There's a lot of fuss right now over the removal of the planned story for Superman #712, out this week, Chris Roberson's original solicited story, replaced by the Kurt Busiek Krypto story, itself subject to repeated removal when originally solicited four years ago.
People having kittens, as it were.
Comics Alliance has run a long article by Chris Sims in which he asks if it has something to do with the appearance of an Islamic superhero, Sharif, in the issue in question. And they run down all the circumstantial evidence backing it up.
However, it's not that at all.
I've spent the evening tracking down sources around the world, people who work at and for DC Comics, and who have all heard a very different, very similar story.
That the story content change in Superman 712 has nothing whatsoever to do with the appearance of Sharif.
And everything to do with the story starting with Superman rescuing a kitten out of a tree. You know, like he does in the Superman movie.
And this caused considerable problems with certain DC executives. They thought it was too corny and heavy-handed, and not the kind of Superman stories they wanted to tell. The kitten up a tree image symbolised for them what was wrong with the Superman books. It became totemic in the office, standing for far more than it could possibly symbolise. It had to go.
That the book also has a lead Islamic superhero character, the kind of thing that does get the attention they like, seems to have passed them by.
And a story that started with a kitten has been replaced by a story starring a dog. I'm wondering if that was Superman editorial trying to make a point.
That DC are not making publishing decisions over islamophobia. They're doing it over kittenophobia instead.
Ridiculous, yes. But I've heard more ridiculous things in similar circumstances from the same company…