Orson Scott Card‘s digital-first “Adventures of Superman” story from DC Comics has sparked since its announcement — and the latest developments are likely to cause even more discussion. According to USA Today, Chris Sprouse, the artist announced as drawing Card’s Superman story, has chosen to exit the title due to the increased media attention surrounding both the author and his Superman story. Card and DC Comics came under fire in February when the writer’s involvement in the digital-first anthology was announced, with the sci-fi author’s public comments and views on marriage equality sparking outrage from fans, the launching of a petition to remove his contribution from the anthology and a number of stores announcing that they would not stock the print collection featuring his Superman tale.
“It took a lot of thought to come to this conclusion, but I’ve decided to step back as the artist on this story,” Sprouse said in a statement. “The media surrounding this story reached the point where it took away from the actual work, and that’s something I wasn’t comfortable with. My relationship with DC Comics remains as strong as ever and I look forward to my next project with them.”
Sprouse’s exit means Card’s “Superman” story will no longer appear in the first collected print issue released May 29. The issue will instead feature a story by Jeff Parker and Chris Samnee, one by Jeff Lemire and a final tale by Justin Jordan and Riley Rossmo.
DC is currently looking for a replacement illustrator for Card’s story, releasing the following statement in regard to Sprouse’s move:
“We fully support, understand and respect Chris’s decision to step back from his Adventures of Superman assignment. Chris is a hugely talented artist, and we’re excited to work with him on his next DC Comics project. In the meantime, we will re-solicit the story at a later date when a new artist is hired.”