After two unfortunate 'Punisher' movies (we're going to forget the old Dolph Lundgren version), Marvel Studios got the rights back to the franchise and many hoped that would mean big things for Frank Castle. The fanboy flames were stoked even further when there was a glimpse of what appeared to be The Punisher's iconic skull logo in 'Iron Man 3.' Could this be laying the groundwork for The Punisher in future Marvel movies?

Sorry to disappoint all the fans out there, but what you're seeing in this scene (shown above, inside Mandarin's lair), is not actually the Punisher skull. While it looks very similar to that design, it's actually a painting created by Czech artist Ales Bask Hostomsky (see the full version below).

Hostomsky, who goes by his tag "Bask," is a self-described "mixed-media urban visual artist" and was hired by 'Iron Man 3' director Shane Black to work in the art department, creating some propaganda posters for the Mandarin character. Any resemblance to the Punisher skull is purely coincidental.

As for The Punisher, earlier this year Marvel head Kevin Feige confirmed that they had retained the movie rights to the character but that fans shouldn't expect to see anything soon. "I think we need to find the right time," were his exact words and if we could offer up a translation, it'd be, "We're not really focused on Punisher right now."

Marvel has a lot of films in the pipeline and if we were betting men, we'd guess you won't see The Punisher back on the big screen until after 'Avengers 3' and, perhaps even more likely, you may get a 'Punisher' TV show before you get another movie.

Iron Man 3 Punisher poster

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