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DC Has Dropped Its Comic About Jesus After Backlash From Conservative Christians

More than 230,000 people signed a petition calling the Second Coming series "outrageous and blasphemous."

Posted on February 20, 2019, at 12:04 p.m. ET

Courtesy of DC Comics

DC Comics has dropped an upcoming comic series about Jesus after massive backlash from Christians.

Second Coming, which tells the tale of Jesus returning to Earth and becoming a superhero's sidekick, was supposed to come out March 6, according to the publisher.

Instead, it was met with coverage and harsh criticism by Breitbart, Fox News, and conservative Christian sites like the Christian Broadcasting Network.

The series was canceled after a petition calling it "outrageous and blasphemous" was signed by more than 230,000 people.

"Can you imagine the media and political uproar if DC Comics was altering and poking fun at the story of Muhammad... or Buddha?" the petition asked.

Great news! The blasphemous "Second Coming" comic deriding Jesus has been cancelled. Our petition (of over 228,000 signatures) made the difference! https://t.co/M8klGFBone

The comic book's cancellation was announced on Twitter by its writer, Mark Russell.

Vertigo, the DC imprint that was supposed to publish the work, agreed to give the rights back to him so he could publish it elsewhere, Russell said.

DC Comics did not immediately respond to a request for comment from BuzzFeed News.

Russell thanked "everyone at Vertigo who’s gotten it to the point where it’s as good as it is," saying "wherever it ends up coming out, know that this is still your book."

"My goal is always to write the best books I can about things I have a deep personal attachment to," he said. "Publishers have goals of their own. Sometimes our goals complement each other's, sometimes they don't. It's okay to admit it when they don't and go separate ways."

Re: Second Coming. My goal is always to write the best books I can about things I have a deep personal attachment to. Publishers have goals of their own. Sometimes our goals complement each other's, sometimes they don't. It's okay to admit it when they don't and go separate ways.

In an interview with HuffPost, Russell said that DC had asked him to make changes to the book that he did not want to agree to, such as getting rid of profanity and nudity in a Garden of Eden scene.

According to Russell, "Fox News set the outrage machine in motion" that led to the series getting dropped.

Russell, who said he's not a Christian but is a β€œgreat admirer of Christ," defended the series, saying it criticizes traditionally violent superhero stories. He suggested that β€œmaybe empathy and forgiveness are better tools for solving human conflict than super-strength and the ability to see through walls."

β€œ[Jesus] is the counter-point to the ideology embedded in superhero stories that the only salvation for the world is the hope that the good guys are even better at violence than the bad guys,” he said.

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