Marvel Artist Responds to Brazil Banning His Avengers Artwork

Despite being released the better part of a decade ago, Marvel's Avengers: Children's Crusade is dominating the news cycle once again. Earlier this week, Marcelo Crivella — the evangelical bishop-turned-politician — tried laying down the law and banned the graphic novel from an ongoing book fair being held in the city. Now, the artist behind the storyline in question has broken his silence on the topic. Shortly after news first broke, Jim Cheung took to Instagram to share a passionate statement in support of the book.

According to Brazilian journalists at GLOBO, the Crivella, the mayor of Rio de Janerio, aimed to halt sales of the book because of a kiss shared between Wiccan and Hulkling, two male characters. Crivella cited the book for having "sexual content for minors" as the primary reason to yank book sales — something Cheung says won't stand. You can read Cheung's full statement below.

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Teddy & Billy (2019) . It was with great surprise today, to learn that the mayor of Rio de Janeiro decided to ban the sale of my (and Allan Heinberg's) book, Avengers:The Children's Crusade, for alleged inappropriate material. . For those not familiar with the work from 2010, the controversy involves a kiss between two male characters. . Now I don't know what prompted the mayor to seek out a work that is almost a decade old, and that had already been on sale for many years, but I can say honestly, that there was no hidden motivation or agendas behind the work in promoting any particular lifestyle, nor targeting any unique audience. The scene merely depicts a tender moment between two characters who are in an established relationship. . As an artist, my passion is to tell stories; stories of great heroism, compassion and love, with as authentic and diverse characters as possible. Characters that depict every walk of life and color, whether they be black or white, brown, yellow or green. . The fact that this book, from almost a decade ago, is now being drawn into the spotlight by the mayor perhaps only highlights how out of touch he might be with the current times. The LGBTQ community is here to stay, and I have nothing but love and support for those who continue to struggle for validity and a voice to be heard. . I hope the beautiful people of Brazil, the wonderfully diverse and proud nation, will see through this political 'noise' and place their focus on the light, and on ways to unite, rather than help sow the seeds of conflict and division . #TeddyAltman #Hulkling #BillyKaplan #Wiccan #YoungAvengers #AvengersChildrensCrusade #MarvelComics #Marvel #Comics #MCU #pencils #pencildrawing #process #JimCheung #LoveNotHate #LGBTQ

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The ordeal took place at the 19th International Book Biennial, a massive festival that takes place over ten days. According to the Rio Times, publishers from around the world are expected to have over 5.5 million books on sale during the event.

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You can purchase your copy of Avengers: The Children's Crusade here.