In the weeks leading up to the release of their new controversial title Second Coming, DC Comics announced they have pulled the series from their Vertigo imprint. The first six installments, by Mark Russell, featured an immature Jesus Christ, who learns to be a “real” superhero from the Sun-Man (think Superman), in order to please his disappointed father, God.
The avid public outcry from religious communities was noticed by Fox News and, an online petition was launched that drew more than 230,000 signatures. In response to claims that the series was “outrageous and blasphemous,” DC Comics withdrew publication of Second Coming just before it was pegged to release on March 6.
Although Second Coming will not sit on the shelves next to the likes of Batman and Wonder Woman of the DC label, there is still a good chance it will publish with one of the smaller, independent companies that cater to niche markets. Russell said in a tweet:
“[In regard to] DC/Vertigo’s cancellation of the orders for Second Coming, just so you know, DC did not do anything untoward to me,” the writer explained on Twitter. “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.”
Illustrator of the series Richard Pace echoed the author’s sentiment in a tweet of his own, which stated, “We’re looking forward to announcing a new home for Sun-Man, Jesus and their family soon.”
The decision will most likely prove to be a wise move on the part of DC Comics. After struggling for years to compete with Marvel in theaters, they finally achieved a monumental success with their most recent film release, Aquaman. The publication of Second Coming could very well have alienated a significant portion of their audience, and cause them to lose the ground they just gained.