Saturday, September 15, 2012

Punk Rock Jesus #3

by Sean Murphy

Sean Murphy's black and white mini-series, which has now reached the halfway mark, continues to be the best thing that Vertigo is publishing right now.  The series is set in the near future, and it revolves around the cloned Jesus Christ, who is the central person in a reality TV show called J2.

In this issue, Chris, the clone, ages from toddler-hood to being a teenager, as his mother continues to buck against the J2 system, especially the show's chief executive, Slate.  She is able to negotiate so that Chris can enter a regular public school, but after Slate pays off Chris's African-American prom date, and instead sets him up with a cheerleader, and then micro-manages his appearance on Larry King (it's not called that in the comic, but come on), she finally has enough.

Murphy has taken his time setting up the series and building the characters, considering that the title has yet to apply (assuming that Chris ever becomes a punk).  It feels like we're moving towards the pay-off though, as a newly isolated Chris will have to deal with the mess that his life has been, and a surprise ending suggests that the series may move in new, and more supernatural, directions.

Murphy has established himself over the last few years as an artist to watch, but I'm really quite impressed by his writing chops.  This book is excellently paced, and has a strong commitment to character.  The cast feels very well fleshed out, and I look forward to each new issue.

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