Who is in the right? Daredevil or Punisher?



Francisco Daniel, Staff Writer

Have you lost the right to call yourself a hero if you don’t have the will to kill someone?

There are many definitions and views on what a hero and superhero are. One definition of a hero is a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities. A definition of a superhero is a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers. In these definitions, it does not state anywhere that killing is something a hero/superhero should not do. Does this mean it is okay for heroes to kill or is it not stated because it should be common sense that heroes shouldn’t kill?

In the show Daredevil, Daredevil is a person who attempts at being a hero. Daredevil is also known as Matt Murdock and he is a lawyer. Matt lost his dad when he was a kid and lost his eyesight when he was young. He grew up as a catholic and decided he would try to help those in need. Like other heroes such as Batman, he has a principle of no killing. He refuses to kill someone because that person could have a shred of goodness in them even if it’s minuscule. He is willing not to kill because he believes it is wrong to take a human life whether they are bad or good people.

Punisher from the show Punisher is also known as Frank Castle. Frank once had a wife and kids and they were living a happy life. Frank was in the military on a team that specialized in special missions. Out of nowhere, Frank’s family was murdered and this traumatized and infuriated Frank. He decided to go on a revenge spree in order to find the person or people that killed his family. Frank was also once a Catholic like Matt Murdock but lost faith when this tragedy had hit. Since Frank was used to killing and he had no problem going on this revenge/murder spree. He only kills inhumanly evil people and the ones he believes are connected to his family’s death. The Punisher is commonly referred to as an anti-hero.

Anti-hero: a notable figure who is conspicuously lacking in heroic qualities.

In Daredevil season 2 Frank and Matt have a lot of conflicts. In season 2 episode 3, Frank is on a rooftop with Daredevil tied up to something with a metal chain. While Frank is getting ammo and assembling a gun, Matt tries to talk to Frank. While they argue Daredevil tries to explain that killing is wrong. The Punisher says “You throw ’em in jail, everybody calls you a hero, right? And then a month, a week, a day later, they’re back on the streets doing the same god**mn thing-” so daredevil responds with  “You never think for one second, S**T I JUST KILLED A HUMAN BEING.” and then Punisher said, “that’s being generous.” Angered by his answer Daredevil says “A human being who did a lot of stupid s**t, maybe even evil, but had one small piece of goodness in him. Maybe just a scrap, Frank, but something. And then you come along, and that one tiny flicker of light gets snuffed out forever.” The punisher thinks that Daredevil is wrong because he believes that there is “no good in the filth I put down”. The punisher thinks the world needs men that are willing to make the hard call.

Punisher says ” Only I do the one thing that you can’t. You hit ’em and they get back up. I hit ’em and they stay down. It’s permanent. I make sure that they don’t make it out on the street again. I take pride in that”. Daredevil asks The Punisher “what about hope” and the punisher is disgusted when Daredevil says that. Daredevil claims he’s seen redemption that the people he’s(punisher) murdered deserve another chance and The Punisher replies “What, to kill again? R*pe again? Is that what you want?”. This makes the argument of can a hero really risk not killing someone so they can help a person redeem themselves even if that same person may hurt another again.

The Punisher grabs someone and takes him to the rooftop. He explains who he is(Elliot Grote)and says that he caught him trying to steal a car and skip town. The punisher got a gun and taped it to Daredevil’s hand giving him the choice to either kill him or don’t shoot him and let him kill Elliot. Daredevil asks The Punisher why he’s doing this and he tells him that Elliot is a piece of trash. Daredevil says “It’s up to the law not me!” after he tells the Punisher that Elliot doesn’t deserve to die because he was trying to steal a car. Punisher threatened Elliot to explain what he did 2 months ago and Elliot confesses. Elliot was ordered by someone to go to an address kill someone. Once Elliot had killed his target an elderly lady saw him and started screaming. Elliot killed her to shut her up. The punisher asks Daredevil if he thinks he’s still worth saving and Daredevil says he won’t shoot him. The Punisher getting more aggravated picked up Elliot and put a gun to his head.  He says “I will…if you don’t shoot me first”. Daredevil tries to break free of the chains while yelling. He shoots the chain letting him break free and he charges at The Punisher. Punisher shoots Elliot while Daredevil is running towards him. He tackles Punisher and goes to Elliot saying he’ll be fine. Elliot tells him “put me down, why didn’t you stop him?”

The shot killed him.

Did Daredevil make the right or wrong choice? He claimed that The Punisher and himself had no right to kill him but he let The Punisher kill Elliot. Why didn’t he shoot Frank? Was that the choice of Daredevil or Matt Murdock? The punisher killed him so that Elliot could never get another chance at redemption or kill another human being.

For example, look at Batman. He does not kill the Joker yet the Joker goes and kills more innocent people. Should Heroes have what it takes to kill people in order to save people? But, the common conception of a hero is one who saves others is it not? This would mean that if you kill someone then you didn’t save them because(obviously) you killed them. It can also be looked at as hypocrisy. Heroes claim to save people yet they won’t kill someone in order to save someone. The point of this article is to thought provoke. There is no right or wrong answer because it is subjective.

So once more, should a person have the will to kill in order to be considered a hero/superhero?