It’s Never Too Late to Say Sorry: Artist Apologizes for Work on Marvel Mangaverse

Marvel Mangaverse: The Punisher

Would that more people had the willingness to reexamine their past actions and recognize changed viewpoints… Lea Seidman Hernandez (Cathedral Child, Rumble Girls: Silky Warrior Tansie) drew an exoticized revamp of The Punisher for the Marvel Mangaverse event back in 2002 (when comics were $2.25!). Those event books have recently been reprinted (although I can’t imagine why anyone thought that would be a good idea; people have been asking for Marvel to better support the bookstore market for years, but with the good stuff, not the crap). Hernandez took that opportunity to apologize for the work on Facebook.

To anyone who was hurt by the racism in Marvel Mangaverse Punisher, of which I was the artist, I offer my deepest apologies.

I can’t change the circumstances that led me to be afraid of pushing back, but I am changing how I conduct myself going forward.

I also apologize for taking 17 years to fully comprehend an apology and being accountable for the work was in order.

She later went into detail about her contributions and the situation she was working in. The key point there is, I think, this: “This isn’t an excuse. This is to show how economic disparity, minimal aid for disability, and wage stagnation forces people to take questionable jobs…. I can’t walk back what I did almost 20 years ago. It was wrong, I knew it, and I was afraid of career sabotage, and needed the money desperately.”

She has also called for Marvel to stop reprinting the work: “Marvel, please quit reprinting Mangaverse Punisher. It’s racist.”

Marvel Mangaverse: The Punisher


  • Mike

    That’s weird. I liked it then; Ben drew me a Manga Punisher in 2013, and *last year* at ECCC Lea drew me The Punisher & Hashi – Hashi at her suggestion. And I love the end result.

    We need to stop flagellating outselves, AND each other. Especially when it comes to art.

    And to puns. Puns rule.

  • Mike

    Well, aside from the misspellings… Ben, as in Ben Dunn, Asian-American, founder of Antarctic Press, and creator of the Marvel Mangaverse.

  • Are you suggesting that the Mangaverse can’t be racist because an Asian-American helped create it? Or that creators can’t change their minds, particularly after they learned from others? I’d like to be clear on why you think those comments are relevant.

  • Mike

    Yes. That’s what I am suggesting. Any thing or position that makes you unhappy, I will support that. Just so I’m relevant to YOU.

  • I’m happy when anyone cares enough about one of my posts to comment, so sorry, guess you failed.

  • Mike

    I succeeded in caring -I responded!

  • Jim Perreault

    Why is the Magna-verse Punisher considered racist?

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