Monday, July 13, 2015
This Week's Read: Punk Rock Jesus
In the future, the world goes on an American Idol-type quest to find the perfect young woman to represent a modern version of Jesus Christ's mother, Mary. She will then be impregnated with a clone of Jesus, whose DNA was lifted off the Shroud of Turin. All of this will be turned into a reality show.
If all that sounds insane, you haven't read Punk Rock Jesus. Sean Murphy (Joe The Barbarian, Hellblazer) somehow makes this story seem plausible. From the search for "Mary," to altering Jesus' DNA slightly so he has blonde hair and blue eyes (because a traditionally Jewish-looking Jesus would kill ratings, apparently), to the moment when "Chris" - Jesus 2 - discovers punk rock music as a teenager and rebels against his brainwashed upbringing, Punk Rock Jesus never fully steps into the bounds of the outrageous.
It does get pretty sacrilegious at a certain point, so if you're extremely offended by that sort of thing, I'd pass on this one. Murphy is very clearly an atheist, and it shines through. He doesn't denounce faith with this GN as much as he denounces organized religion, but he doesn't seem to have a very open view on faith, either. Even "Chris" himself denounces his followers. Christian groups in the book form new denominations; some hail Chris as the second coming of Christ, and others call him a charlatan. Meanwhile, all Chris wants to do is be the angsty teenager that he is and rock out.
PRJ is fun, interesting, and a little nuts. It's "suggested for mature readers," so use your own discretion.