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Marvel removes anti-Mormon reference from Spider-Man comic

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spider-manMarvel Comics/Ryan Ottley

  • Marvel has removed an anti-Mormon reference from the
    digital edition of a recent “Amazing Spider-Man” comic, and
    according to The Hollywood Reporter, will remove it in future
    print editions, as well.
  • The controversial image refers to a book called “CES
    Letter,” which aims to “get official answers from the LDS
    [Mormon] Church on its troubling origins, history, and
    practices.”

  • Marvel told THR that the artwork “was included
    without awareness by Marvel of its meaning.”


  • The artist, Ryan Ottley, told THR, “I have no
    animosity toward members of the Church of Jesus Christ of
    Latter-day Saints. My entire family are members, as are many of
    my friends.”


 

Comic books aren’t without their controversies, and Marvel is
trying to reel in its latest one by removing an image from
digital and future print editions of a Spider-Man comic.

In the fourth issue of Marvel’s relaunched “Amazing Spider-Man”
comic, which went on sale in print and on digital platforms
August 22, artist Ryan Ottley included a reference to an
anti-Mormon book called “CES Letter.” The book, written by Jeremy
Runnels, details Runnels’ quest to “get official answers
from the LDS [Mormon] Church on its troubling origins, history,
and practices,” according to the book’s official description

The issue’s storyline follows a Spider-Man stripped of the
morals and responsibility of Peter Parker in a freak accident,
who is now taking TV interviews and corporate sponsorships.
During one interview, Spider-Man is wearing a number of sponsored
patches on his costume, including one that reads “CES
Letter.”

The image is below:


spider-manMarvel Comics/Ryan Ottley

Marvel has already removed the image in the digital edition of
the comic, and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, will
remove it in a second print edition to be released on September
19.

“The art reference in Amazing Spider-Man #4 was included
without awareness by Marvel of its meaning,” Marvel
told 
THR in a statement. “As a policy,
Marvel does not permit hidden controversial messages in its
artwork. The reference will be removed from all subsequent
printings, digital versions and trade paperbacks.”

Ottley also provided a statement to THR.

“I’ve spoken with Marvel about my recent artwork, and I
have no animosity toward members of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints,” he said. “My entire family are members, as
are many of my friends, and I would never include anything
mean-spirited about them or their beliefs. The reference was in
regards to a subject I am interested in and a personal decision I
made in my life. It has nothing to do with the character, the
story or Marvel.”

The new artwork is below:


spider-manMarvel Comics/Ryan Ottley

This isn’t the first time Marvel has removed controversial
images from a comic. An issue of “X-Men Gold” was criticized for
including anti-Semitic messages
 last year, and
Marvel removed the images, by artist Ardian Syaf, from the
digital editions and print editions that followed. Like this case
with the “Amazing Spider-Man” comic, Marvel did not realize the
messages were included, and said that the art “was inserted
without knowledge behind its reported meanings.”

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