Bleeding Cool reports that the popular comic book publisher informed retailers that they had decided against publishing the “Second Coming” series. Written by Mark Russell and illustrated by Richard Pace for DC Vertigo, the series was set to debut in March.
The series made headlines at the top of the year and was quickly labeled by many Christians as "blasphemous.” Subsequently, a petition to cancel the comic series went up on Citizens Go and garnered over 230,000 supporters.
According to Comic Book Resources, Russell mixed in his own idea of Christianity in the animated work by claiming that Jesus needed to return to Earth to learn how to become the “true Messiah” from a Superman-like character called Sun-man.
“Witness the return of Jesus Christ, as he is sent on a most holy mission by God to learn what it takes to be the true messiah of mankind by becoming roommates with the world’s favorite savior: the all-powerful superhero Sun-Man, the Last Son of Krispex! But when Christ returns to earth, he’s shocked to discover what has become of his gospel — and now, he aims to set the record straight,” the comic description reads.
Although DC Comics was initially on board with publishing the series, plans have since changed and a mutual agreement between DC/Vertigo, Russell and Pace was made to drop the comic and go elsewhere.
“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,” Russell Tweeted on Tuesday.
Russell went on to suggest that DC comics was looking to change something in his series which might have led to the spilt.
“The cool thing is, this way, we don’t have to change anything.” he continued on Twitter.
There is no further information on the “Second Coming” and whether it will be picked up by another publisher, But the writer assured his followers that the comic will be released since the Superman and Jesus-like characters are already generating a buzz.
In a previous interview with Bleeding Cool, Russell said the series centers on God being "so upset with Jesus’ performance the first time he came to earth since he was arrested so soon and crucified shortly after, that he has kept him locked up since then.”
When the fictional version of God sees Sun-Man, he tells the comic Jesus, “That’s what I wanted for you.”
“He sends Jesus down to learn from this superhero and they end up learning from each other,” Russell added. “They learn the limitations of each other’s approach to the world and its problems.”
Russell is also the author of two books, God Is Disappointed in You and Apocrypha Now. In them, he claims that people have “really misunderstood” the Bible and says the Christian faith “doesn’t really base itself on what [Jesus] taught, particularly in the modern evangelical megachurches.”