More On The Meaning Of 212 And The Doubling Down Of Ardian Syaf

So. 212 is a popular number in Indonesia, associated with the fictional warrior Wiro Sableng, created in the 1970s, whose name is synonymous for going wildly crazy. Which seems appropriate.

It may be being remade for the US market in 2018. Maybe.

But this may also be the reason why the 2nd of December was chosen by the hundreds and thousands on the march against Jakarta's Christian governor Ahok, demanding he be arrested and prosecuted for blasphemy for what has now been revealed, as incorrect subtitles on a video that went viral. That took his comments regarding a verse in the Qu'ran, that people shouldn't listen to their leaders' translations of the 5:15 verse from the Qu'ran, that Muslims shouldn't have Christians or Jews as leaders, which was subtitled to say instead that people were fooled by the Qu'ran. And have now formed the 212 March movement.


Recently, Bleeding Cool has run a number of articles about the attempt of Marvel's new X-Men artist from Indonesia Ardian Syaf to place hidden messages in X-Men Gold #1 that relate to the 212 March as well as the verse in question. In scenes in which the Jewish character Kitty Pryde talks about leading the X-Men for the first time, and Colossus plays baseball with Christian character Nightcrawler.


Marvel has issued a retraction – stating that the Syaf will be disciplined and that the scenes will be amended digitally and in future prints (though a quick check with ComiXology reveals that this is yet to happen.)

Syaf, meanwhile seems not to accept he may have done anything wrong, and indeed is relishing in the fact that the first print may (and is) becoming a collectible. It has now sold copies on eBay for $17 for the regular first print. Though he has been locking down some of his Facebook threads.


Doubling down, as you can see, he briefly changed his Facebook profile picture to this.


Which related to an image he posted days after the 212 march back in December.


It's from DC Comics' Earth One Vol 3, drawn by Syaf, from November 2015. A fireman with the 212 number on his helmet. With the origin, one could presume, from Wiro Sableng. Originally he seemed to post it as some strange coincidence with the name of the march, now he seems to be suggesting that all the mentions in X-Men Gold are also coincidences.


Which they really are not, Oh, I am told by Indonesian contacts that this panel, also from X-Men Gold #1 with the mother talking to Jewish X-Men leader Kitty Pryde, while the AL M letters stand for "alif laam meem", mysterious letters of the Qu'ran.

Just in case Marvel wants to remove those in the second printing as well.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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