Punk Rock Jesus #1 from Vertigo Comics can be taken as a politically controversial book, or a tongue in cheek jab at society and it’s not so distant bleak future. It’s message, which is assuming Sean Murphy intended there to be one, should spur some interesting and heated conversations. Whenever Christianity and politics are involved, you’re sure to ruffle someones feathers.
In the year 2019 reality television is still destroying humanity, and science and technology have given us the ability to clone human beings. Of course cloning of humans is still found to be unlawful, but the lawyers at a corporation called OPHIS found a loophole that allowed them to clone in international waters. OPHIS, owning practically everything, created their own reality television show staring the birth of one of these clones. Who do they chose to clone first? Jesus of course. Called the J2 project, Dr. Sarah Epstein, a world-famous geneticist will be taking the 2,000-year-old- “Christ” DNA from what is to be believed Christ’s shroud, and inject the DNA into an unfertilized egg that’s implanted in a chosen virgins uterus. Yes, OPHIS will go to whatever lengths it takes, no matter how corrupt they may be, to make this biggest and most profitable event ever in the history of humanity.
Punk Rock Jesus #1 has many strengths. The story and script by Sean Murphy are as intense as they are thought provoking. Some of the characters may seem a bit cliche, the hardened ex-IRA, the innocent virgin, the shady corporate exec, the brilliant female scientist, the bible thumpers, and of course, the token black guy are just a few, but while they all are cliche in their own way, the story is written in a manner where you’re not quite sure who the main character of the book is supposed to be. Yes the beginning of the book highlights a dark moment in Thomas McKael’s past, but it also has Dr. Sarah Epstein appearing more and being more emotionally vocal than any other character in the book. It’s apparent this book isn’t solely about one person, but instead about the complete group. Murphy has done a fantastic job with character development, and created a cast you can actually give a shit about.
Of course the story of Punk Rock Jesus isn’t to be outdone by it’s art, but Sean Murphy created PRJ, and he obviously knew the look we wanted for it. A completely black and white book, Punk Rock Jesus #1 has a sketch like art style, with strong shadows and aggressively lines. It reminds me a lot of the old manga Gunsmith Cats books, with McKael looking and acting strikingly similar to Bean Bandit. I loved the look of the book, and I like it when the art compliments the story. That’s something I always look for in a book. Punk Rock Jesus #1 has a successful synergy between it’s art style and it’s narrative.
Punk Rock Jesus #1 is a great read. Sean Murphy has created something that will no doubt evoke countless discussions. The story is so well written that it provokes both intelligent and emotional responses. It’s a book that you want to tell people about, and hope that you can talk about it later.
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