, that to keep them alive is in itself some form of evil. The argument that when you kill a bad guy, you are no different from them is a valid argument, but it is still somewhat flawed.
Allowing a murderer who is beyond saving and who has no desire to live a righteous life, is in itself a crime against humanity. There is said to be a 1% population of a sociopath in any given society.
These individuals are beyond saving simply because they have no idea of how to empathize with others.
The number may seem small but when you couple that with two-thirds of a population that will blindly follow someone they believe is an authority, then you are spelling chaos.
It can be easy to sit on your high horse and say I won't kill these people because it is wrong. But those who can stop a crime but don't stop it completely are to blame for the crimes they commit later on.
“Man is the cruelest animal.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
Now, I am a huge fan of Batman. I love his incorruptibility. Despite the fact that Joker will continue to kill, Batman refuses to kill him. Batman to me is very much the pinnacle of what a superhero moral compass should be.
But even Batman says that Jason Todd (who is very much like Punisher) is necessary because he will do the things that Batman just won't do.
It is precisely this reason that characters like The Punisher may very well be the more heroic heroes. The Punisher can come close to that line; he is willing to get close to the enemy and become so immersed in their group but NEVER sink to their level.
Punisher is, by all means, the necessary evil which ultimately makes him the greatest good.
What does that mean you may ask?
Well, The Punisher is very much a necessary evil. Not allowing criminals to rehabilitate themselves is a great wrong. Had a criminal been able to learn from their mistake they would be upright citizens in their societies.
This ex-criminals would have the mindset to help younger kids from becoming full-blown criminals. And this would stop future criminals.
This is perhaps one of the major flaws of The Punisher. However, where he makes up for this flaw is the fact that he can do what every other hero won't; which is eliminating the criminal.
“We all have a Monster within; the difference is in degree, not in kind.” ― Douglas Preston
Punisher's No Mercy policy is very antiquated and somewhat barbaric. However, when you are living in a world where crime is just the norm, and cops and politicians, are continually being corrupted by the fame and power. Justice can be a rare thing in that society.
Sometimes the legal system just fails. This, some of us know all too well. Our judicial system and politicians are very corrupt. When they do wrong, they simply pay their way out of it.
No justice is served. The law is very much a prostitute. It works for whoever has the money.
When the justice system fails the people, then that is why a necessary evil like The Punisher is the most moral force in the land. When the law turns its head, then the only thing left is punishment.
Frank Castle is by far one of my favorite characters, albeit I disagree with his methods. Despite this, though it doesn't change the fact that he is right in what he does, and even more so, he is just as virtuous and noble as any other character as he is willing to do the things they won't and willing to come close to that line.
And even if he steps a foot in he can come back and recognize how far he has come. That takes a great deal of moral and a great deal character.
The Punisher is very much a good guy BECAUSE he is that necessary evil.