'Second Coming' comic resurrects Jesus as a superhero's sidekick, triggering outrage among Christians
The comic series was scheduled to be published in March by an adult-oriented imprint of DC Comics, however, it was dropped after public outrage over the work.
A new comic series depicting Jesus as a superhero's sidekick returning to Earth has kicked off quite a controversy. 'Second Coming', which was released on Wednesday, is written by Mark Russell and illustrated by Richard Pace, is mostly a satirical take on the Son of God and is being considered blasphemous by some members of the faith.
Reports state that the comic series was scheduled to be published in March by an adult-oriented imprint of DC Comics, however, it was dropped after public outrage over the work. The makers were subsequently forced to approach a boutique publisher AHOY comics instead.
Russels, while talking about the public outcry, said: "I woke up one morning and had an email from the editor saying, ‘You’re on the front page of Fox News.' Then the petitions started and media started picking up on it, and then I realized it was bigger than I first anticipated," he told the New York Post.
The writer, however, explained to the outlet that his work is not a takedown of religion, but rather an attempt to spread the Gospel. Russel has reportedly written two more Bible-themed comics and is aiming for at least 18 issues of the new series.
The premise of the comics is likely to give some believers cause for outrage.
"In the present day, God is impressed by the good deeds of Sunstar, a Superman-like hero. Feeling that his son needs toughening up, God asks Sunstar to take Jesus under his wing “to show him how a real hero handles his chili,” as God says in the book. But after Jesus arrives on Earth, he soon discovers he’s not on the same page as Sunstar when it comes to improving the world," The Post reported.
Russel said that a superhero comic was the perfect genre for telling his story about Jesus. "Superhero comics suggest that physical violence is the solution to any problem, whereas I wanted a comic that meditated on the nature of power itself and suggested that there might be other solutions that don’t involve drop-kicking someone into a volcano,” he said.
The writer, who was raised Pentecostal but no longer adheres to any organized religion, said that he hopes that the readers of his work will discover a Jesus that’s faithful to the New Testament.
"There are a lot of things Christ said that I think are fantastic, and his mission was radical and brilliant," Russell said. "Somehow Christianity became a tool of the empires that it was originally designed to help people escape."