Over the weekend, a Marvel Comics artist named Ardian Syaf found himself mired in controversy when people began to notice that his first issue of the new X-Men Gold series included hidden messages of support for an extremist Muslim group in Indonesia that is fighting to oust Jakarta’s Christian governor. Clearly unhappy with the significant level of negative attention being given to what should be one of its flagship books, Marvel quickly announced that the references—which consisted of a reference to a Quran verse, the date of a big protest against the governor, and a conveniently obscured “Jewelry” sign behind the head of Jewish X-Men member Kitty Pryde—will be removed from subsequent printings and that Syaf himself would face some sort of “disciplinary action,” but that’s all we knew at the time.
Now, according to the BBC, Marvel has fully terminated its contract with Syaf, ending his brief career at the publisher. Syaf had already done the art for the next two issues of X-Men Gold, so they’ll still appear on store shelves as originally planned, but the next five issues after that will feature a rotating group of substitute artists while Marvel looks for a replacement. In a statement on Facebook, Syaf said the references were included out of his “love for Allah” and that his career “is over now,” adding “please no more mockery, debate, no more hate.”