An Indonesian artist for Marvel snuck in several political and religious references into a recent X-Men Gold issue and people noticed.
Ardian Syaf, who had previously worked on Batgirl and Superman/Batman titles for Marvel, had put in references to an ongoing political conflict in Indonesia.
The references, which appeared in the first issue of X-Men Gold released last week, were quickly spotted by Indonesian readers. Many voiced their anger against Syaf.
Ardian Syaf basically reached the peak of his career: working for Marvel and he threw that away for the sake of a weak-ass pun
Aldy (@aldidot) April 9, 2017
In one of the comic panels, the numbers “212” are seen above a building. In another, the phrase “QS 5:51” is printed on Colossus’ shirt.
Syaf had previously posted the “212” comic panel on his Facebook page which has since been deleted.
The numbers relate to the current ongoing protests against Jakarta’s Christian Chinese governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, commonly referred to as Ahok.
Ahok is on trial after being accused of insulting the Quran in a September speech a charge he denies.
A mass rally was held against Ahok last year on Dec 2, or “212”, after that speech.
The phrase “5:51” is in reference to a verse in the Quran used by some Indonesians to state that non-Muslims should not be put politically in charge.
Syaf briefly posted an apology on his Facebook page, in which he stated that he was “not anti-Jew or Christian.”
This was later deleted from his page, but not before it was captured by netizens.
In a statement to ComicBook.com, Marvel acknowledged that the artwork was inserted but said it was “without knowledge behind its reported meanings.”
The comic company also said that the artwork would be “removed from subsequent printings, digital versions and trade paperbacks”, adding that “disciplinary action” was being taken.
Mashable has reached out to Syaf and Marvel for comment.