Looking at the new comics list for this coming week, I have to say I’m pretty stoked to see PUNK ROCK JESUS there in the DC Comics/Vertigo section. This is a series you’ve surely seen mentioned on the website before (maybe in Shawn’s reviews) and it’s definitely been discussed in the podcast on more than one occasion. I just wanted to give it a special shout in this week’s In Case You Missed It column because A) it’s easily one of the most interesting comics going right now, and B) we got more copies of the first two issues in stock. Here’s the official word on the first issue:
PUNK ROCK JESUS #1 (OF 6)
Written and illustrated by Sean Murphy
The newest reality show hit has the unlikeliest celebrity of all in this new black and white miniseries from writer/artist Sean Murphy (Joe the Barbarian, Off Road)! J2, the TV series starring a clone of Jesus Christ, causes chaos across a near-future United States in Punk Rock Jesus, a new miniseries written and drawn by Sean Murphy, the acclaimed illustrator of Joe the Barbarian and American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest.
J2 causes outrage and adulation. Religious zealots either love or hate the show, angry politicians worry about its influence on the nation, and members of the scientific community fear the implications of cloning a human being at all – let alone the Son of God. And what effect will this all have on Gwen, the young woman who is selected, through an American Idol-style process, to be the mother of the new Messiah? All this leads to the hiring of Thomas McKael, the clone’s bodyguard and a former IRA operative with a turbulent past who must protect the new Messiah – a baby who captivates the world, but grows up to become an angry teenager.
And that’s not even the extent of it! There’s tons of plot in this one and so far it all seems to be pretty important to the overall story. It all starts with a young boy caught in the middle of an IRA firefight. That little boy goes on to become the above-mentioned Thomas McKael, a surlier-than-surly bodyguard in the J2 project, that is, the project to clone Jesus Christ. And yeah, he’s a big part of it no doubt, but there’s so much more, too! From the scientist to the company paying for it to the protestors. And it’s all being broadcast Truman Show-style 24 hours a day! Just a fantastic premise, extremely well executed.
As they say, it’s written and illustrated by Sean Murphy, whose incredible artwork we’ve seen in the Grant Morrison series Joe the Barbarian. If you’ve never seen his stuff before, please trust us when we say it’s absolutely dynamite. (And I for one was happy to see him on the list for this weekend’s Baltimore Comic-Con.) Just check out this page from early on issue #1. Amazing stuff. I believe this is the first we’ve seen of his writing, but if it’s any indication of his overall storytelling skill then he’s got one heck of a future.
- Andy B.