Back in August last year, Bleeding Cool contributor Mike Sangregorio interviewed Mark Russell about his upcoming DC Comics comic book Second Coming with Richard Pace. Which features Jesus Christ returning to Earth and rooming with Superman analogue Sun-Man. It’s clearly a satire.
Today, Fox News seems to have come across the interview and made it a news story. The comic book was announced last year. DC Comics hasn’t done any PR blasts about it. So how does this kind of thing happen?
It seems to have begun at my old stomping ground Comic Book Resources. With a title ‘Of Course DC Is Bringing Jesus to Comics’, writer Anthony Couto summed up a recent history of DC Comics tackling religious themes – though they miss the big one that would have been relevant to this story. Namely Swamp Thing by Rick Veitch featuring Jesus Christ in a comic that was greenlit by editor Karen Berger and partially drawn before it was spiked by her boss, Paul Levitz. This led Veitch to leave DC, stopped Neil Gaiman taking over the book and for the critically acclaimed series to enter the critical doldrums for quite some time.
Anyway, this article was then picked up by Christian Headlines, in an article by Michael Foust, which linked to the earlier Bleeding Cool interview to garner quotes that Russell gave that might seen as satirical against Christianity. Such as,
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.
Sun-Man has to deal with things like his grandmother succumbing to dementia or that he can’t adopt, because he’s technically not a human being, and his wife wants a baby. These are the sorts of problems that superpowers are utterly helpless against. Jesus brings this very different view on how power can be used.
And said that the comic contradicted scripture. That was on Monday.
On Tuesday, CBN News offering ‘A Christian Perspective’, had Emily Jones churn the story but did not mention or link to Christian Headlines or CBR, though clearly used the former’s take on the story. They did however mention and linkto Bleeding Cool’s interview. They called it ‘closer to blasphemous than biblical.’
On the same day the Preston Business Review, writer unknown. swiped the story from CBN, without crediting or linking, repeating their line about blasphemy line, mentioning – but not linking – to Bleeding Cool. The same with WND.
Today the right-wing site Newsbusters’s Matt Philbin picked up on the story, using all the same quotes but crediting no one but Bleeding Cool’s interview. From last August. And adding lots more invective.
From there it was a hop and a skip to Fox News for an article by Caleb Parke. Who credited and linked to no one but Bleeding Cool, with the headline ‘DC to release controversial Second Comic Of Jesus’. The invective was stripped back, but you could see the journey.
Controversial to whom? After all, no one in the media seemed to notice Bleeding Cool’s interview with Mark Russell about the comic until three days ago, and that was only because of another comic book website, trying to fill a slow news day…
I wonder where this story will go now?
UPDATE: I should have guessed. Breitbart.
Second Coming will be published in March.
SECOND COMING #1 (MR)
(W) Mark Russell (A) Richard Pace (CA) Amanda Conner
Witness the return of Jesus Christ, as He is sent on a most holy mission by God to learn what it takes to be the true messiah of mankind by becoming roommates with the world’s favorite savior: the all-powerful super hero Sun-Man, the Last Son of Krispex! But when Christ returns to Earth, he’s shocked to discover what has become of his gospel-and now, he aims to set the record straight. In Shops: Mar 06, 2019 SRP: $3.99