Criticism over partnering with Northrop Grumman Corp. led Marvel Entertainment over the weekend to cancel a deal to produce a comic book with the aerospace and defense contractor, according to media reports.

Marvel, owned by Walt Disney Co. in Burbank, said in a statement released Saturday to pop culture website Polygon that the deal with Northrop was meant to focus on aerospace technology and exploration in a positive way.

“However, as the spirit of that intent has not come across, we will not be proceeding with this partnership including this weekend’s event programming,” the company’s statement said. “Marvel and Northrop Grumman continue to be committed to elevating, and introducing, STEM to a broad audience.”

Northrop, based in Falls Church, Va., has a Valley presence with its Navigation Systems division headquartered in Woodland Hills. The company also has a facility in Palmdale for manufacturing the Global Hawk unmanned aircraft.

Marvel and Northrop had planned an event at New York ComicCon for the release of the comic book that featured popular Marvel’s Avenger characters paired with characters wearing Northrop Grumman Elite Nexus mobile suits. The first issue of the comic was made available online and was later pulled following a backlash, according to Polygon.

Online critics, taking to Twitter, chastised Marvel for partnering with Northrop, some of whom characterized the company as “war mongering weapon merchants” that have been portrayed as the villain in Marvel films, specifically “Iron Man,” Polygon reported.