Marvel remove X-Men artwork after cartoonist hides anti-Semitic and anti-Christian references in work

Indonesian artist Ardian Syaf made numerous references to the protests in Jakarta

Jack Shepherd
Monday 10 April 2017 11:46
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Marvel has found themselves in trouble once more after fans discovered anti-Semitic and anti-Christian messages in a recent comic book issue.

The artwork within X-Men Gold #1 features numerous references to the ongoing Indonesian protests against the Christian governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama.

Indonesian artist Ardian Syaf (UPDATE: the artist has since responded to the controversy) inserted numerous references to the protests. Most prominent is a t-shirt worn by the mutant Colossus which features QS 5:51, a reference to Qur’an Surah 5:51.

That section translates, according to Qur'an.com: “Oh you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you - then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.”

The numbers 212 and 51 also make appearances, themselves references to the mass protests and another Qur’an verse forbidding Muslims from being led by other Muslims. There’s also an image of Kitty Pryde, a known Jewish character, whose head obscures a Jewellery shop sign so just the word “Jew” is prevalent.

Marvel has since released a statement on the matter, reading: “The mentioned artwork in X-Men Gold #1 was inserted without knowledge behind its reported meanings.

“These implied references do not reflect the views of the writer, editors or anyone else at Marvel and are in direct opposition of the inclusiveness of Marvel Comics and what the X-Men have stood for since their creation. This artwork will be removed from subsequent printings, digital versions, and trade paperbacks and disciplinary action is being taken.”

The X-Men were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, who were both Jewish, while Marc Guggenheim - who wrote the issue - is also Jewish. Guggenheim pointed fans towards Marvel’s official statement on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the comic book makers found themselves in trouble recently following an executive's comments alluding to diversity being reason for the falling sales in comics.

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