Superman #712 story is cancelled. Yeah you heard right, the story that has been solicited for three months as part of the “Grounded” story arc is canceled , and DC’s only comment on the subject is that:
“This fill in issue contains a lost classic, Lost Boy: A Tale of Krypto the Superdog, set shortly after Superboy died in Infinite Crisis and Superman went missing. DC Comics determined that the previously solicited story did not work within the ‘Grounded’ storyline. However, Chris Roberson, will be back for the final two issues of Superman’s year long walk across America. As we near the conclusion, catch up with Superman next month as he makes stops in Portland and Newberg, OR.”
Now for those of you unfamiliar with planned story for this issue, here is a quick rundown. Superman travels to Los Angeles to help out a shunned new superhero, Sharif, whose Muslim identity makes the public reject his help. Superman challenge for this comic was to see if he could quell a prejudiced people or admit defeat that there are some problems the Man of Steel can’t solve. This interesting topic is relatable to our times and would really hit home with America’s continued prejudice of the Muslim community. Comics Alliance writer, Chris Sims, brings up many valid points on the reasons for this issues cancellation being shady.
Chris Sims on Sharif’s positive origins:
“…the character that was to become Sharif in Superman #712 isn’t a new character, which isn’t a surprise. Throughout his run on the title, Roberson — a lifelong Superman fan — has been bringing back bits of the past to illustrate his points, ranging from the Superwoman of the ’70s to the short-lived “Electric Blue” costume from 1997. Sharif, formerly known as Sinbad, is no exception.”
Chris Sims on exclusive interview with Roberson on his reaction to the pull:
“As much as I look forward to seeing an unpublished Kurt Busiek Superman story, it’s a shame that DC didn’t determine that the story we prepared for Superman 712 didn’t work in the Grounded storyline in time for us to do a different story. As it happened, the Sharif story was included in the outline for the remaining issues of Grounded that I submitted in November. The outline was approved, and in February the issue synopsis that I provided was used to draft the solicitation text, to work up character designs for Sharif (the grown up version of Sinbad from the early 90s), and for cover art to be pencilled, inked, and colored. The script for the issue was accepted in April, and was drawn, inked, and lettered. Unfortunately, when the issue was ready to be sent to the printer in the third week of May I was informed that the decision had been made not to print it.”
Click here to check out Chris Sims full in-depth article on the issues surrounding the pull.
My opinion still stands firm that despite the controversy this issue could have brought about a positive view on the Muslim community then what has been seen in the recent years. This would have made Superman’s statement in Action Comics #900 have some moral weight. He renounced his citizenship because it would allow him to help everyone and not be pawn for the American government to use against other nations. If DC wants to hide behind a fake reason, fine by me. But if the reason to axe this issue is due to not wanting guff for Superman inspiring a young Muslim hero to do good for the world, than what do they really stand for?