Marvel is still dealing with the fallout from their effort to win the SJW market in comics, so the last thing they need is a controversy. Unfortunately, one of their artists didn’t get the message. Ardian Syaf draws comics for Marvel, which one might think wouldn’t let him do a lot with characters. After all, don’t writers create the ideas and the artists just draw them?
Well, Syaf figured out how to insert his Islamic faith into one of the most recent X-Men titles, following a politician in his native Indonesia referring to a specific piece of the Koran.
The verse translates into English as “O 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.”
A more common Indonesian translation of the verse, however, states that “Muslims should not appoint the Jews and Christians as their leader.” So. What has this to do with comic books?
The number 212 and 51 appears in a scene of X-Men Gold #1 by Indonesian artist Ardian Syaf, published last Wednesday, with comic book character Kitty Pryde addressing the crowd.
That would be the Jewish character Kitty Pryde, in a scene talking about being the new leader of the X-Men.
The X-Men were created in the sixties by Jewish creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, in a comic written by Marc Guggenheim, raised Jewish.
Later in the comic, on Colossus’ shirt, we see the letters and numbers QS 5:51 referring to that verse. QS stands for Qur’an Surah, with Surah meaning chapter.
In Indonesia, 212 is the number used to denote a specific mass protest from 2nd December last year. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims marched against the Christian governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as Ahok,, over allegations of blasphemy regarding his use of the Qu’ran in campaigning against opponents.
Syaf’s insistence on adding his political message does take on a creepier tone due to the character’s heritage. Adding it to the Russian character Colossus makes it clear the initial concern wasn’t an accident.
Marvel is reportedly less than pleased by this development according to X-Men fan blog The Xavier Files.
Official Statement from Marvel on Adrian Syaf pic.twitter.com/TjX3dymCRT
— Xavier Files (@XavierFiles) April 8, 2017
Already, some are talking censorship, without really understanding the concept.
— Stephen Taggart (@SynDoctor) April 9, 2017
Of course, Syaf is free to express his opinion. However, readers of the X-Men titles are also free to stop reading after this if they so choose. Syaf stuck his political message in under Marvel’s nose and dropped the comic giant into hot water at a time when they’re trying to walk back from the preachy messages that insulted a large chunk of the American public. There’s absolutely no obligation to keep someone on the payroll if they’re going to pull something like this.
Syaf has caused harm to Marvel and the X-Men brand. Not taking action would have far longer repercussions than a handful of readers upset that someone who inserted anti-Semitic and anti-Christian references into a comic was fired or simply removed from this title.