Marvel Comics has announced that it will edit out several panels of its latest Immortal Hulk comic after critics said the artwork was anti-Semitic.
Controversy erupted after Joe Bennet, the artist for Immortal Hulk #43, was questioned over what some called anti-Semitic tropes in the panels of the comic.
The panels are featured in a segment of the story where a character enters a pawn shop to sell some jewelry for some quick cash. One panel shows the inside of the pawnshop, where the shop’s front window can be seen. The letters on the window seem to spell out “Jewer,” and a Star of David is on the window. The pawnshop was also called “Cronenberg’s Jewelry.”
Artist Bennet was slammed for the panel and called anti-Semitic. But the artist claimed that the name “Cronenberg” was an homage to the famed filmmaker.
“I’ve been including references to famous horror directors to pay respects to the genre throughout the series, and in Immortal Hulk #43, I included a nod to David Cronenberg,” Bennet said in a statement, according to Fox News.
The artist also said that the misspelling of jewelry was simply an accident. “The misspellings on the window were an honest but terrible mistake – since I was writing backwards, I accidentally spelled both of those words wrong,” he said. “I have no excuse for how I depicted the Star of David. I failed to understand this troubling and offensive stereotype, and after listening to you all, I now understand my mistake.”
“This was wrong, offensive, and hurtful in many ways. This is a mistake I must own, and I am sorry to everyone who I hurt by this. I am working with Marvel to correct this, and I am using this lesson to reflect on how I approach my stories and my work,” Bennett said.
Marvel has promised to take the comic returns and replace them with a newly printed version with the offending panel edited out. The company also said it would send digital comics subscribers a replacement file for the issue.
A spokesman for Marvel told CBR.com that they “fully acknowledged this mistake was missed on our side as well.”
This is not the first time that Marvel has been accused of including anti-Semitism into its comics. In 2017, artist Ardian Syaf was accused of adding anti-Jewish references to an issue of X-Men Gold.
In the comic, Syaf, an artist from Muslim-majority Indonesia, featured a reference to the Koran verse Al Maidah 5:51, which urges Muslims not to take Christians and Jews as allies. The number 212, which is a direct reference to the protests held against the Christian governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnamaon, was also add in an issue.
Marvel apologized for the references and said that the artist added the references without the company’s knowledge.
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