Last month, the original story planned for Superman #712 was given the axe and replaced with a six year-old fill-in story. Here at ComicsAlliance, I suggested that the last-minute switch was the result of DC being gun-shy about Superman teaming up with a Muslim super-hero in the wake of headline-grabbing controversies spinning out of Action Comics #900 and the recruitment of Nightrunner into Batman Inc. Another explanation came in the form of a truly ludicrous Internet rumor that the story had been killed because of a scene where Superman saved a kitten from a tree.

Well today, Superman #713 hit stands, and opened with a scene where Superman saves a kitten from a tree. We've cropped it for your safety above, but if you aren't faint of heart, you can see the entire controversial scene with an explanation by Superman writer Chris Roberson after the jump.Brace yourselves for shocking kitten-saving action. Those of you with sensitive constitutions may wish to look away, but be warned: pictures of cats are almost impossible to avoid on the Internet.

If the kitten scene was in fact the reason for #712's cancellation -- a manifestly absurd rumor that most people considered laughable to begin with -- then I suppose it's possible to believe that DC relented to the entire Internet rolling their eyes about the idea of the issue getting shelved over a kitten and added it back in.

In reality, though, the facts are these.

According to Chris Roberson, who wrote both Superman #712 and #713, the latter was actually printed the week of June 22 when the controversy (and rumors) arose, and a Krypto fill-in story appeared in place of the original story about a teen Muslim hero confronting anti-Islamic prejudice. All of which means that things were well in place by the time any eyebrows were raised over what was, or more importantly what wasn't in this issue. As Roberson said in an email to ComicsAlliance:

Issue 712 opened with a one page sequence drawn by Allan Goldman of Superman rescuing a little girl's cat in San Gabriel, California. When 712 was pulled from the schedule, it was decided that we still needed to show Superman in San Gabriel because of the contest, and so we simply had Jamal Igle draw the same scene as one of the ones he was already doing for 713.

It's also worth noting that there's a tacit acknowledgement even within the comic itself that something's missing: The issue is still labeled as Chapter 11 of "Grounded," meaning that this is now a story that has no Chapter 10.

Clearly, DC has no problem with Superman saving kittens, and in fact made a conscious decision to include that scene, and only that scene, from the story they cut. With this book on the stands now, there aren't a lot of other explanations for why DC didn't want Superman's team-up with Sharif in their comics, aside from the obvious.

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