Marvel Releases a Statement on Controversial X-Men Gold Ardian Syaf Art

You know how we can’t have nice things? Well, here’s another example. Artist Ardian Syaf decided to make a statement in his artwork for this week’s X-Men: Gold #1 by adding in some coded religious messages preaching intolerance and a political protest taking place in Indonesia.

Marvel released a statement distancing themselves from the art.

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.

Syaf’s references were focused on numbers being used by Muslim Indonesians in protest of the Christian Governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama. Purnama is accused of making intolerant statements with the protests being led by Islamists.

The scene(s) in places Kitty Pryde (a prominent Jewish character) next to the “Jew” part of a sign for a jewelry store in the background. 212 and 51 appear in the issue, including the scene with Pryde. Colossus in the comic in another scene also has QS 5:51 on his shirt. QS meaning Qur’an Surah. 212 refers to a mass protest and 51 is a reference to a Qur’an verse forbidding Muslims from being led by non-Muslims. It’s interpreted as being anti-Christian and anti-Jewish.

The X-Men were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, two Jewish creators and this comic is written by Marc Guggenheim who is also Jewish. Marvel is run by Ike Perlmutter, also Jewish. The X-Men themselves have always fought for inclusiveness regardless of a person’s background.

It’s unknown if Syaf will stay on the series after this and what “disciplinary actions” are.