Disney Erases Stan Lee’s Marvel Legacy

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stan lee

Credit: Marvel

Marvel fans were treated to DaredevilJessica JonesLuke CageIron FirstThe Defenders, and The Punisher joining the rest of the Marvel live-action library on Disney+, bringing the streaming service closer to becoming home of the complete Marvel Cinematic Universe. And Disney+ recently starred up controversy ahead of the first episode of Moon Knight by censoring The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and now it seems they have re-edited The Punisher‘s second season finale and removed a touching tribute to the late Stan Lee.

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jon bernthal as frank castle aka the punisher
Credit: Marvel Studios/Netflix

The violence did return to the Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson/Captain America – the superhero formerly known as the Falcon) and Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier) show so the tribute could return. Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios have removed other things from the credits of the Netflix show, including referencing the fact they were once Netflix original series.

The Marvel Netflix series maintains a dubious place in MCU canon; Disney+ placed them in a separate “Defenders Saga,” – but that has recently been removed. Characters from the Daredevil series like Matt Murdock/Daredevil (Charlie Cox) and Wilson Fisk/Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio) have returned in Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) and Hawkeye. Nothing from the Punisher has been reused, and even if Jon Bernthal returns, it could be a variant – with a brand new Punisher Logo.

Originally The Punisher’s second season finale contained a tribute to Stan Lee, who created characters like Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Daredevil that read “In Loving Memory of Stan Lee.”

Marvel Netflix Tribute to Stan Lee
Credit: Marvel Studios/Netflix

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The Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee died on November 12, 2018, after being featured in every Marvel Cinematic Universe from Iron Man (2008) until Captain Marvel (2019). Fans have suggested that Ryan Reynold’s Wade Wilson/Deadpool could step up to replace the beloved cameo actor in Marvel Phase Four and later films.

The official description of The Punisher on Disney+ reads:

“A former Marine out to punish the criminals responsible for his family’s murder finds himself ensared in a military conspiracy.”

Frank Castle first appeared in Marvel Comics in Amazing Spider-Man #129 (1973) by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru, and John Romita Sr. He would go on to become one of the most violent characters in Marvel Comics.

Related: Marvel Slashes “Doctor Strange 2” Runtime, Leaves No Room For Epic Cameos

stan lee cameo
Credit: Marvel Studios

The reasoning behind the removal is unknown, but a prevailing theory is that the scene preceding the tribute has Frank Castle gunning down a group of people. Disney+ also removed a tribute to late actor Reg E. Cathey (Reverend James Lucas) in Luke Cage during the season two finale has also been removed. Oddly enough, the Stan Lee tribute found at the end of Jessica Jones season 3 is still present on Disney+.

You can stream Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and the six series in Marvel’s Phase Four so far — Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany’s WandaVision, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, Marvel’s What If…?, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, and Oscar Isaac’s Moon Knight — on Disney+ anytime.

Let us know in the comments how you feel about this controversy.

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