Second Coming was the title of the 32-page comic that DC planned to published under DC Vertigo, a segment of DC Comics that is geared towards adult comic books. Co-created by writer Mark Russell and artist Richard Pace, it was set to be released this March 6th. But an online petition surfaced to cancel the comic after Russell said in an interview that the comic centered around Jesus Christ returning to Earth because “God was so upset with Jesus’ performance the first time” and he needed to “learn what it takes to be the true Messiah of mankind.” This included him partnering with a superhero known as Sun-Man to complete a holy mission.
Unsurprisingly, this plotline did not go over well with potential readers. Russell stated on Twitter:
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 compliment each other’s, sometimes they don’t. It’s okay to admit it when they don’t and go separate ways. DC did not do anything untoward to me. They’ve been a pleasure to work with and it will still be released, albeit with a different publisher.”
The petition to cancel the comic was launched on CitizenGo, which is a platform that defends religious beliefs. The statement on the petition read:
Can you imagine the media and political uproar if DC Comics was altering and poking fun at the story of Muhammad . . .or Buddha. This blasphemous content should not be tolerated. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. His story should not be ridiculed for the sake of selling comic books.”
The petition was signed by more than 234,000 people before DC Comics decided to cancel. Russell has stated that DC requested some changes to be made, but he and Pace were not comfortable with them. They have retained the rights to the comic and plan to pursue another publisher for it.