As unlikely as it may seem, the Punisher, off all people, has made numerous family friendly guest appearances on kids programming. Yes, you’re hearing that right. Our favorite murderous vigilante makes cameos in cartoons designed for children. Who would think this is a good idea? Apparently, several people is the answer to that question.
The Punisher, as voiced by John Beck,made three different appearances in the Spiderman: The Animated Series show of the 90’s. The show was part of the then popular Fox Kids lineup. The Nielsen people get their undies in a bunch, when there are executions on children”s programming. This meant the Punisher had to forgo his usual weaponry on the show. He was reduced to laser weapons and gimmicky devices, like an electrified net launcher. Spiderman was similarly censured as well on the show. He wasn’t even allowed to routinely engage in fisticuffs.
Another popular Fox Kids show, in the 90’s ,was the X-Men animated series. On an episode of the show, a robot duplicate of the Punisher appears and fights with Jean Grey and Wolverine. Also, Punisher is eluded to on a video game cartridge on another episode. The game is called Assassin and had the Punisher on it. This was clearly a homage to the Punisher’s origins. For more information on his comic background, check out The Comic Origin of The Punisher.
After a decade or so, the Punisher is once again making the kids progamming rounds. He makes a cameo on Avengers Assemble, as a more Asian style martial artist. In the episode, he attacks Dr. Doom with an energy gattling gun.
The ridiculousness doesn’t stop there. He also has appeared on the Super Hero Squad Show. He still has a battle van but with laser weapons, which he uses to inexplicably give the Avengers a lift. He goes off on a tirade comparing the evils of crime to brussel sprouts, which scares the Avengers. It seems that no matter how ridiculous a form he takes, the Punisher can still strike fear into anyone, including super heroes.