Marvel comics have removed a book from circulation after fans spotted 'secret, coded anti-Christian and anti-Jewish messages' in the artwork.
Indonesian artist Ardian Syaf inserted several hidden references to passages of the Koran and Muslim protests against the Christian governor of Jakarta in the X-Men Gold #1 comic.
Marvel has said it will take disciplinary action against the artist and said the drawings will be removed from the comic.
In one scene in the book, Jewish X-Men character Kitty Pryde is seen talking to a crowd, with the 'Jew' part of the word 'jewelry' over her head, and the numbers 212 and 51 in the background
Close-up: The number 212 is often used as a reference to the Muslim protest against the Christian governor of Jakarta on December 2, 2016, where 200,000 conservative Muslims rallied against Basuki Tjahaja Purnama
In another panel, Russian mutant Colossus is seen wearing a T-shirt featuring the words 'QS 5:51', said to stand for Quran Chapter 5, Verse 51
In one scene in the book, Jewish X-Men character Kitty Pryde is seen talking to a crowd, with the 'Jew' part of the word 'jewelry' over her head, and the numbers 212 and 51 in the background.
The number 212 is often used as a reference to the Muslim protest against the Christian governor of Jakarta on December 2, 2016, where 200,000 conservative Muslims rallied against Basuki Tjahaja Purnama.
He was accused of insulting Islam during election campaigning.
Referring to that protest, Syaf said in a series of posts on Facebook during a back and forth with another Facebook member: 'This is a special memory for me.
'The number is a peace act, when a governor did blasphemy to our holy book.'
He added: 'I don't hate Jews or Christians, I worked with them for 10 years. A lot of good friends too. For all that happened I apologize sincerely.'
Artist Syaf defends himself on Facebook during an exchange with a Facebook user. He says he doesn’t hate Jews or Christians and that many of them are his best friends
Artist Ardian Syaf is seen above. He admits on Facebook that the numbers used relate to the Indonesian protest against the Christian governor of Jakata, who talked about how a verse from the Koran translated into Indonesian
In another panel, Russian mutant Colossus is seen wearing a T-shirt featuring the words 'QS 5:51', said to stand for Quran Chapter 5, Verse 51.
Translated, the verse reads: 'O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you - then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.'
Syaf added in one of his Facebook posts: 'qs 5:51 is the verse he (governor) mocked this is a very special memory for me'.
Fellow Indonesian artist Ario Anindito, who also works for Marvel, spoke out against Syaf on Twitter saying: 'What he has done in the recent X-Men book is very disrespectful and unprofessional.'
Other people also took to social media to express their dismay. Haykal Al-Qasimi said on Facebook that he believed the cartoons were being used to spread hatred against non Muslim minorities in Indonesia.
People took to Twitter and Facebook, seen above, to express their views. One called it 'disrespectful and unprofessional' and another said they felt Marvel had been 'duped'
In a statement, Marvel Comics said that the artwork in X-Men Gold #1 was 'inserted without knowledge behind its reported meanings'.
'These implied references do not reflect the views of the writer, editors or anyone else at Marvel and are in direct opposition of the inclusiveness of Marvel Comics, and what the X-Men have stood for since their creation,' it continued.
'This artwork will be removed from subsequent printings, digital versions, and trade paperbacks and disciplinary action is being taken.'
According to BleedingCool, a website on comic books, Syaf had drawn in political figures into comic panels before.
It said in an issue of Batgirl, he featured Joko Widodo, the current president of Indonesia, and the former governor of Jakarta.