Image Comics censored the cover of issue number four of Divided States of Hysteria. The cover has been replaced with the one from Divided States of Hysteria #6 to compensate for the change. The company also issued a public apology about the cover.
The ire from Social Justice Warriors took shape on Twitter, where various outspoken individuals who adhere to enacting social justice — such as working to “smash the patriarchy” — rallied their followers to attack Image Comics and denounce the cover for issue #4 of Divided States of Hysteria.
if you’re just catching wind of the new Divided States of Hysteria cover, please do not seek it out. it’s disgusting, vile, and horrific
— THE HYEROPHANT (@explodinghye) June 30, 2017
— The Mary Sue (@TheMarySue) June 30, 2017
1) About the lynching cover Chaykin did for the 4th issue of “Divided States of Hysteria”… it’s the cheapest of cheap racist shock.
— Barry makes comics (@barrydeutsch) June 30, 2017
https://t.co/jVWOVJurKt things are only getting worse with just the COVERS to #3. Disgusting. Comic folks, speak up.
— MJ (@hellotinymegan) June 30, 2017
The cover art was created by Howard Chaykin, and it depicts a colored Pakistani man with a racial slur on his name tag. He’s lynched outside of a store hanging over a sign that reads “Free Happy Ending With Any Homestyle Meal”. His genitals have been sliced off and his pants pulled down around his ankles.
Following the controversy from Social Justice Warriors over the weekend, Bleeding Cool spotted an apology from Image Comics and Howard Chaykin on July 1st, 2017 posted over on the official Image Comics website. The company and Chaykin issued an apology for upsetting SJWs on social media, writing…
“Image Comics and Howard Chaykin would like to apologize over the distress caused by the cover to THE DIVIDED STATES OF HYSTERIA #4.
“It’s neither Howard’s nor Image’s intention to inflict pain on anyone already dealing with intolerance or hostility on a personal level. We ALL agree that any form of bigotry is wrong, and this comic exists due to anger and frustration over rapidly escalating injustice in a world filled with people too quick to judge others on the basis of their race, religion, or gender association.
“The purpose of this series is to sound alarms. THE DIVIDED STATES OF HYSTERIA is a comic book about the terrifying future we are heading for if our country remains on its current path.”
Image is set apart from the mainstream juggernauts of Marvel and DC. They had an opportunity to court the fringe comic book reader with something off the cuff, but the cover of the mutilated man caused hysteria within the social justice community after catching wind of the cover.
The cover image for Divided States of Hysteria #4 now features the image from Divided States of Hysteria #6 – a mundane flock of attack drones led by an American Eagle.
Howard Chaykin also drew the cover image for issue #6.
According to Image Comics they wanted to be provocative but also keep in mind the sensitivity of their readership, writing…
“While Image as a company is committed to free speech and artistic expression, we also recognize our responsibility to be sensitive to all members of our readership. We listen to all feedback—from our creators, from our retailer partners, from our readers—but Image Comics recognizes that we could have responded to readers’ concerns about the graphic nature of this cover more quickly and with more empathy and understanding. We apologize for not doing so sooner.”
Those looking to pick up the new comic will now find that the Divided States of Hysteria #4 will have a new and more tame cover to suit the sensibilities of the online social justice crowd.