A Long Awaited Second Coming
Review: Second Coming
By Mark Russell and Richard Pace
After being cancelled by DC and picked up by AHOY, Second Coming is finally available for all of its prior critics to now actually read. Taking the time to get through the first issue reveals a title that objectively did not warrant the raising of so many pitchforks.
The first issue sees God send Jesus back to earth to learn how to be a hero from the superhero Sunstar. Along the way, he is confronted by how the churches formed in his name bear the image of the torture device that he died on.
Richard Pace’s art manages two very distinct styles. One of these is visible in the flashbacks to Jesus’ ministry on earth, and the other is a more cartoony style befitting the super-hero subject matter. Second Coming is as much a satire of the superhero comic as it is contemporary issues within American Christianity, with much of its plot and dialogue serving as an indictment of the genre’s inherent violence.
Second Coming’s depiction of God is likely to be off-putting for a few people. Coming across as sick of humanity and embarrassed by Jesus’ death on the cross, He sends Jesus back to earth to learn from Sun King. And yet, for its irreverence, this portrayal is no worse than many shows’ portrayals. In separating God from Jesus in the way that it does, Second Coming portrays Him as quite different to the God who, to quote Jürgen Moltmann “has gone on to suffer himself” but largely works as a framing device for Jesus’ story arc.
If it’s not already clear by now, readers who think they may be offended by Second Coming’s premise are advised to give this a wide berth. Those willing to bear with it will be rewarded with a story that shows much of what is compelling about Jesus.
Ultimately, for all of the controversy that Second Coming has generated, it is a comic that will undoubtedly get people talking about Jesus Christ and his Gospel, a story that depicts him in a good way, and a work with merit in its own right.
Second Coming is recommended for Mature Readers and is now available at comic stores
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor