Orson Scott Card’s Superman Story Loses Its Artist Amid Controversy

By Nick Venable | Updated


If you’re standing around thinking everyone else is an asshole for not agreeing with you, but you’re the only person in the room, then maybe you’re the asshole. Celebrated science fiction author Orson Scott Card has claimed that room as his own, replacing the boys’ club No Girls Allowed sign with something much more homophobic.

DC’s upcoming Adventures of Superman digital anthology is now missing an artist, as illustrator Chris Sprouse has backed out of his agreement to illustrate the story written by Orson Scott Card, whose bigotry against gay people has brought all of the wrong kinds of attention to the project. We talked last month about how his outspoken views might negatively affect the upcoming Ender’s Game adaptation, but it didn’t even take that long for his negativity to taint his fictional works.

Perhaps he’d return if the online petition calling for Card’s removal from the comic, which currently sits at over 16,600 signatures, sways DC at all. They’ll likely be the only ones to change things, since I doubt Card will be retracting his Mormon Times quote calling homosexuality a “reproductive dysfunction.”

Sprouse said the following in  a prepared statement:

It took a lot of thought to come to this conclusion, but I’ve decided to step back as the artist on this story. 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.

Though Card’s story won’t appear in the first collected issue that will release on May 29th — it’ll be replaced by stories from writers Jeff Parker and Jeff Lemire — DC is still committed, and is looking for a replacement illustrator.

“We fully support, understand and respect Chris’s decision to step back from his Adventures of Superman assignment,” said DC in a statement. “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.”