Joe Bennett, an Immortal Hulk artist has responded to the criticism over some anti-Semitic imagery hidden in the latest issue of Immortal Hulk, apologizing for a mistake that he said: “was wrong, offensive, and hurtful in many ways.” He added saying that he will work with Marvel in rectifying the error in judgement.
In the background of a panel in this week’s issue of Immortal Hulk, where we see Joe Fixit, who has taken over Bruce Banner’s body, go to a jewelry store to quickly buy some items that he can then fence. The name of the store (written in reverse as it’s seen through the window) was “Cronemberg’s Jewery,” except that instead of “Jewelry,” the L is omitted and it says “Jewer” (presumably “Jewery,” but the Y is blocked out), with a Star of David, which is a noted Jewish symbol, in the background of the frame.
CONTENT WARNING: This piece features comic book panels containing alleged anti-Semitic imagery.
The jewelry store featured in the comic is named after David Cronenberg, the horror movie director, known for the kind of body horror that The Immortal Hulk has embraced in its run. This has been seen as an anti-Semitic trope or slur by many people who have used social media to call for action or an apology.
In a post on his Facebook account, Bennett first explained that the “Jewery” part of the panel was a total mistake, “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. The misspellings on the window were an honest but terrible mistake – since I was writing backwards, I accidentally spelled both of those words wrong.”
“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.”
This has not been the first instance that the Immortal Hulk artist, a longtime comic book artist from Brazil who has been working in mainstream comics, primarily for Marvel, since 1994, has drawn controversy for his views. In 2019, when gay journalist Glenn Greenwald was assaulted by a far-right journalist, Bennett said that Greenwald should have been punched rather than slapped. Bennett apologized and deleted his comment.
In response to CBR’s request for comment, a Marvel representative followed Bennett’s statement by noting the company, “fully acknowledged this mistake was missed on our side as well.” Marvel also confirmed that all art in future printings, digital releases and collections containing Immortal Hulk #43 will be corrected.