After so much controversy, Second Coming #1 is finally here. The series sees Jesus sent to Earth by his father to learn from a superhero Sunstar. Part comedy, part homage, part exploration of religion, the first issue delivers on expectations.
The comic opens taking us through history and God’s interaction with humans. From Adam and Eve to Jesus’ resurrection, we get a quick look at how things went so wrong.
Created by Mark Russell and Richard Pace, the comic is an entertaining look at religion and superheroes without fear of pushing buttons for either. We’re presented with a rather naive Jesus and a father frustrated with his creation.
What’s interesting though is the lack of any real controversy. The truly religious will recognize Jesus depiction not as mockery but as a focus on his real message of love and healing. Then there’s Sunstar, a punch first ask questions later superhero from another world. The two together deliver a juxtaposition of philosophy and action. And how the two must deal with the evil that is mankind is one of the more interesting aspects.
Russell and Pace give us a modern debate as to the best course of action. Is punching and violence the way to defeat evil? Is listening, compassion, and love the way to go? They present their debate in an over the top method that brings humor to it all and keeps it from being a bit too serious. This culminates in the first issue with Sunstar going after counterfeiters of a Pokemon-like game and dispensing with extreme justice.
The art of Second Coming #1 is solid with a style that shifts depending on the time period. Pace’s art, with “Earth pages” finished by Leonard Kirk and colored by Andy Troy delivers a comic that shifts in tone visually. The scenes in Heaven or the past have a more serious aspect about them. The superheroics have a more comedic look with over the top violence. There are also small details that bring about the humor as readers are forced to pay attention to entire panels to get every joke. It’s a comic that uses the art to deliver a second and third laugh beyond the obvious initial one. The lettering by Rob Steen also enhances the situation giving us a more wrath of God feel when appropriate with a simple switch of style.
As with AHOY Comics, we’re also presented with a prose story by Stuart Moore featuring art by Cayetano Valenzuela. While there’s not really a thematic connection between it and the main comic, it feels like the added bonus we’ve come to expect from this publisher. It’s a value-add and even without it, the comic would be a must get.
In reality, Second Coming #1 is much to do about nothing when it comes to the protests against it. The blasphemy isn’t there. Russell continues his dissection of religion, boiled down to the basics, we’ve seen from him before. It’s an interesting debut that entertains and makes you think and definitely will have you coming back for more.
Story: Mark Russell, Stuart Moore
Art: Richard Pace, Cayetano Valenzuela
Finisher: Leonard Kirk Color: Andy Troy Letterer: Rob Steen
Story: 8.15 Art: 8.15 Overall: 8.15 Recommendation: Buy
AHOY Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review