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Controversial Orson Scott Card Superman comic delayed after artist steps down

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Man of Steel
Man of Steel

A planned story from Orson Scott Card will no longer open DC's new Adventures of Superman series after artist Chris Sprouse withdrew from the project. Adventures of Superman was set to open in April with a two-chapter story from Card, who is best remembered for Ender's Game and previously wrote an Iron Man miniseries for Marvel. But Card's selection drew harsh criticism: he's known for several anti-gay editorials and is a board member of the National Organization for Marriage, a political group that opposes same-sex marriage.

While DC backed Card, The Beat and others report that Sprouse stepped down after protest of the comic. "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," he said in a statement. DC responded that "we support, understand, and respect" the decision, and Sprouse will likely start work on another project soon.

"The media surrounding this story reached the point where it took away from the actual work."

Card's story hasn't been canceled, but Sprouse's departure means it will no longer run in the Adventures of Superman debut. It will be replaced by pieces from, among others, Sweet Tooth author Jeff Lemire. "We will re-solicit the story at a later date when a new artist is hired," DC writes. Though the controversy over Card being given the rights to an American icon likely isn't over, moving his work back from its position as series opener could give it a lower profile.

Update: Our original piece said Card's Ultimate Iron Man had been written for DC, which is obviously untrue. We regret the carnage that has likely resulted.