Disney+ has been doing some weird edits, mostly to the shows originally produced by Netflix. This time, they’ve taken out the memorial slide that was included in the last season’s episode of “Marvel’s The Punisher.” The first questionable edit was in “Marvel’s Luke Cage” where they edited out the memorial scene for the actor Reg E. Cathey. There is also an edit to “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” with less blood in certain scenes. This came about after concerns were raised during a recent investor’s call about Disney+ not having ‘appropriate content warnings’ on the more adult-oriented series on their streaming service.
While we have no theories on why “Luke Cage” was edited, we do have some on why Stan Lee‘s might have been taken out of “The Punisher.” People are of two minds about it and there are a few theories going around.
The scene right before the plaque, Frank Castle opens fire on two criminal groups. The screen goes black, and the credits play. Previously that black space held a slide that read, “In Loving Memory of Stan Lee.” If you want a good example of what it looked like, check out the last episode of “Marvel’s Jessica Jones.” They haven’t edited it out of the end of that show at the time of this writing.
One theory is that they removed it because Stan Lee did not create Frank Castle/The Punisher. The character itself was created by writer Gerry Conway and artists John Romita Sr. and Ross Andru. Lee was the publisher of the label the comic was created for. (Even on The Punisher’s Wikipedia page they don’t list Stan Lee as a creator.)
A personal theory and one that probably holds no value, is that they removed it because they wanted to make the last season of “The Punisher” not seem so final. Nothing to me says final more than a memorial plaque at the end of a series. It’s plausible that they wanted to extend the story and they took it out because it would flow smoother. Disney/Marvel have announced that other actors that were in Netflix/Marvel’s universe will be making comebacks in the official MCU. It could be that there is something going on behind the scenes that we’re unaware of.
With Vincent D’Onofrio returning as Kingpin in “Hawkeye,” nothing is completely off the table. Does it suck that Stan Lee’s tribute at the end of “The Punisher” was edited out? Yes! But that’s not the only time we see him in these series.
Lee has a number of appearances sprinkled in to not only that show but also “Jessica Jones,” “Iron Fist,” and “Luke Cage.” In “The Punisher,” you can see him on a police flyer as a decorated cop saying if you “See a Crime? Report It!”
Lee also narrated this “Marvel’s The Defenders” featurette for Netflix.