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Preview: Second Coming: Only Begotten Son #6

SECOND COMING: ONLY BEGOTTEN SON #6

(W) Mark Russell
(A) Richard Pace, Leonard Kirk
(C) Richard Pace
October 13, 2021
$3.99

SEASON FINALE of the book The Hollywood Reporter calls “a surprisingly subtle and sensitive exploration of faith, hero worship, and the way both exist in today’s popular culture.” Stung by a painful failure, Jesus contemplates quitting Earth and moving back to Heaven. Meanwhile, an old enemy attacks Sunstar as Sheila goes into labor.

All AHOY titles feature bonus prose stories and illustrations.

SECOND COMING: ONLY BEGOTTEN SON #6

Preview: Second Coming: Begotten Son #3

Second Coming: Begotten Son #3

(W) Mark Russell
(A) Richard Pace, Leonard Kirk
Cover: Richard Pace
July 21, 2021
$3.99

The CEO of a religious-themed business tries to pull Jesus into his operation; an ancient church relic incites greed through the ages; Sunstar fears for his unborn son.

Also featuring illustrated bonus stories in the AHOY tradition.

Second Coming: Begotten Son #3

Last Day to Save with the Ahoy Comics Sale!

Today is the last day to save on Ahoy Comics with the Ahoy Comics Sale! There are 105 releases on sale now from the publisher on comiXology so now’s a great time to check out a new series.

Collections are 50% off with single issues just $0.99.

It’s a great opportunity to check out The Wrong Earth, Second Coming, Ash & Thorn, Billionaire Island, Captain Ginger, and more!

The sale ends today, so hurry!

The Wrong Earth

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Preview: Second Coming: Only Begotten Son #2

SECOND COMING: ONLY BEGOTTEN SON #2

(W) Mark Russell
(A) Richard Pace, Leonard Kirk
(C): Richard Pace
February 17, 2021
$3.99

Chaos, weirdness, and corndogs reign when Jesus innocently stumbles into Bible Safari, a profit-squeezing amusement park that trades in his image. Meanwhile, Sunstar gets some disturbing news about his earthly foster-grandmother. Later, Jesus stands to recruit a new disciple—if he can inspire said disciple to keep on living! Also featuring illustrated bonus stories in the AHOY tradition.

SECOND COMING: ONLY BEGOTTEN SON #2

Preview: Second Coming: Only Begotten Son #1

SECOND COMING: ONLY BEGOTTEN SON #1

(W) Mark Russell
(A) Richard Pace, Leonard Kirk
Cover: Richard Pace
December 16, 2020
$3.99

“The world’s most dangerous comic book and the most lovely” (Comics Beat) returns for a new six-issue series, by superstar writer Mark Russell (Batman: Gotham Nights, The Wonder Twins) and artists Richard Pace and Leonard Kirk. The infant Sunstar will grow up to fulfill his destiny as Earth’s most powerful superhero and roommate to Jesus Christ—but first, he and his parents must endure the mundane and the tedious on the last night of the doomed planet Zirconia.

All AHOY comics feature extra prose stories and illustrations.

SECOND COMING: ONLY BEGOTTEN SON #1

AHOY Comics Announces New Comics and more Second Coming and Wrong Earth

AHOY Comics has announced its fifth wave of new titles to be published this fall and winter. The jam-packed line-up builds on AHOY’s tendency to tackle serious topics with their signature off-kilter humor. Readers will recoil from the brutal “Joy Police” in the brand new dystopian work Happy Hour from Peter Milligan and Michael Montenat; return to the world of Second Coming as Jesus and his roomie Sunstar deal with science denial and mass extinction; and pity Penultiman, the highly anticipated superhero title by Tom Peyer and Alan Robinson that questions what exactly humanity is evolving towards. Rounding out the list is a second season of smash hit The Wrong Earth, where sunny Dragonflyman and his dark reflection Dragonfly finally meet face to face, and a fresh season of boozy literary parodies under an all-new name—Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood—which will now feature a different cover artist each month, starting with the legendary Jill Thompson.

