Marvel fired Joe Bennett after alleged anti-Semitic cartoons

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Marvel Comics fired Brazilian artist Joe Bennett and vowed not to hire him for “any future Marvel projects,” following allegations of anti-Semitism and disturbing imagery in his works. Bennett had previously worked for Marvel Comics for almost thirty years, starting in 1994.

Marvel made the decision immediately after Bennett’s Immortal hulk his partner Al Ewing announced on September 2 that he would no longer be working with the artist on a political cartoon from 2017, and that the cartoon in question “is not the first problem with Joe that I was put on aware”. Comic book fans also called the work in early September “deeply insensitive.”

In a lengthy Twitter thread, Ewing cited the alleged anti-Semitic images of Bennett and other issues raised, writing: “I’ve spoken behind the scenes, but it’s not heartwarming for people at the forefront of this kind of thing. brutal propaganda. My lack of public visibility on this has let people down, and I apologize for it. “

Ewing added that he had donated to Rainbow Railroad and the Rainforest Trust, adding “I understand if this sounds like an empty or insufficient gesture for those reading this”.

Ewing ended his thread by writing: “Immortal hulk is over, but I won’t be working with Joe anymore. If people choose not to resume my work with other artists in the future based on my handling of this, I understand and accept that. If I’ve lost your trust, it’s mine.

This is not the first time that Bennett has apparently attacked members of marginalized communities. He had previously mocked the 2019 assault on gay journalist Glenn Greenwald by a far-right Bolsonaro supporter. And last year, Bennett “liked” the transphobic comments on his public Instagram page. He is also a staunch supporter of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a Trump-style fascist leader who is currently overseeing the devastating spread of Covid-19 throughout his country.

Bennett was also accused of hiding anti-Semitic images in Immortal hulk and X-Men Gold # 1, which we will not publish but which you can see here. When these surfaced earlier this year, Bennett apologized via Marvel, stating:

“I’ve included references to famous horror directors to pay homage to the genre throughout the series, and in Immortal Hulk # 43, I’ve included a nod to David Cronenberg. The spelling mistakes on the window were an honest but terrible mistake – since I was writing backwards, I accidentally misspelled these two words.

“I have no excuse for the way I portrayed the Star of David. I failed to understand this disturbing and offensive stereotype, and after listening to all of you, I now understand my mistake. It was wrong, offensive and hurtful in many ways. This is a mistake I have to admit, and I am sorry to everyone I hurt by this. I’m working with Marvel to fix this, and I’m using this lesson to reflect on how I approach my stories and my work.

If Bennett’s apparent anti-Semitic imagery was already known to Marvel, then why did they keep him on the payroll? And how did they get through countless proofreaders and revisers in the first place? Marvel did the right thing by quitting working with Bennett, but you must be wondering why it took them so long.

After all, there is no shortage of talented illustrators in the world, most of whom do not seem to harbor anti-Semitic and profascist sentiments.

Bennett’s work has appeared in dozens of Marvel titles, including The Amazing Spider-Man, Captain America (volume 2), The Fantastic Four (volume 3), The Incredible Hulk (volume 2), Thor, and more recently Captain America and the Falcon. Bennett has also worked prolifically for other publishers like Chaos! Comics, CrossGen, Dark Horse, DC Comics and Vertigo.

(via Games Radar, image: Marvel Comics)

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