84,272 people have signed an online petition protesting against DC's decision to include Jesus as a character in a 'blasphemous' new comic.
One of the world's largest comic book firms has halted the publication of a controversial strip which portrayed Jesus as the side-kick of a cape-wearing superhero.
'Second Coming', which suggests Christ upset God because he was arrested so soon during his first coming, was branded "outrageous" and "blasphemous" by some believers.
Some 230,000 people signed a petition created by CitizenGo which urged DC Comics to cease involvement.
It has now emerged the California-headquartered company has now shelved publication - planned for next month.
Ignacio Arsuaga, the president of CitizenGo, said: "We are glad to hear that the blasphemous 'Second Coming' comic will not be released by DC Comics.
"This is a victory for Christianity and a victory in favour of respecting religious beliefs.
Great news! The blasphemous "Second Coming" comic deriding Jesus has been cancelled. Our petition (of over 228,000 signatures) made the difference! https://t.co/M8klGFBone— CitizenGO (@CitizenGO) February 14, 2019
"It would be a shame for a popular and well-loved brand like DC Comics to promote this blasphemous and anti-Christian content."
In a message posted on Twitter, the creator of 'Second Coming' said he had gone "separate ways" with its would-be publishers.
The: DC/Vertigo’s cancellation of the orders for Second Coming, just so you know, DC did not do anything untoward to me. I asked for the rights back and they gracefully agreed. They’ve been a pleasure to work with and it will still be released, albeit with a different publisher.— Mark Russell (@Manruss) February 13, 2019
Mark Russell said: "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 complement each other's, sometimes they don't. It's okay to admit it when they don't and go separate ways."
Re: Second Coming. 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 complement each other's, sometimes they don't. It's okay to admit it when they don't and go separate ways.— Mark Russell (@Manruss) February 14, 2019
Thanking staff at DC Comics for their support, Mr Russell also said 'Second Coming' would be released "with a different publisher".
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