AHOY’s Wave 5 includes:

PENULTIMAN #1

Ship date: 7 October 2020
Author(s): Tom Peyer  
Artist(s): Alan Robinson
Cover Artist(s): Alan Robinson, Jamal Igle

Back from the future—again! Penultiman, The Next-To-Last-Stage In Human Evolution, is the greatest, best-looking, and most admired super-hero in the world! So how can he stop hating himself? His android understudy, Antepenultiman, thinks he knows the answer! Created by Tom Peyer (THE WRONG EARTH) and Alan Robinson (PLANET OF THE NERDS). Featuring a variant cover by Jamal Igle (THE WRONG EARTH, Black). Resolicited from the Plague Times – all previous orders have been cancelled.

EDGAR ALLAN POE’S SNIFTER OF BLOOD #1

Ship Date: 21 October 2020
Authors: Paul Cornell, Dean Motter
Artists: Russ Braun, Dean Motter
Cover Artist: Jill Thompson

The SNIFTER OF TERROR returns with an all-star snark-fest under a bloody new title! Paul Cornell (Doctor Who) and Russell Braun (The Boys) reimagine Poe’s “Black Cat”––as a dog! In “Atlas Shrugged” (no relation), Mr. X creator Dean Motter settles science vs. religion once and for all! Plus: prose, pix, and a cover by Scary Godmother’s Jill Thompson!

EDGAR ALLAN POE'S SNIFTER OF BLOOD #1

HAPPY HOUR #1

Ship date: 4 November 2020
Author: Peter Milligan 
Artist: Michael Montenat
Cover Artist: Michael Montenat

In future America, being happy isn’t just a right—it’s the law. While the Joy Police brutally enforce the cheery code, two young people go on the run, searching for a haven of melancholy where they can safely bask in the blues.  

HAPPY HOUR #1

SECOND COMING: ONLY BEGOTTEN SON #1

Ship date: 16 December 2020
Author: Mark Russell
Artists: Richard Pace, Leonard Kirk
Cover artist: Richard Pace

The savior and the superhero return for a new round of shared adventures­­––but first we turn back time to witness the interplanetary origin of Sunstar! Warning: portrays science denial, mass extinction, and real estate sales!

SECOND COMING: ONLY BEGOTTEN SON #1

THE WRONG EARTH: NIGHT & DAY #1

Ship date: 6 January 2021
Author(s): Tom Peyer  
Artist(s): Jamal Igle, Juan Castro
Cover Artist(s): Jamal Igle

The stars of THE WRONG EARTH and DRAGONFLY & DRAGONFLYMAN return! Racing to prevent identical catastrophes that threaten the separate earths they inhabit, gritty Dragonfly and his campy doppelganger Dragonflyman follow the clues to a third earth, where they at last come face-to-face!

THE WRONG EARTH: NIGHT & DAY #1

Preview: Second Coming Vol. 1

Second Coming Vol. 1

(W) Mark Russell (A) Leonard Kirk (A/CA) Richard Pace
In Shops: Feb 26, 2020
SRP: $19.99

The book everyone’s talking about, by award-winning writer Mark Russell (Wonder Twins, The Flintstones) and artist Richard Pace (Pitt, New Warriors) …now in one volume! God commands Earth’s mightiest superhero, Sunstar, to accept Jesus as his roommate and teach him how to use power more forcefully. Jesus, shocked at the way humans have twisted his message over two millennia, vows to straighten them out. Collects Second Coming #1-6.

Second Coming Vol. 1

Review: Second Coming #6

Second Coming #6

Second Coming #6 channels The Last Temptation of Christ and Superfriends and is a solid season finale despite the occasional whiplash in tone from funny and satirical to earnest to maybe serious. Mark Russell, Richard Pace, Leonard Kirk, and Andy Troy spin the story of Sunstar’s wedding and Jesus’ final showdown with Satan that may have some people of faith have similar reactions as some Superman fans did to the ending of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel.

The best part of this comic and probably of the whole miniseries is how Russell and Pace riff on how Jesus, God the Father, and Satan are portrayed in both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. (My favorite one is Jesus’ reaction to the writings of St. Paul.) With callbacks to changing water to wine, the Last Supper, and even Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac, the interrogate the nature of faith as well as the temptations of money and power that Jesus rejected according to the New Testament narrative. Pace’s scratchy inks and sepia color palette versus the cleaner lines, bright colors, and classical proportions of Kirk and Troy’s art in the Sunstar scenes create tension and doubt in these flashbacks.

