Marvel Fires Ardian Syaf For Controversial Hidden Messages In X-Men Gold, Completed Issues #2 and #3 Will Still Ship
Following a post on Facebook yesterday declaring that "my career is over now" by Indonesian artist Ardian Syaf, Marvel has released a statement confirming they have officially terminated Syaf for the controversial hidden messages he included in X-Men Gold #1. R.B. Silva is drawing issues #4-6, Ken Lashley is drawing #7-10, and Marvel expects to have a permanent replacement artist for Syaf by then.
Referencing Indonesian political issues, particularly the "212" protest against Jakarta's Christian Governor Ahok, the messages included references to a Qu'ran verse which is unfavorable toward Jews and Christians, more so in some translations than others. The messages were reported on by Bleeding Cool this weekend, after which it was picked up by mainstream media organizations, prompting a response from Marvel promising disciplinary action as well as the removal of the messages from future printings and digital copies. Because of the controversy, the comic has shot up in value on the collector's market.
Below, read the full statement from Marvel on Syaf's termination, courtesy of ComicBook.com:
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.