I couldn’t resist. I had to come back for me. When the previous series ended with a cliff hanger of Hercules heading home and finding his father dead due to Jesus, I had to see where Nick Marino and Daniel Arrudea Massa went next with the series. So instead of waiting for it to become available on Comic Blitz, I went to Comixology and bought issues 1 and 2 of the new series.
The premise of this issue is simple. Jesus and Satan have settled into domestic blitz. Sister Maria is living in Los Angeles and is running a homeless shelter there. While at home, Satan reveals to Jesus that he is pregnant. They’re going to be fathers! I wonder where homosexual deities register? Anyway, we head to Greece where we see Hercules and Anansi talk about what has happened to Jesus and Satan. Hercules is pissed because they’re alive and vows revenge. We close the story with Hercules arriving in town at the homeless shelter offering his help to Maria.
Now this issue does start out slow. It doesn’t really get to the main part of the story, apart from the pregnancy, until Hercules enters the story. It’s mostly little, or in the case of Jesus’ penis, BIG fucking gags meant to garner a laugh. I tried reading the comic at work until I got to the page where Jesus was taking a show and the foot he had attached to his groin caused me to turn off Comixology and head to a different app. But the way I see it, if you’re going to believe in a deity, that deity would have a massive member.
I really dug how they were able to touch on the points of the original comic series without having a character have a long monologue explaining everything that happened. They even found a way to both show AND tell what Jesus had done to Zeus, even though it appears that it is Hercules version of what happened. Maybe this gets touched on in future issues, where Hercules has it pointed out to him how what he thinks happened did not happen the way he thinks it did.
The art work is its usual amazing self. When you have art work that sets the tone so beautifully for a story, regardless of whether you have something drawn by the greatest artist of all time or a kid drawing crude stick figures, you have art that is absolutely beautiful. It fits the tone of the story so well that when you encounter the gags you encounter in the first few pages, gags meant for laughs and not for advancing the story, it still pulls you in like a worm tempting a fish in water. I especially liked Hercules and how, despite being drawn like a deity on steroids, had real emotion when he was contemplating his plans to kill the Lord. Yeah, it’s the type of emotion you’d see in an 80’s action movie but that’s the kind of tone this story is pushing. It’s not The Godfather.
It’s a beautiful way to pick up the story where it left off. I think this story could be the start of a sacrilegious franchise of material. I mean, how did Jesus and Satan fall in love? What did Hercules do when he was away from home? How long did it take for Jesus to learn to dunk when he was taught by his main man Moses? They have created a world here and I want to see more of who inhabits it.
One thing I missed this issue was the little prequel stories that showed up in the original series. Maybe they were used as more filler than anything but they were funny as hell. I especially liked the bit where Merlin sent Jesus back into time, he slept with a woman…only to find out it was Mary, the woman who would become his mother. Maybe it was filler, maybe it was the fact that they couldn’t think of anything but I missed it.
You can’t miss this comic. The absolute glee they have in using whatever tool they have, pun intended in Jesus’ case, to either get you to laugh or immediately grab your holy book of choice and pray for forgiveness makes this story a must read. It is a little light on story this issue but it makes up for it with laughs. I know I’ve stated in the past that each issue of a comic should feel like a self contained story. Despite the fact that not much happens this issue, it does feel like a complete piece of work that invites you to pick up the next issue. The passion it took to write this story can and should be rewarded with your hard earned money.
The artwork is superb. It’s goofy, silly, and crudely drawn but it fits the mood of the story so well that it makes a great story so much better. Much like why South Park is great because of how it is animated, this comic is better for the art being the way it is. Well done.