Russell sometimes undercuts this by going for the easy, obvious joke (i.e. his description of circumcision), but from his work on the page and in the letters column, he seems to have a desire to grapple with the relationship between faith and religion, Instead of going the route of Christian philosopher Soren Kierkegaard and seeing Abraham as a “knight of faith”, Russell and Pace point out the absurdity of his actions and especially the naivete of Isaac, who despite being a teenager, lets his father kill because God “said so”.

However, there is a positive side to this dig as Jesus shares with his new “followers” that they need to think carefully about what they choose to trust and believe and not just blindly do something or follow someone because they think a higher power told them to. Pace is great at showing the quick reactions to these ideas from Jesus’ new followers, who have a knee jerk reaction instead of listening and asking questions. Then, Leonard Kirk and Andy Troy jump back in when Sunstar comes to save the day to show the futility of the outwardly heroic, yet inwardly flawed superhero to bail him out. Jesus has to make a sacrifice, and in Second Coming, he makes an ideological one that raised the stakes higher than any crucifixion/resurrection redux or superhero slugfest.

Speaking of superheroes, these elements are the weakest in Second Coming, and the conspiracy theorist in me thinks that they were inserted to make the pitch more initially palatable to DC Comics/Vertigo. The superhero genre is so well-trodden, and Russell, Pace, Kirk, and Troy don’t really break new ground with Sunstar’s struggle to balance relationships with crime fighting. However, earlier issues created a nice contrast between Jesus’ pacifism and Sunstar’s violence. Russell and Pace unfortunately don’t have Jesus and Sunstar after Jesus gives into violence in the conclusion of Second Coming and just have him and Sheila be Jesus and God’s bowling partners. It’s a fun joke, but shows that the superhero part of Second Coming was just kind of there and didn’t really enhance the narrative except for the aforementioned visual contrast or a joke or two.

The final sequence of Second Coming #6 is both profound and banal. There are a few more fun jokes like God sucking at bowling and the “+” of the pregnancy looking like a cross. Russell and Pace are also trying to create some kind of meaning out of Jesus choosing to be a killer and not a martyr and land on “You messed up. There will be a fresh start next day/bowling frame.” There is a dark layer of irony to these statements because they’re delivered by God, who basically took this approach to the Earth and its inhabitants during Noah’s flood and was about to destroy the world again if Jesus was killed by modern humans. There’s a whole “I’m all powerful. I don’t give a shit.” attitude air to the gestures and body language that Richard Pace gives whereas Jesus is much more tense, angsty, and heavily inked. Life goes on, and there are no consequences. Oh, and look, here’s a miracle baby for the “faithful” Sheila and Sunstar because that’s something I’ve done in the past.

Second Coming #6 is a comic that is both entertaining and attempts at wrestling with the big questions in life, and Mark Russell, Richard Pace, Leonard Kirk, and Andy Troy succeed at the first part more than the second one. However, there’s also a level of humility to not trying to wrap up a tale of gods and humans, faith and doubt in an easily packaged takeaway. Just like God’s bowling game and metaphor, humans are flawed and messed up, but we have our moments and can find friendship and community like Jesus did with his superhero roommate in Second Coming.

Story: Mark Russell Art: Richard Pace with Leonard Kirk
Colors: Andy Troy Letters: Rob Steen
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.3 Recommendation: Read

Ahoy Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Undiscovered Country #3

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Bloodshot #5 (Valiant) – We’re excited for the movie and the new volume has been a lot of fun. Hop on the bandwagon now!

Green Lantern Legacy (DC Comics) – DC has been knocking it out of the park with their graphic novels for younger readers. We’re excited to see what this new takes on the Green Lantern myth is like.

Hellboy Winter Special 2019 (Dark Horse) – Hellboy is always a fun comic and the one-shot “winter specials” are always a good read to pick up and enjoy.

Iron Man 2020 #1 (Marvel) – Tony Stark is “dead” and Arno has taken over as Marvel looks to the rise of the robots in this mini-event to kick of 2020.

James Bond #2 (Dynamite Entertainment) – The first issue was good but odd as a James Bond story. Still, the theft of art is a new situation for the government agent and where this all goes has us interested in this one.

