It looks like Ardian Syaf will be looking for another job after being fired by Marvel for political messages he snuck into X-Men: Gold #1.
Well, you can be sure this isn’t the kind of press Marvel wanted when they relaunched the X-Men titles last week.
Shortly after X-Men: Gold #1 hit stands to generally positive reviews, it was revealed that artist Ardian Syaf had placed art in the first issue that seemed to reference various Indonesian political issues as well as a a Qu’ran verse which many saw as anti-Jewish and anti-Christian.
Honestly, the messages went over the heads of most North American comic book fans with the true meaning of the artwork not even noticed until the issue was released in Syaf’s native Indonesia and readers there noticed what he had done.
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Marvel quickly released a statement that they were unaware of what Syaf had done and that there would be repercussions.
"“The mentioned artwork in X-Men Gold #1 was inserted without knowledge behind its reported meanings. These implied references do not reflect the views of the writer, editors or anyone else at Marvel and are in direct opposition of the inclusiveness of Marvel Comics and what the X-Men have stood for since their creation. This artwork will be removed from subsequent printings, digital versions, and trade paperbacks and disciplinary action is being taken.”"
On Tuesday the hammer came down on Syaf. Hard.
Marvel announced that Syaf had been fired, effective immediately. His art would still be featured in the second and third issues of X-Men: Gold with R. B. Silva stepping in to draw issue #4.
Here is 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.”"
Syaf seemed to know what was coming, posting on his Facebook page that his career was “over.”
As to whether it is actually over or not remains to be seen. He may not be able to get work from Marvel or DC anymore, but a creator-owned project wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility.
Of course, many SJWs, including some prominent Marvel writers, have piled on to express their hope that Syaf never works in comics again, which seems wrong.
Whether you agree with his politics or not, that doesn’t mean Syaf shouldn’t be allowed to work in the comics industry. The first issue of X-Men: Gold was most definitely not the place to voice those opinions, but he should be able to get a job doing what he loves without fear of being taken to task by his fellow comic book creators.
Or does that only apply to people like Frank Miller?
X-Men Gold #2 will arrive comics book stores and digitally on April 19.