I don’t know about the rest of you, but I grew up with a Highlights magazine subscription. That means I was exposed to Goofus and Gallant comic strips. Don’t worry, I’m not foreshadowing a new episode of the podcast. However, I AM promoting this post! The premise of the comic strip was to demonstrate the differences between 2 characters. Goofus always made poor decisions. Gallant always made wise ones. I guess that’s easy to presume by the names. So, I figured, why don’t I do this for 2 of our recent subjects, Steve Rogers (Captain America) and Frank Castle (The Punisher)? Without further ado, here we go!
CAPTAIN AMERICA tries to keep the peace.
PUNISHER leaves his enemies in pieces.
CAPTAIN AMERICA is a true poster boy.
PUNISHER is on every “Most Wanted” poster.
CAPTAIN AMERICA uses a shield. As in, he has an obligation to protect that which is important at all times. There’s a certain magical quality to it, and it’s not the Vibranium. He knows how to use it as a weapon, and is so responsible with it that he almost always gets it back immediately. He makes it the target, rather than himself.
PUNISHER usually has a gun (preferably a rifle) in his hand, and all that symbolizes, for better or worse. Calculated, deadly, with no other purpose. He aims to eliminate the target, on his terms. The greatest goal is to wipe out evil. He is well aware that there will be return fire at some point.
CAPTAIN AMERICA first fought in an era where there was a real concern that the world as we know it was being destroyed. He was given the ultimate opportunity and took advantage of it to his utmost ability. He ended up losing the opportunity to have any semblance of a “normal” life. He gave up his chance at a family, literally frozen in time.
PUNISHER first fought in an era where there was a real concern that the battle he was fighting was unjustified. He was given the opportunity for a family life to heal from battle and it was ripped away from him. He had the ultimate motivation for revenge and he took advantage of it to his utmost ability. He lost the opportunity at any semblance of a “normal” life.
I seem to have lost the premise a bit, but let me keep going.
CAPTAIN AMERICA knows who he is, and what that means for the rest of his nation, as well as the world. He is willing to fight to the death for what he believes in. He’s willing to admit when he is wrong.
PUNISHER knows who he is, and what that means for the rest of his nation, as well as the world. He is willing to fight to the death for what he believes in. He knows he is not wrong, and even if he did, he wouldn’t care.
CAPTAIN AMERICA longs for a day when he doesn’t have to fight anymore.
PUNISHER wishes he never had the reason to fight in the first place.
CAPTAIN AMERICA loves his country, but more importantly, loves what it can stand for; Life Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. There can be a better day, no matter what.
PUNISHER loves his country, but more importantly, loves what it can do. Might can truly make right as long as the people put in the effort. At some point, that was perverted, and those who run afoul will pay for destroying what has worked.
Captain America is a brave warrior, and has shown that he is willing to let others have the mantle if it yields a greater good.
Punisher is a brave warrior, and has shown that he is willing to bear his burden alone, so that no one else has to.
Steve Rogers is willing to confront people in verbal debate and challenge their ideals before it ever comes to blows.
Frank Castle is willing to deal the blows that people had a long time coming, because others were too intimidated to challenge their ideals.
Steve Rogers wants this world to be as good as it can be.
Frank Castle wants this world to have less evil.
Steve Rogers and Frank Castle have been through war, something that no person should have to experience. It has cost them huge components of their personal lives that they can never get back. They want things to be better, or at least “less worse,” so they fight the way they know how. They are willing to plan ahead, put in massive effort, maximize their talents, and live with the results. The have determined what their goals are, and know that their path is not for everyone. They know that they have enemies at all times, but that only drives them more.
I think I’m bad at this Goofus and Gallant thing. I can’t help but see commonalities. I’d like to think we all can.