In a story that has hit multiple outlets in the mainstream press, DC Comics announced that a story by Orson Scott Card, planned for the debut issue of the digital-first comic “Adventures of Superman” has been delayed after the artist for that story stepped down. The choice of Card for this issue was controversial due to his vocal public stances regarding gay rights and same-sex marriage. Card is a board member of the National Organization for Marriage, a political group opposing same-sex marriage, and he has written a number of anti-gay editorials for various publications. A petition asking for Card to be removed from the project garnered over 16,000 signatures. DC had initially backed Card – but Chris Sprouse withdrew from art duties on the story due to the controversy, causing the delay. DC has issued a statement supporting Sprouse’s decision, noting that Chris Sprouse will be working on another project “soon”. The story has not been officially cancelled, but another story by a different writer will be used for the debut issue.
This story has drawn considerable attention from media outlets ranging from “The Verge” and “The Beat” to “USA Today” and “The Huffington Post”. This type of attention is unusual, but so is the situation. While there are notable exceptions, much of the comics community leans progressive. The idea of handing the keys to an American icon like Superman to a controversial figure has certainly created a storm within the comics world, and though this story has been delayed the controversy will likely continue whenever Card’s script is slated once again for publication.