The newly-released cover depicts a Pakistani man hanging from a noose, his genitals mutilated, and what appears to be a name tag on his shirt seemingly bearing a racial slur.
(Thanks to THR for that last part, which we had missed.)
Image Comics, who released the issue along with the rest of its September solicitations earlier in the week, have not commented on the complaints on social media. CBR's Kieran Shiach received a statement that "Image Comics has no comment" in response to an e-mail inquiry.
"The silence from Image creators who actively rely on progressive audiences and claim to be leaders is DEAFENING," tweeted comics reporter Chase Magnett, a frequent contributing writer to ComicBook.com.
In Divided States of Hysteria, the United States finds itself torn apart by a second Civil War, touched off by a terrorist attack that leaves New York in ruins.
The story, which deals with reactionary, violent politics, was written as a response to the rise of Donald Trump, but has so far alienated the American left as often as the right.
Earlier this month, the first issue of the series drew fire for transphobic content, with Kim & Kim writer Magdalene Visaggio calling it out on social media.
At the time, Chaykin defended himself in an essay that attacked, among other things, American liberals, accusing them of allowing reactionary conservatives to come to power by adopting identity politics.
"So now that liberal-center-left narcissism, with a healthy dose of identity politics, has lost the game to right-wing ignorance and hypocrisy-driven rage, and I find myself anticipating a future spent in a live-action dystopia, the book seems almost naively cheerful and filled with hope. Go figure," Chaykin wrote in part.
"Rooted in the worst aspects of reality, this is indignant, rebellious fiction, designed to make readers both angry and uncomfortable," Image Comics President Eric Stephenson said in a statement when the first issue returned to press. "But more than that, it's intended to provoke thought about how and why things have reached a state where the tools for progress — discourse, understanding, cooperation — are shunned in favor of treating anyone with an opposing viewpoint as an enemy combatant."
Chaykin has actively courted controversy in the run-up to the series' release, and the fact that #1 sold well enough to go into second print may be enough to embolden him to continue refusing to comment substantively on criticisms of the book and hope that his audience continues to support it.0comments