Can Second Coming continue its quality run?
Review: Second Coming issue 3
Written by Mark Russell
Art by Richard Pace, Leonard Kirk, and Andy Troy
Cover by Amanda Conner
The third installment of the controversial Second Coming continues the series’ story with a narrative that splits in two, one half covering Sunstar’s ongoing struggle with the limitations of his power to affect the world, the other seeing Jesus encounter some of the people who claim to be his followers.
For a series that garnered backlash for its depiction of God, Second Coming skews superhero conventions a good deal: Sunstar struggles to find his place in a complex world where he can’t punch his way out of every problem that he has to deal with. Jesus, on the other hand, is depicted as having a much-needed message for Sunstar: that he can be a much more effective hero without so much as raising a fist.
The issue’s jokes tend to resonate, and there is some great material to do with the Bible. One particular shame here is that many of the people who would get the most out of its humour may never pick it up: some of the jokes are better if you have an understanding of theology and Christians who can handle its depiction would do well to bear with the moments they disagree with in order to experience these.
The issue features the series’ most direct look at contemporary Christianity in America so far, with Jesus venturing out on his own, an experience that sees him encounter several churches and a Westboro Baptist Church-esque group of protesters. While such groups are low-hanging fruit for satire, the writing nonetheless manages to be clever and even subtle in its satire.
The series’ distinctive art styles continue to gel together, with distinct styles between Sunstar and Jesus’ stories. Richard Pace’s work is well accentuated by Leonard Kirk’s breakdowns and Andy Troy’s colour art during Jesus’ storyline.
By issue three’s end, there’s a revelation of sorts that puts something of a ticking clock on the series’ narrative, one that should prove to lead to fascinating developments in future issues. With the series having now reached its halfway point, it will be interesting to see how the creators continue to maintain the book’s high standards.
Second Coming issue three is available now in comic book shops and online at Comixology.
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor