Apple has rejected issue #10 of Jason Aaron and Jason Latour's Image Comics series Southern Bastards from its store, and odds are it isn't because of Latour's widely shared essay about the Confederate flag in its back matter.

The likely reason is an explicit sex scene that opens the issue. In virtually every previous case of Apple rejecting specific issues of comics, it's been over sexual content, not language or violence. (The one possible exception is the Johnny Ryan library of comics. It's hard to know where the offense was there.)

The best-known case is likely Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona StaplesSaga #12 being rejected back in 2013, though that actually turned out to be a pre-emptive move on Comixology's part. Apple has also rejected quite a few issues of Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky's Sex Criminals. Apple also notoriously rejected the LGBTQ anthology No Straight Lines.

Aaron announced the Southern Bastards ban with this tweet Thursday:


ComicsAlliance contacted Aaron for further comment. We asked if he believed the sex scene was the reason for the ban. Here's what he said:

 

Yeah, I'm sure that's why it was rejected. Not surprising really, given the other comics that have been rejected in the past. And not something I'll lose any sleep over. The issue is still readily available through the Image site or the Comixology site or of course your local comic shop.

 

And, you know, it doesn't seem like the ban really hurt Saga's sales all that much.

One might argue that, with recent controversies in mind and other actions on Apple's part, Confederate flag imagery could have been the reason for the rejection --- the lead character in the new issue, Esaw Goings, has the stars and bars tattooed on his arm. However, it would be particularly strange to choose issue #10 as the place to do that, since it also contains the Latour essay that says, "it's time for the Rebel flag to disappear."