Jesusfreak presents Jesus as a violent pulp hero
A new comic book series reimagines Jesus as a savage warrior. Created by writer Joe Casey and artist Benjimin Marra, Jesusfreak looks set to ignite controversy over its depiction of Christ.
The series depicts Jesus as a ‘savage’ pulp-style hero who commits violent acts of resistance.
The series comes shortly after the announcement that DC/Vertigo was not going ahead with Second Coming. That series had been the subject of a petition asking the publisher to cancel the book ahead of the launch. Interestingly enough, Jesus Freak has yet to become the subject of major controversy and is still set for release in late March.
A few pages of the series’ first issue are available on Deadline. They depict Jesus fighting and killing multiple soldiers before going face to face with a talking dinosaur-like creature. While the violence does not accord well with Jesus’ depiction in scripture, he is depicted as the Messiah in the included pages.
Writer Joe Casey previously had acclaimed runs on Marvel’s Cable, The Incredible Hulk, and Uncanny X-Men. He has suggested that the title should not be taken literally and is an attempt at placing the ‘mythical’ Jesus in another genre.
“Jesusfreak is less inspired by any strict religious traditions and is instead more concerned with exploring the unique tension that exists between depicting a mythical figure and a historical figure – a tension that is compounded when, for many, they’re considered the same person,” Mr Casey said.
“It’s also a chance for Marra and I to indulge in a specific style of hard-pulp storytelling that we think perfectly fits this material.”
“The so-called ‘historical Jesus’ certainly would’ve lived a life of conflict, preaching certain beliefs at a time when doing so would’ve gotten you killed. The fact that Jesusfreak presents that character’s journey in such an obvious genre setting meant showing a level of violence that we felt was true to both the genre and the character.”
Much like DC’s Vertigo imprint (which was going to publish Second Coming), Image gives creators ownership of the properties that they develop.
Jesusfreak issue 1 releases in comic book shops on 21 March 2019.
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor