Marvel has removed antisemitic imagery from print and digital editions of the new issue of its Immortal Hulk comic after widespread condemnation.
The comic, published last week, was criticised after readers noticed that one panel featured the character Joe Fixit, in control of Bruce Banner’s body, stepping into a jewellery store. The name of the shop – “Cronemberg Jewery” – is seen in reverse on the window above a Star of David. The site ComicsXF said: “[The] only conceivable interpretation, to put it frankly, is that this is a visual play on the old and antisemitic trope of Jews running the diamond business.” It described the panel as “an incredibly overt antisemitic dogwhistle”.
The issue’s artist, Joe Bennett, subsequently apologised on Facebook, writing that he had been including references to famous horror directors throughout the series, and that he had intended to feature a nod to David Cronenberg in issue 43. The misspellings of jewellery and Cronenberg, he said, were “an honest but terrible mistake” because he was writing backwards, but he had “no excuse” for the inclusion of the Star of David.
“I failed to understand this troubling and offensive stereotype, and after listening to you all, I now understand my mistake,” he wrote. “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.”
Marvel said that it “fully acknowledged this mistake was missed on our side as well”, and it has now wiped the Star of David and the writing from the store window in the digital edition, and is reprinting the issue. It has also let shops know that they can return the issues they have for replacements, if they choose to. Comic Book Resources speculated that first editions of the comic featuring the window would become collectors’ editions.