The co-creators of the comic, writer Mark Russell and artist Richard Pace, confirmed DC’s cancellation of “Second Coming” last week on their respective Twitter pages. It was set to be published through DC Vertigo, an imprint that publishes comics with more graphic or adult content.
"Second Coming" tells the story of Jesus Christ returning to Earth and learning that humans now worship a superhero named "Sun Man" more than they worship him, according to the DC website and news outlets. Jesus must then partner with Sun Man to "set the record straight."
Issue 1 of the series was scheduled to be released March 6.
The comic received attention from outlets like Fox News and the Christian Broadcasting Network. Some criticized that Jesus appeared to be portrayed as a "clueless sidekick" and not omniscient, according to the CBN coverage. An online petition calling for the cancellation for the series was created in January and gained more than 230,000 signatures.
“This blasphemous content should not be tolerated,” text accompanying the petition said. “Jesus Christ is the Son of God. His story should not be ridiculed for the sake of selling comic books.”
DC had allegedly asked the creators to edit some of the comic's content, including removing some profanity and erasing nudity from a Garden of Eden scene, Russell told The Huffington Post. Russell wasn't comfortable making the changes, and DC agreed to give the rights back to him so "Second Coming" could be published elsewhere.
Russell told SyFy.com the split with DC was amicable.
"Everyone who worked on the book at Vertigo was happy with it and I think they all are with me in wanting to see this book be as good and true to its vision as it can be,” He said. “Nobody really wants a watered-down, one-size-fits-none version of this story, so they graciously agreed to let me have it back."
Russell and Pace said they still plan to release “Second Coming” with a different publisher.
DC Comics hasn’t commented on the matter.