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #2 (DC Comics/DC Black Label) – One of the best comics to come out of DC Black Label so far. It’s quality in both storytelling and art.

Rai #3 (Valiant) – This is one of the best new series out there right now. Each issue has been amazing.

Rising Sun #1 (IDW Publishing) – Another popular board game gets a comic adaptation. It’s always interesting to see what direction these go in. As board game fans, we’re excited.

Second Coming #6 (AHOY Comics) – The first volume wraps up in this smart look at religion and hero worship.

Undiscovered Country #3 (Image Comics) – The first two issues of this series have been a wild ride. We’re excited to find out more about this isolated future America and what it’s warped in to. This is going down the rabbit hole to find a Mad Max world of possibility.

Logan’s Favorite Comics of 2019

2019 was an interesting year for me comics-wise as I did not get to read as widely or deeply as I liked because of a variety of factors, including my final two semesters of graduate school, working two library jobs (Where ordering and promoting comics were part of my duties.), and an impending move. Also, I decided to catch up on some “classic” comics like Miracleman, Ghost in the Shell, Junji Ito‘s Tomie, and most of Brian Michael Bendis‘ and Michael Oeming‘s Powers, and Gail Simone‘s run on Secret Six.

However, I did have the opportunity to read some fantastic comics in 2019 as two of my favorite series of all time reached their conclusion. I also branched out a little bit, and this is the first time my year-end list has featured books from Ahoy and Harper Collins as well as a self-published comic.

Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion

10. Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion (Dark Horse)

Gerard Way, Gabriel Bá, and Nick Filardi‘s Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion is as wild and anarchic as the Netflix show was tame and Muggle-friendly. Hotel Oblivion is a love letter to Silver Age supervillains while actually taking time to deal with the relationships between the Hargreaves siblings. Bá and Filardi’s visuals are a chaos magic-shaped bullet to the head and especially sings in the world and city-rending set pieces towards the end of the miniseries that I read in trade paperback format.

Dreamers of the Day

9. Dreamers of the Day (Self-published)

Ned Barnett‘s self-published graphic memoir-meets-historical biography Dreamers of the Day is one of the most unique comics I’ve read in recent years. It chronicles the author’s trip to England as he conducts research on a graphic biography about T.E. Lawrence aka Lawrence of Arabia and is educational while being emotionally compelling. If there’s one word to describe this comic, it is “enthusiastic” as Barnett’s passion for making art, studying history, and making it relevant to contemporary readers shines through in his iconic, Herge-esque art style and accessible prose.

Winter Soldier

8. Winter Soldier #2-5 (Marvel)

Kyle Higgins and Rod Reis create a redemptive narrative for the sidekick-turned assassin-turned superhero and occasional black ops agent, Bucky Barnes in their Winter Soldier miniseries. The comic’s beating heart is the flawed relationship between Bucky and RJ, a child assassin, that Bucky sees a lot of himself in. There is both humor and tragedy in their interactions. Reis’ lush pencils to color art style works for both the emotional breakdowns and action beatdowns.

Steeple

7. Steeple #1-4 (Dark Horse)

The fantastic John Allison (Giant Days) both writes and draws this miniseries about an Anglican priest in training named Billie, who is assigned to a parish in the kooky village of Tredregyn, Cornwall. Steeple has an “anything but the kitchen sink” tone as its plots include fights against sea monsters, a charismatic Christian cult connected to windmills, and an ongoing conflict against the Church of Satan. (Billie also strikes up an unlikely friendship with the Satanic priestess, Maggie.) Allison mines a lot of humor out of the idiosyncrasies of different religions and small town life as well as the melodrama of good versus evil, and his art is expressive as always with the help of colorist Sarah Stern.

Second Coming

6. Second Coming #1-5 (Ahoy)

Speaking of religious satire, Mark Russell, Richard Pace, Leonard Kirk, and Andy Troy do an excellent job of showing how the historical figure Jesus would be received in the modern world with the twist of having an “edgy” superhero named Sunstar as a roommate. Beginning with a retelling of the creation of the world, Russell and Pace walk a tightrope between reverence and irreverence touching on a variety of issues, including megachurches, homophobia, and Pauline theology. Another enjoyable part of Second Coming is Leonard Kirk’s inking when the story decides to be a traditional superhero comic for a second, or there’s a flashback to Satan tempting Jesus as he plays a complex role in the narrative.

