By Mark Russell (Writer), Richard Pace (Artist), Leonard Kirk (Finisher), Andy Troy (Colorist), Rob Steen (Letterer). Created by Mark Russell and Richard Pace.
Many of you may be aware of the controversy surrounding Second Coming: it's a modern story about Jesus and it involves a superhero. Okay maybe it doesn't sound so controversial, but I assure you it was! Originally set to be released by Vertigo in March, the book made its way to Ahoy Comics and found quite possibly the best home it could. I've said many times how amazing a publisher Ahoy is, with titles like Captain Ginger, The Wrong Earth, and Hashtag: Danger, this fledgling comic company is proving to be a force to be reckoned with. I think Second Coming has truly cemented the label as one of the best publishers on the market.
Russell and Pace have set out to tell a story about Jesus in today's world. It sounds like it could be cliche; but it's not. Retelling most of the Old and New Testament, Russell uses his tongue-in-cheek exposition to explain Judeo-Christianity as a whole. (You see where it could be seen as controversial?) The Almighty, after millennia with human beings, is fed up and decides to give up on his creation. Eventually, his one and only son wants to give it a shot; he inserts himself into the world and... you know the rest. After his son's failed attempt at bringing some semblance of balance to the world, some 2,000 years later, the Heavenly Father is enamored with a superhero named Sunstar. He decides this superhuman would be a good influence on his child and so commands him to be Jesus' roommate and to show him the ropes, so to speak. And that's the beginning of one of the funniest, most poignant books about to hit the stands.
This book got a lot of press. It's controversial! Jesus and a superhero?! Needless to say I've been waiting for it; I had my local comic shop put it on my pull list months ago, before I knew it was getting a new publisher. Not only does it live up to the hype, it far exceeds any of my expectations. Russell pens a story of what salvation means, what we as humans have been and what we have become. There's a lot to unpack in the writing and I don't want to spoil any of it here; you need to read it and let it gestate. It's the most thought-provoking book you'll pick up this week if not for several weeks.
Pace's art is a mix of Frank Quietly and classic illustrations of biblical times. Every scene, every expression is deliberate. I had to do double takes on some of the pages, in awe at how good it was. The final product vis-a-vis Kirk and Troy make for some of not just the most aesthetically pleasing I've seen, but so visceral it makes you feel for the characters. Steen's lettering allows each page to flow perfectly one after the other so that the story never misses a beat.
Second Coming lives up to all its hype; it's funny, it makes you think, and it's a pleasure to look at. I implore you to pick up a copy. You will not be disappointed. I have a feeling this one will sell out, so if it's not on your pull list, make sure to get to your local comic shop early!