Comics Creators

CHOSEN comic/tpb censorship - self imposed?


Loved CHOSEN (American Jesus) since it came out! Grew up at the same time - just a great concept - eagerly awaiting the sequels like everyone else.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way - my son noticed by chance while flipping through the IMAGE COMICS reprint trade paperback he ended up on this page…

In the original Dark Horse printing of the comic - the dialogue was a LOT more disturbing so this stood out to him as being ‘wrong’ - sure enough when I checked my originals we had gotten -

so was this some self imposed censorship by Mark deciding it was a little bit too disturbing - or did IMAGE require the change?

Just curious!

–John Robinson
10 shops in Illinois/Wisconsin


I believe it’s been stated previously that the changes were made so that the tone and content of the ending lined up better with what is planned for the forthcoming sequel(s).


Yes it was self imposed. You’ll find most of Mark’s books these days only have a fraction of the bad language compared to previous works. Mark’s written before that he feels the zeitgeist changed 4-5 years ago so the violence and language of Wanted, Kick Ass and Nemesis have been replaced with a different style in Superior, Huck, Empress, Chrononauts, Starlight and so on. I think it’s pretty interesting to see writers change their style so much, in Mark’s case anticipating a change in the tone of the industry.


I think both of you are correct, no?

I remember thinking the ending was shocking and powerful in its time but it did fit more nicely in an era when it was sharing shelf space with stuff like Preacher, The Boys, and the first couple LOEG books.


It’s been interesting to see recent stuff get toned down a bit between single issues and collections too. The first issues of both Superior and Jupiter’s Legacy both feature language that was softened slightly when they were reprinted in their collected editions. I wonder if it’s a case of tailoring the material to slightly different audiences.

(In the case of Superior, especially, I think it was a good move, given the all-ages appeal of the book.)


No way? What got changed in Jupiter’s Legacy?


Only a small thing that I remember, but the “well, screw you” scene from the first chapter in the TPB had a… stronger word in the middle in the single issue.


Huh. How intriguing.
I’m not criticising any creator for doing it either. It’s just interesting to note the instances where it does. My problems only come when the decision doesn’t come from the creators, like Marvel censoring Miracleman.


When the TPB originally came out, Mark said the change was made due to changes he made to the later part of the story that required Chris to be a virgin.


And it’s not like Chosen is a nasty book overall. That was a throwaway line that came out of the blue and didn’t really fit everything else in the book.


We will now censor all the posts for not using the new title of the book :wink:


I mean, it would make the transition to Real HeySoos a lot more jarring.


I dunno. I liked the last page of Wanted when the balloon said “This is my face when I tell you I love you, little cuddly-bunny!”

Such a sweet ending!


I always liked the suggestion that this song should be used for the film.