A Jesus Christ-themed comic book was cancelled by DC after complaints that it was “blasphemous” to some Christians, but the creators want to resurrect the project with a new publisher.
We wrote earlier this year about Second Coming, a controversial comic book that sees Jesus as a superhero who comes to Earth to “set the record straight” after seeing how people have twisted His words. It’s actually a pretty great idea, but DC decided it wasn’t worth the Christian protests.
The cancellation follows a petition by Christians who said it was “outrageous and blasphemous.”
The Second Coming series, from DC imprint Vertigo, was due to launch on 6 March. Written by Mark Russell and illustrated by Richard Pace, its story followed Jesus’s return to Earth. “Shocked to discover what has become of his gospel,” he teams up with a superhero, Sun-Man, who is more widely worshipped than him.
But the comics publisher has now told retailers that the series has been cancelled. The decision follows a 200,000-signature petition from anti-abortion, anti-LGBT conservative campaign site CitizenGo calling on DC to pull the comic. “Would DC Comics publish similar content about other religious leaders, such as Muhammad or Buddha?” said the petition. “This content is inappropriate and blasphemous.”
Russell told Syfy Wire that he and Pace had requested that rights for the comic be returned to them after they were warned that requests for more significant changes would probably be on the way.
“So I decided I would rather keep the story intact,” he said. “Nobody really wants a watered-down, one-size-fits-none version of this story, so they graciously agreed to let me have it back … We also want a publisher who can get it to fans in the near future, so we hope to be able to announce a new home as soon as possible.”
Russell also told his side of the story via Twitter, explaining that he holds no ill will against DC.
The: DC/Vertigo’s cancellation of the orders for Second Coming, just so you know, DC did not do anything untoward to me. I asked for the rights back and they gracefully agreed. They’ve been a pleasure to work with and it will still be released, albeit with a different publisher.
— Mark Russell (@Manruss) February 13, 2019
So, basically, a bunch of pissed off Christian evangelists complained, prompting DC to suggest several material changes to the work. Russell and Pace seemed to have made the right decision, which is to pull the book to avoid getting it hacked to pieces. Hopefully, the new publishers, whoever they are, won’t cave in the same way and allow the book’s released without any unwarranted censorship.