Marvel is removing a reference to an anti-Mormon book from its latest Spider-Man comic

Marvel 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 criticised 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 realise the messages were included, and said that the art “was inserted without knowledge behind its reported meanings.”

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.