In a joint statement on Wednesday, Netflix and Marvel announced that they are canceling a Saturday evening panel promoting their new series The Punisher from New York Comic Con. “We are stunned and saddened by this week’s senseless act in Las Vegas,” the companies said. “After careful consideration, [we] have decided it wouldn’t be appropriate for Marvel’s The Punisher to participate in New York Comic Con. Our thoughts continue to be with the victims and those affected by this tragedy.”
The companies have also canceled an upcoming Paris event for the show, stating that it wouldn’t be appropriate to participate in the event; they had planned to screen the first two episodes of the series and simulcast the NYCC panel as part of Nuit Noire (Black Night), an event made up of music and visual/video arts performances.
The Punisher debuted in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man in 1974, and has starred in his own series and movies since then. The Marvel show is the latest iteration of his story, following in the footsteps of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders.
Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) made his first appearance in the second season of Daredevil, and was singled out as one of the highlights of the series. The decision to pull the panel seems in line with the fractured nature of hype surrounding the show, which contained both excitement for Bernthal’s performance but also doubt and skepticism that an entire series about a violent, firearm-wielding vigilante is necessary in the current climate.
The first trailer for the series featured the character in the middle of a shoot-out, showcasing the kind of intense violence the character is known for, and other marketing materials have also emphasized his status as a vigilante “hero.”
It is unclear whether or not recent events will further affect the show’s rollout, as it had been rumored to premiere this weekend, and NYCC has not yet announced a replacement for the now-vacant Saturday evening slot.