Perhaps sensing that it’s not an ideal time to promote vigilantes with a lot of guns, The Punisher panel has been pulled from the NYCC schedule, Deadline reports. The panel was planned for Saturday afternoon and would have introduced the upcoming Netflix series featuring Frank Castle:
“We are stunned and saddened by this week’s senseless act in Las Vegas,” Netflix and Marvel said in a joint statement today. “After careful consideration, Netflix and Marvel have decided it wouldn’t be appropriate for Marvel’s The Punisher to participate in New York Comic-Con,” the companies added of the gun and violence heavy Jon Bernthal starring series. “Our thoughts continue to be with the victims and those affected by this tragedy.”
Teased by the streaming service in recent weeks with a redacted launch date, the 13-episode Punisher showrun by Steve Lightfoot is based on the ruthless, firearm-wielding vigilante character first introduced by Marvel in the comic over 42 years ago. In many ways, with previews of the series expected at NYCC, the sensitive move to pull the panel comes as no surprise with the largest mass shooting in the nation’s history still very fresh in Americans’ minds.
The Netflix Punisher, portrayed by Jon Bernthal, debuted in the second season of Daredevil as a prelude to his own streaming series.
The Punisher, variously a vigilante and a villain, has long been a character with controversy swirling around him, with his moral authority shifting depending on the prevailing mood. The mood at the moment is that unstable guys with guns are something to avoid.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.