Marvel’s X-Men Gold #1 and the Controversy Around it

Sorry for the missing post last week! Thing’s have gotten hectic at the Library – it’s the Easter holidays so lots of people have come in! So firstly let me apologise for that. However, when I was thinking about what to post, something bad hit the comic book world. The artist for X-Men Gold Issue #1 has come under fire for antisemitic references, hidden in the art of the comic.

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Cover art of Kitty Pryde leading Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Old Man Logan and Rachel Grey – X-Men- Gold #1, Marvel Entertainment, 2017

X-Men Gold, a splinter team of the original X-Men, lead by Kitty Pryde; known for the power of intangibility (or the ability to phase through solid objects). X-Men Gold #1 was her first comic as leader, and unfortunately she has become included in the disaster that now surrounds it.
A brief summary of the events are as follows. Ardian Syaf, the artist of X-Men Gold #1 referenced a verse from the Koran and the date of a Jakarta protest, all hidden quite well in the artwork. The Koran verse, 5:51, states something along the lines of “Oh you who believe, take not the Jews and the Christians as leaders/advisers.” The Jakarta protest is a Muslim protest against their Christian governor Ahok.

Here’s the full statement from Marvel Comics; “Marvel has terminated Ardian Syaf’s contract effective immediately. ‘X-Men Gold’ #2 and #3 featuring his work have already been sent to the printer and will continue to ship bi-weekly. Issues #4, #5, and #6 will be drawn by R. B. Silva and issues #7, #8, and #9 will be drawn by Ken Lashley. A permanent replacement artist will be assigned to ‘X-Men Gold’ in the coming weeks.”

 

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Kitty Pryde, a Jewish American, standing by to a store that says 212, date of the Jakarta protests. Next to her a store that says ‘Jewellery’ with the ‘-ellery’ bit obscured – X-Men Gold #1, Marvel Entertainment, 2017

Now this is all my own opinion – I am unsure what to think about this. I am very much of two minds. Though I understand fighting against tyrants, and am fully for being inclusive and what Governor Ahok did was wrong, I do not agree with the way Syaf has gone about it. Just putting it in a comic book about being inclusive (the X-Men date back to the times of Luther King and Malcom X, and the fight of blacks Vs whites) I don’t agree with the antisemitic way that it this has all taken place. I think placing it any other comic wouldn’t have been so damming for Syaf, but a comic that is all about living peacefully together in an unpeaceful word? That was not the way to go. It’s unfortunate he probably won’t work in the comics industry ever again, his art is very good, but after this I don’t think he deserves to work in such an inclusive business. All in all, I’m glad that Marvel are firing Syaf for his actions. I just hope this doesn’t tarnish Marvel more than they already have been.

 

Have you read X-Men Gold? Will you after all this? Do you have the super rare Issue 1, with all the references in them? Do you believe they were antisemitic? Leave a comment below! 

(Header image: X-Men Gold #1, Marvel Entertainment, 2017)

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