Earlier today, a story broke revealing that X-Men: Gold artist Ardian Syaf hid political and religious messages in the first issue of the new series. Referencing specific verses in the Quran and the current political situation in the artist’s home of the Republic of Indonesia, the messages were anti-semitic and anti-Christian in nature.
It goes without saying that this hasn’t gone down well, especially after Syaf later confirmed their meaning. Marvel has since stated that they were unaware of the hidden messages and would be removing them from subsequent printings and digital editions. Not only that, but they also said “disciplinary action” was being planned. However, as the X-Men: Gold artist is an independent contractor and not an actual employee, it’s not clear what exactly that means.
Now, however, Syaf has taken to social media to state that his “career is over” following the controversy.
“My career is over now. It’s the consequence what I did, and I take it. Please no more mockery, debat, no more hate. I hope all in peace. In this last chance, I want to tell you the true meaning of the numbers, 212 and QS 5:51. It is number of JUSTICE. It is number of LOVE. My love to Holy Qur’an…my love to the last prophet, the Messenger…my love to ALLAH, The One God. My apologize for all the noise. Good bye, May God bless you all. I love all of you.”
We’re unsure of whether or not Marvel’s fired him, but it seems likely that he’s been asked to step down from X-Men: Gold. It’s also hard to imagine any publisher wanting to associate themselves with Syaf following this event, due to the negative publicity it would result in, so perhaps this is a sign that he’s giving up on his career.
That does seem like a shame, but it’s easy to see why he’s caused offence with his actions and what he did obviously isn’t acceptable given the nature of the messages. What this means for the future of X-Men: Gold isn’t known, but hopefully the House of Ideas will speak up on the matter sooner rather than later and give us an idea of how they plan to proceed from here.