Marvel Wipes Out Anti-Latter-day Saint Reference From Recent Spider-Man Comic

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Spider-Man comic illustrations
Ryan Ottley/Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Entertainment recently published a new issue of the Amazing Spider-Man comic book. In one scene, Spider-Man is wearing brand names and logos on his spidey-suit that represent his apparent sponsors. If you look closely, one of the patches clearly references the controversial CES Letter. The easter egg passed by unnoticed and was printed in issue number four of Amazing Spider-Man. Then Marvel found out about it.

“The art reference in Amazing Spider-Man #4 was included without awareness by Marvel of its meaning,” Marvel told The Hollywood Reporter, “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.”

And indeed it has been. Here’s what it looked like before the change (notice the CES Letter patch in the bottom right-hand illustration, on Spider-Man’s shoulder):

Spider-Man comic book page
Ryan Ottley/Marvel Entertainment

And here’s what the illustration looks like now:

Spider-Man comic illustration
Ryan Ottley/Marvel Entertainment

The artist who originally included the reference, Ryan Ottley, also gave The Hollywood Reporter a statement:

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. 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 CES Letter is a document composed by former Latter-day Saint, Jeremy Runnells, that details some of the supposed problems he’s found within the faith that ultimately caused him to leave it. MormonHUB.com offers free access to a booklet written in response to the letter, Bamboozled by the CES Letter, by Michael R. Ash, as a perk for subscribers (also free) to our website.

David Snell is a proud member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He's the Founder of The Sunday Pews, and has experience writing for Mormon Newsroom Pacific, KBYU11, Classical 89 Radio, FamilyShare.com and plenty more. He tries not to take himself too seriously and just wants to brighten your day a bit.