Once and Future

5. Once and Future #1-5 (BOOM! Studios)

I knew Kieron Gillen, Dan Mora, and Tamra Bonvillain‘s Once and Future would be my cup of tea when it featured Arthurian legends and the town of Bath where I studied abroad in summer 2014 as plot points as well as having a complicated relationship between a grandmother and grandson at its core. Once and Future is action-packed read steeped in Arthurian lore with dynamic art from Mora and a mystical color palette from Bonvillain. It’s a straightforward adventure/dysfunctional family/romance comic that also plays with the symbols (Excalibur, Holy Grail etc.) and tropes of these kinds of stories, and I’m glad that it’s an ongoing and not just a mini.

Giant Days

4. Giant Days #46-54, As Time Goes By (BOOM! Studios)

Esther, Daisy, and Susan finally go their separate ways in the final issues of John Allison, Max Sarin, and Whitney Cogar‘s Giant Days plus a reunion one-shot where Daisy and Susan tag-team and rescue Esther from the clutches of Type A London publishing types. The final year of Giant Days had a lot of pathos to go with its usual comedy with several issues focusing on the strained relationship between Susan’s boyfriend McGraw and his father and his reaction to his sudden death. There is also all the usual college shenanigans with moments of reflection to show that these women have come a long way from randomly sharing a room back in far off 2015.

House of X and Powers of X

3. House of X #1-6, Powers of X #1-6 (Marvel)

In their ambitious twelve-issue House of X/Powers of X “event”, Jonathan Hickman, R.B. Silva, and Pepe Larraz made the X-Men relevant again thanks to a heavy dose of speculative fiction, geopolitics, and good old fashioned superhero soap opera. Hickman gave B-list characters like Goldballs, Doug Ramsey, and of course, Moira MacTaggert and the sentient island of Krakoa pivotal roles in his story of a rise of a mutant nation as well as the usual suspects like Magneto, Professor X, the Summers family, Jean Grey, and Emma Frost. He created a fantastic sandbox for these fan-favorite characters to play in as well as leaving some intrigue open for the spinoff stories. (The whole Moira X thing, Kitty Pryde being unable to enter Krakoa, Apocalypse and Sinister’s intentions.) I haven’t been this excited to read the X-Books as a line since Jason Aaron and Kieron Gillen were writing Wolverine and the X-Men and Uncanny X-Men respectively. Plus the Hickman designed diagrams add great depth to the story and area visual treat.

New Kid

2. New Kid (HarperCollins)

New Kid is a middle-grade graphic novel by cartoonist Jerry Craft that was recommended to me by my supervisor at the public library I worked at. Itis about an African-American teenager named Jordan, who transfers from a diverse public middle school to a less diverse private one. Over the course of the book, Craft fleshes out Jordan and his relationships with his old friends from his neighborhood to his new ones at the private school as he navigates playing soccer, racial microaggressions, crushes, and bonding over art and video games. The comic deftly navigates race and class issues while being an enjoyable slice of life story with Craft adding some fun visual flourishes like making the title page of each chapter a pop culture homage. New Kid‘s clear storytelling and a relatable storyline about not fitting in at a new school make it a book that I would recommend to kids and adults, comics and non-comics readers.

The Wicked + The Divine

1. The Wicked + the Divine #41-45 (Image)

Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matthew Wilson really stuck the landing in the final arc of The Wicked + the Divine, which was titled “Okay” and followed the surviving Pantheon members as they gave up divinity and lived normal lives. Basically, they grew up, and so did I. The last issues of WicDiv are peppered with powerful moments as Gillen and McKelvie connect flashbacks of the millennia past to the Pantheon’s reality and let Ananke/Minerva be a manipulator, Luci be wicked, Baal be a protector, and Laura be human one last time. The final issue is an epilogue set in the future and filled with love and emotion with McKelvie and Wilson nailing the look of the elderly, former Pantheon members. It’s sad to see WicDiv go, but it had a beautiful ending and was my favorite comic, both of 2019 and of the decade as a whole.

Almost American
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