3:30pm PT by Graeme McMillan
DC Vertigo Cancels 'Second Coming' of Jesus Comic Book Series
The upcoming DC Vertigo title Second Coming has been canceled by the publisher weeks before the series was due to launch, comic book retailers were told Wednesday.
Orders for the first and second issues of the series — in which Jesus Christ returns to Earth only to be appalled by what has become of his teachings, with humanity more enamored with the superhero Sun-Man — were canceled with notice that "these issues will not be resolicited," according to an update sent to comic stores. The series, which was intended to run monthly starting March 6, had been targeted by an online petition that described it as "inappropriate" and "blasphemous content."
On Twitter, Mark Russell — who co-created the series with artist Richard Pace — revealed that the cancellation of the series at DC was his doing.
"Just so you know," he wrote, “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." In a follow-up tweet, he added, "I want to thank everyone at Vertigo who’s gotten it to the point where it’s as good as it is. Specifically, I want to thank Molly [Mahan, editor], Maggie [Howell, assistant editor], and Mark [Doyle, DC Vertigo executive editor] for all their support and hard work. Wherever it ends up coming out, know that this is still your book."
The cancellation of Second Coming follows the December cancellation of another DC Vertigo series, Border Town, after writer and co-creator Eric M. Esquivel was accused of sexual abuse. Both Border Town and Second Coming were part of a high-profile relaunch of the DC Vertigo imprint in celebration of its 25th anniversary.