Just weeks before release, DC Vertigo has cancelled Second Coming, a religious parody series from writer Mark Russell (God Is Disappointed in You, The Flintstones) and artist Richard Pace (Imaginary Fiends).

Second Coming centers on Jesus Christ, the only son of God, who is sent on a mission to Earth, where he must learn what it takes to become the true messiah by rooming with superhero Sun-Man, the Last Son of Krispex (see “DC Relaunches Vertigo”). The series announcement drew protest from religious groups, and an online petition labeling in “inappropriate” and “blasphemous” garnered more than 230,000 signatures.

DC cancelled orders for the first two issues of the series, which was set to launch on March 6. Russell took to Twitter to make it clear that the decision to pull the series was ultimately his, not the publisher’s. “DC did not do anything untoward to me,” Russell tweeted. “I asked for the rights back and they gracefully agreed.” Russell plans to release the work through another publisher.