Punisher’s skull logo is redefined by its secret connection to Ghost Rider

Marvel’s Punisher’s iconic skull logo is reimagined with a secret connection to Ghost Rider, as the heroes’ archetypes forever bond them.

Warning! Spoilers for Defenders Beyond #2 by Marvel Comics

The The Punisher skull logo and ghost rider have a secret connection that connects the two anti-heroes to the early beginnings of the Marvel Universe. In Defenders Beyond #2, the archetypes of the greatest heroes and villains are revealed, with a single cranial being representing vengeance, which Marvel ties directly to both the Punisher and the Ghost Rider. The secret redefines the iconic skull logo.

The Punisher’s skull logo is one of Marvel’s most recognizable symbols, as the hero has sported it as part of his costume since his debut in amazing spider man #129 over 45 years ago. However, due to the skull logo being adapted into real life as a symbol of hatred and division, Marvel Comics recently made the decision to update the Punisher and reinvent their skull logo. As the antihero is revamped in the Marvel Universe, the recent issue of Defenders: Beyond confirmed a secret connection between the Punisher and Ghost Rider, with the Vengeance archetype eventually leading both of their creations.


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In Defenders Beyond #2 by Marvel Comics’ Al Ewing, Javier Rodriguez, and Joe Caramagna of VC, the comic references the previous Defenders series, where the team traveled to the fourth cosmos and encountered archetypes of the greatest heroes and bad guys. Marvel asked readers to guess who the roughly 30 archetypes were based on before revealing the full list in the issue. While some were obvious, like One-is-Four being Hulk, like Of-Past representing Captain America, the cranial archetype seen on the bottom left of the page, called Of-Vengeance, secretly connects Punisher and Ghost Rider.

The Of-Vengeance archetype secretly giving rise to both the Ghost Rider and the Punisher is a revelation, as it means they both come from the same cosmic concept and being. While Ghost Rider represents the supernatural version of the archetype, Punisher is the more human expression. Ultimately, the Punisher’s skull logo is derived from Of-Vengeance, meaning it’s connected to the Ghost Rider like never before. The revelation could end up playing a role in whether Punisher can be corrupted by The Hand in his ongoing streak as the organization’s Fist of the Beast.

The Fourth Cosmos is made up of many iterations of the Marvel Universe before the current version was created. Still, seeing the Of-Vengeance archetype secretly link the Punisher and his skull logo with the Ghost Rider means the two anti-heroes will forever be connected, as they were born of the same cloth. Punisher and ghost rider were both born out of revenge in the most literal sense. Readers can see the full archetype revealed and from which other villains and heroes are derived in Defenders Beyond #2 from Marvel Comics.

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