Second Coming #3 is all about crisis. And in the case of Jesus Christ and Sunstar, it’s an identity crisis! Can Mark Russell and Richard Pace make the hero see the light and the god see the truth about humanity, God, and themselves? Find out here!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Searching for his missing grandmother, Sunstar is forced to confront the shortcomings of his super-powers. Jesus, left on his own for the day, runs afoul of street preachers. Also: the usual assortment of AHOY prose stories and extra features.
Why does this matter?
Possibly one of the most daring comic book premises in over a decade, Russell and Pace are pushing the limit of what comic storytelling is by creating a series commenting on religion and superheroes. It’s a comedy of sorts that shines a light on ignorance on different levels while making fun of the lofty opinions of God and religion.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue feels a bit split in its focus, first tackling a supervillain and then throwing both characters into emotional turmoil in different ways involving family. In the first half, Jesus implores Sunstar to not pummel a villain, but instead to help him rehabilitate. Russell does a good job of making some salient points about supervillains in general and how they love attention. It’s not about the money. It’s also nice to see Sunstar listen to Jesus for once.
The comic shifts to Sunstar’s missing grandmother, which plays up his upbringing in small town America. There is a commentary here about Clark Kent’s small-town lifestyle growing up and how that America doesn’t really exist anymore. Meanwhile, Jesus attempts to reveal himself to the world only to run into Satan and then a billboard-holding Jesus freak. Both stories go down sad paths as they both realize they are powerless at their jobs. It’s a somewhat depressing finish to the issue that I hope turns itself around in issue #4!
The art by Pace continues to be a good fit for the series. Leonard Kirk is brought in to finish Pace’s work for the Jesus portion and his help gives these scenes a darker and much more sullen feel. There’s a sight gag or two that works quite well largely thanks to Pace’s delivery.
[Check the comments as Pace sets the record straight on art there!]
It can’t be perfect, can it?
This issue is so down in the dumps that it’s hard to like it! Part of the problem is how Sunstar and Jesus get sad and stay that way for a long stretch. The last eight pages send them both further down a pity party place with no traction or hope of moving away from it. This section is rather boring too since Sunstar’s portion is focusing on his inability to pay for his grandma’s ideal living situation and Jesus has no power at all beyond self-loathing. It’s a downer ending.
Is it good?
The first five pages are great as Russell and Pace continue to pick apart superheroes and how love, not violence, can actually work. The rest of the book, however, is so sad and crushingly hopeless it’s hard to enjoy.