A serial killer is a person who murders three or more people over a period of more than thirty days, with a "cooling off" period between each murder, and whose motivation for killing is largely based on psychological gratification. Often, a sexual element is involved with the killings. The murders may have been attempted or completed in a similar fashion and the victims may have had something in common; for example, occupation, race, appearance, sex, or age group.
Serial killers are not the same as mass murderers, who commit multiple murders at one time; nor are they spree killers, who commit murders in two or more locations with virtually no break in between.
Recently the poll on this page has taken a giant step forward in sanity, when the most popular identification of Frank Castle switched from 'misunderstood' to 'serial killer.' Thank Heaven! I was seriously thinking of tracking down all of the voters and putting you on somebody's psyche profile watch list. What kind of person looks at the hundreds (if not thousands) of people that Frank Castle has systematically hunter down and killed over the course of his life and describes him as 'misunderstood?'
No. I understand him just fine.
He's a sociopath, who hid his aberrant behavior behind (depending on which version you subscribe to) a position in the military or law enforcement, until a personal tragedy allowed him to justify embracing his sociopathic tendencies, while hiding behind the justification of avenging his beloved family.
As I told somebody during our discussion on this topic.....lots of heroes have killed.
Wonder Woman killed Maxwel Lord (and I was glad she did!)
Captain America killed.
Hell, even Superman has killed.
But there's a big difference between killing somebody, and being a killer.
Frank Castle is a stone cold killer, who does not feel a single ounce of remorse for the murders he has committed, nor any moral uncertainty over his constant denial of the rights which his victims are guaranteed under the laws of his country. He is no more a hero than any other serial killer throughout history, despite the fact that many people empathize with or appreciate that his actions continue to remove criminals from the streets.
Justification is easy, until you have to make it real.
If killing my best friend would save a hundred people I'll never know, I think those hundred people would die. That's part of what makes me human. Would it be heroic of me to kill my best friend? Hell no. It would border on an act of evil, despite the potential good it would result in. Heroism would be him finding out that by dying he could save 100 people, and taking his own life. That would be heroic, although maybe even that could be turned around.
My point people.....is that while we enjoy the stories and are engrossed in the enormously decadent violence that makes a Punisher story work....we should never lose sight of the fact that we're glorifying a serial killer. We may be happy that he killed an 'allegedly' bad, bad man.......but there is no way we can consider ourselves civilized and absolve him of his repeated acts of murder.
Frank Castle: Murderer.
Now, I really only read Ennis' Punisher, but how good a book would it be if we found out that he killed an innocent? You can't take it back. There's no 'fix' button for capital punishment, and you only have to be wrong one time. 100 rights will never wash that stain off of your soul.
I'd love to tackle that question.
Until somebody does though, never forget........if somebody admires the Punisher.....stay far.....FAR....away!