Announced last year as part of the Vertigo imprint reboot, “Second Coming” is an upcoming series by author Mark Russel (The Flintstones, Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles) and artist Richard Pace (Imaginary Fiends). Russel, in an interview with Bleeding Cool, detailed the premise of the series:
An all-powerful superhero, named Sun-Man, has to share a two bedroom apartment with Jesus Christ. The conceit is that God was so upset with Jesus’s performance the first time he came to Earth, since he was arrested so soon and crucified shortly after, that he has kept him locked-up since then.
God then sees this superhero on Earth a few thousand years later and says “that’s what I wanted for you!” He sends Jesus down to learn from this superhero and they end up learning from each other. They learn the limitations of each other’s approach to the world and its problems.
In the same interview, Russel also explains the reasoning behind the particular interpretation of Jesus Christ featured in Second Coming:
MR: I wrote two books about the Bible, God is Disappointed in You and Apocraphya Now. I learned how much we really misunderstood the teachings of the Bible and of Christ. The Christian religion doesn’t really base itself on what he taught, particularly in the modern Evangelical megachurches.
They have him more as mascot on t-shirts to prove they’re on the winning team. [Second Coming] is about Jesus coming down and being appalled by what he sees has been done in his name by Christianity in the last two thousand years.
He goes by a megachurch and they have a billboard of this Tom Brady-looking Jesus Christ throwing a football and he doesn’t even recognize himself which is a metaphor for him not recognizing what’s been done with the religion that bears his name.
BC: This is not a version of Jesus who has been aware of everything that’s happened in the interim?
MR: Yeah, exactly. God was so upset with the fact that he got crucified the last time that he wouldn’t even let him look through the celestial keyhole at Earth to keep up.
He still gets to talk to people when they come to Heaven so he has a rough idea of what’s going on down there. He doesn’t know how sideways things have gone until he’s come down to Earth and sees it for himself.
The series was soon brought to mainstream attention, being covered by both Fox News and Breitbart earlier this month due to the series’ prominent use of the widely revered religious figure. Shortly after Second Coming was covered by the news outlets, the series caught the attention of CitizenGo, a Spanish foundation “working from a Christian perspective” which offers an online petition platform in the vein of Change.org. On January 11th, CitizenGo started a petition which aims to stop the release of Second Coming. The petition’s description reads:
DC Comics is set to release an outrageous and blasphemous new series featuring Jesus Christ as the sidekick for an “all powerful” superhero.
Let DC Comics know that this comic is inappropriate. It should be immediately pulled from their release schedule.
According to Fox News, the “Second Coming” comic “reimagines why Jesus left earth the first time and is coming back again.” Author Mark Russell recently shared a bit about the concept behind his comic. He explained, “God was so upset with Jesus’s performance the first time he came to Earth, since he was arrested so soon and crucified shortly after, that he has kept him locked-up since then.”
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.
When asked how long his series will continue, Russell explained, “We’re slated for six issues but the goal would be to turn it into an ongoing if the reaction is positive.”
Let DC Comics know that the reaction is most assuredly not positive. If we can’t stop the initial release, hopefully we can ensure that there are no future releases.
Please sign this petition if you agree that DC Comics should pull this blasphemous series. Your signature will be sent directly to DC Comic’s Executive Vice President Amit Desai, Publisher Dan Didio, and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee.
As of writing the petition currently has 107,996 signatures, more than half of the purported goal of 200,000 signatures. DC Comics has not released a statement regarding the petition.