December 16, 2020

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Second Coming: Having Another Go At The Only Begotten Son


While in the midst of another Armageddon many of us are asking ourselves “how many of these do we gotta live through?” as others are lifting up their hands and praising Jesus. Assuming that this current Armageddon is not merely the latest and greatest, but also the biblical end to all earthly things, my first question would then be: how could there possibly be any hands left to be lifted. Shouldn’t all of those self-righteous hands have already been raptured away from this awful space? Or is this not the correct time during the tribulation when the magic disappearing act occurs?

During the most critical moments begging for an act of witness, where the last actions of some could be the lasting effects worth an eternity for others, is when it seems all that is taught seems to be all that was left behind. The question isn’t about whether a rapture will ever happen or at what point are the chosen ones to fly into the sky, but the true question more relevant to ask is for what will we who call upon his name for the micro-manipulative powers to control others do when he (capital “H”- he?) gets here.

That is what Second Coming did in the first season of Ahoy Comics’ hilarious series of an age old question: “Yea, we are worth dying for, but are we really worth saving“? And would He (yes.. apparently it is a capital “H”) even bother? Here in Second Coming’s second season Mark Russell, Leonard Kirk, and Richard Pace throw a wrench in the bucket of holes by telling the story of another begotten son.

We last left our Heavenly Father completely and persistently convinced that Earth’s hero, Sunstar, was who He hoped Jesus were to be. Even after his failed attempt to assimilate Jesus to a level of compassion that coexisted carelessly with punishment, there were still some omnipotent tricks up His omnipresently-angry sleeve. If you have not already read the first arc of this hilarious story I highly recommend you doing so. Come for the blasphemy and stay for the irony of being a moral in a story about a flawed story of morals.

This first issue of The Begotten Son largely takes place in Crystallus, the capital city of Zirconia which happens to be the home planet of Sunstar. Nearly the entire issue serves as the origin to the story of how Sunstar survived the Krypton-like scenario leading Him to became the alien savior of planet Earth. Spending most of its time in the past gives Mark Russell opportunity to introduce more characters in the story and more absurdities to the dialogue. Poking fun at Earth-food becomes equally as laughable as it is to satirize how Gospels are trampled on by modern American evangelicals.
As like before, the art beyond the pencils are shared between Leonard Kirk doing inks and Andy Troy doing colors. The collaboration of this team combine to hammer the nails to the cross of the richly satirical perspective toward Jesus Christ through the eyes of an American Christian if He were to return today. With the current hyper-excitement now involving End Times prophecy and the greater-good-of-appointing-conservative-judges make this comic book not only timely but also necessary. This is the mirror being placed in front of the face of religion in the country. This is how we see you.

Telling the second chapter to this story by having God literally say “just kidding” as He uses a mulligan to have another go at a begotten son is the angle I didn’t expect, but it’s absolutely what we need. As one who grew up a Pentecostal which evolved into some form of American evangelicalism then later had me question literally everything because the behavior didn’t seem to match the teaching, I now find myself eating this comic up. It’s struck a chord immediately and made me feel affirmed by way of laughing at the fault found in religion. Noticing the hypocrisy in every turn with every behavior becomes blatant and almost criminal. This then made me wonder if by submitting one’s life to Jesus, and having faith in His gentle grace, meant rejecting the power of this world by way of the structural bindings of government.
This all might sound as a mouthful of things that, quite honestly, over complicate a comic book about a fictional second child of God, but that’s where my head went when I read the first issue and that’s where I want yours to go also. I want you to pick this comic up, read it, and pass it on. Sometimes a change in a behavior requires a little painful punch in the gut or a thorn as a crown, but other times it may just need an uncomfortable joke about that one time you heard God speak to you to tell the guy who cut you off on your way to the store to “go to hell”. ‘Cuz that’s where he’s going anyway, right? This isn’t just a silly book about Sunstar and Sheila as the Mary and Joseph do over. It’s also a deep think-piece asking us to do just that: think.

Second Coming: Only Begotten Son #1
Writer: Mark Russell
Artist: Richard Pace
Finisher: Leonard Kirk
Colorist: Andy Troy
Letterer: Rob Steen
Publisher: Ahoy Comics