Second Coming #4 was out last week from AHOY Comics, continuing the ‘controversial’ story of Jesus’s return to Earth. The 20th century may have given us Superman and Muhammed Ali, but this century we’ve got arguably the greatest team-up of them all; Jesus and Sunstar! Or, rather it would be the greatest team-up, if Jesus wasn’t incarcerated and sharing his cell with someone suffering with mental illnesses. But, that’s not the problem. With a sunny disposition and naivety prison really isn’t the best of places for the son of God, especially when confronted by a Neo-Nazi fellow inmate. Probably not the best place to be a pacifist.
But, still, in giving Jesus a cellmate, it allows him to deliver his teaching undiluted by others’ interferences and in doing so, gives Mark Russell’s the opportunity to reflect on those who took his words and record them as the New Testament centuries ago. Badly, it would seem. Jesus cannot get over not only how badly his words were regurgitated by other after his death (‘Once you’re dead you sort of lose the right to speak for yourself, so everyone else gets to speaks for you. Whether you asked them to or not,” he muses) or how his teachings have been sued by Empire builders, since the time of the Roman Empire and Emperor Constantine’s conversion to his teachings and the establishment of the Roman Catholic Church, which has so much to answer for in using Christ’s works as a weapon in it’s Empire building just as much as any sword or spear. Christ good. Colonialism bad.
All the while, Sunstar and colleagues hatch a plan to break him out of prison. Thinking like a typical superhero too, with an overly elaborate plan that is not necessarily needed. It’s these monuments fo comedy that help in the delivery of the more deeper, theological issues Russell embeds into the overall story arc and it’s what makes the book a must-read for me. Comedic, yet challenging. Each issue encourages you to reflect on what is being explored, making this a book you may well consider long after you’ve bagged and boarded it.
Once again art duties are divided between Richard Pace and Leonard Kirk, with the former taking on Jesus while Kirk illustrates Sunstar’s travails. While Pace’s art seems more rushed than in previous issue, Kirk’s in comparison seem more polished. Although, Pace does have a more sketchier, looser style which really work best on the last page reveal and one very cool looking… well, I’ll let you find out, but needless to say, it’ll make for a very interesting conversation next issue.
This issue is, as ever, rounded off by a series of short prose pieces that really turn this comic into something much more, as all the AHOY Comics’s offerings do. These additional pieces are always welcomed and continue to show other publishers what comics are capable of doing, alongside the capes and cowls. Or, in the case of Second Coming, spandex and sandals.
Second Coming #4 is out now from AHOY Comics