Marvel’s The Punisher will finally hit Netflix on November 17, 2017, the company announced on Thursday, following weeks of speculation over when — perhaps even if — the series would see the light of day.
The series, about a vigilante antihero who’s adept at firearms, has been shadowed by controversy since the mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 1. Though Marvel hadn’t announced a release date at that point, there were rumors that it was planning to release the show in October, on the heels of a trailer that dropped in mid-September. But then at New York Comic Con in early October, Marvel canceled the show’s panel, recognizing that promotion of the show, which features a lot of gun violence, could be seen as distasteful and disrespectful in light of the real-life gun violence that claimed the lives of more than 50 people in Nevada.
Since then, questions around The Punisher have centered on when it would be appropriate to release the series, and the fundamental appropriateness of a show that features, and perhaps glamorizes, heavy gun violence, in light of the gun violence epidemic in the United States. While the release is now more than a month removed from the Las Vegas shooting, the conversation surrounding The Punisher’s violence and its relationship to our current reality will likely continue once audiences see what the series holds that made executives feel it necessary to pull the Punisher panel.