Picture this: Jesus Christ returns for his prophesied second coming, and ends up a superhero's sidekick so that he can carry out his "most holy mission by God" and "learn what it takes to be the true messiah." If that sounds like an entertaining romp to you, sorry: You won't be able to read it March 6 as planned. DC Comics has pulled the release of Mark Russell and Richard Pace's Second Coming after backlash over a premise critics say is "blasphemous," NBC News reports. In a tweet, Russell, co-creator and writer of the comic, says DC "gracefully agreed" to give him back the rights to the book "and it will still be released, albeit with a different publisher." Co-creator and artist Pace added that DC "is being very kind and generous about this."
The comic was announced months ago, but started making waves more recently after Fox News, Breitbart, and Christian Broadcasting Network ran stories on it. Multiple online petitions called for the comic's cancellation. DC has not commented on the official reason for the cancellation of the comic, which would have been part of the publisher's relaunch of its Vertigo imprint, but Russell tells SyFy he asked for the rights back after DC decided to "push the release date back to some undetermined point in the future" and warned that "significant changes" might need to be made. He tells HuffPost, however, some changes were requested before the uproar. He notes, "I think once people actually read the book, a lot of them will be embarrassed by how up in arms they were. It's actually a very pro-Christ comic, as he's the character who actually offers a meaningful alternative to violence." (A Deadpool poster was also called blasphemous.)