Marvel fires Brazilian Joe Bennett, who did pro-Bolsonaro and anti-Semitic illustrations

Marvel Comics announced that Brazilian Joe Bennett, artist known for his work in the comic book “The Immortal Hulk” and a collaborator with the company since 1994, will no longer work for the publisher, being excluded from “any future projects”. A Marvel não deu explicações, mas a notícia vem dias após o roteirista americano Al Ewing, parceiro de Bennett no título da Marvel, ir ao Twitter repudiar desenhos ofensivos do paraense que voltaram a circular nas redes sociais: uma antiga ilustração de apoio a Bolsonaro e a page with anti-Semitic messages in the Hulk’s own comic.

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In posts published on September 2, Ewing referred with heavy criticism to an illustration by Bennett from 2017 that portrays Jair Bolsonaro as a knight and political opponents of the then federal deputy (Lula, Dilma, among others) as rats. Michel Temer, now approaching Bolsonaro, appears as a vampire.

“There’s an image made by Joe Bennett in 2017 circulating. I won’t share it, but I saw it and it’s reprehensible. (…),” Ewing wrote. “If you’ve seen the image, you know what it is. An armored swordsman, who I believe to be Bolsonaro from Joe’s comments, slaughtering small people on the run with huge teeth and mouse ears. And big noses. One of them dressed as Dracula”

The American screenwriter also recalled that Bennett inserted anti-Semitic overtones in “The Immortal Hulk” No. 43, published in February in the US. The series, which comes out in Brazil through Panini, will come to an end in the 50th edition, which arrives on the American market this month.

Cover of "The Immortal Hulk" (in Brazil, "The Immortal Hulk") designed by Joe Bennett Photo: Reproduction
Cover of “The Immortal Hulk” (in Brazil, “The Immortal Hulk”) designed by Joe Bennett Photo: Reproduction

In the same thread on Sept. 2, Al Ewing revealed that he had already handled the case internally at Marvel. He also apologized to his followers for not having publicly criticized Bennett’s illustrations so far. He even added that this was not the only problematic case related to the Brazilian that came to his attention.

Joe Benett did not comment on the ad on his social networks. Sought by GLOBO, he still hasn’t responded.

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previous cases

The Brazilian had already been reprimanded in 2019 after making violent comments regarding a homophobic attack suffered by journalist Glenn Greenwald. Bennett erased the comments and apologized. In 2020, the illustrator received criticism for posting an image of the Woman-Hulk and responding to transphobic comments in the same post with laughing emojis, suggesting his approval.

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In issue #43 of “The Immortal Hulk,” published in the US in February 2021, Bennett included what appears to be an anti-Semitic message at the bottom of a comic. After publication, Marvel “corrected” the design in digital versions and offered “corrected editions” of the printed magazines at no cost to the points of sale.

Bennett apologized for the case. At the time, an anonymous Marvel source told the US website CBR that the publisher “fully acknowledged” that it had overlooked the error.

Brazilian pioneer at Marvel

Born in Belém do Pará 53 years ago, Benedito José Nascimento adopted the pseudonym Joe Bennett and worked for Marvel Comics since 1994, being a pioneer among the Brazilian team that collaborates with the American giant of superhero comics.

At Marvel, he has illustrated titles for characters such as Spider-Man, Captain America and Thor, having also designed for other American publishers, such as DC and Dark Horse. The 50 editions were his most outstanding work, nominated for several Eisner Awards, considered the Oscar of the comics.

Bennett’s next job at the publisher would be in a major title, “Timeless #1”, a unique edition that will kick off a new phase of the Marvel Universe. AHQ, written by Jed Mackay will now feature artwork by Kev Walker, Mark Bagley, and Greg Land.

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