Jesus may have said, "Those who live by the sword shall die by the sword," but in a vampire-plagued post-apocalyptic future, even the Son of God recognizes the value of a good edged weapon. This February, writer Tim Seeley and artists Mike Norton and Chris Johnson take us back to that nightmarish world in "Loaded Bible 3: Communion," a new Image Comics one-shot that serves as the concluding chapter to Book One of the "Loaded Bible" saga. CBR News spoke with Seeley about this next episode in the life of Jesus Christ, vampire-killing freedom fighter.
"It's a bit like a combo of 'Mad Max, Army of Darkness, and Sunday School with boobs," Tim Seeley told CBR News, describing the world of "Loaded Bible," which began with the one-shot Jesus vs. Vampires. "'Loaded Bible' takes place in a not-so-distant future, where a nuclear holy war has plunged the world into nuclear winter. Unfortunately for us, eternal night is a great time for vampires to take over. The last of humanity is caught between a rock and hard place until the Christian Church builds a giant dome city and protects it with a clone of Jesus Christ himself. But power corrupts, especially god-given power, and Jesus finds that the Church hasn't been honest with him, in addition to treating atheist humans pretty badly. So he goes rogue."
"Communion" takes place a few weeks after the events of "Loaded Bible 2: Blood of Christ" and finds the Clone of Christ living in the outpost of The New Dawn, the group of humans that have banded together in opposition to the Church's rule, and coming to terms with his new life. "Jesus is finding friends and honesty, which he cherishes," Seeley said. "He's been there long enough to be comfy walking around in his slippers. But as much as I'd like to see a comic about Jesus in his slippers, most people wouldn't so we start with the action right out the gates."
In "Communion," Jesus plays reluctant savior to a vampire. "Sistine Centuria, the enigmatic vampire assassin who's helped Jesus before, comes to him with a request," Seeley explained. "Her mentor and surrogate mother, Lilith, is going to be executed, and she needs Jesus' help to save her. Jesus, who's an honorable guy, decides he owes her, even if he doesn't quite trust her."
Jesus's rescue mission sends him to a previously unexplored part of the "Loaded Bible" world. "So far, this First Book of the Loaded Bible story has given readers a bit of a tour of the world," Seeley remarked. "The first one-shot showed us Vatican City primarily. The second one gave us a tour of the Wastelands, and 'Communion' takes us to Las Vegas, the North American vampire capital city."
As if storming the Vampire's hometown wasn't bad enough, Jesus also has to contend with a the threat of his old masters in Vatican City. "Christ's membership in New Dawn has basically put him on everybody's shitlist," Seely said.
The tone of "Loaded Bible 2: Blood of Christ" was more somber and quiet, but Seeley plans on closing the First Book of "Loaded Bible" with a tale of all-out action. "'Communion' is sort of the 'buddy movie' story of the first trilogy, where characters with different motivations and goals are stuck together against a common threat," Seeley explained. "If we're following the 'Star Wars' rules, 'LB2' was more of the 'Empire Strikes Back', where as this one is very 'Return of the Jedi,' with less cuddly fur balls."
Action is very important part of "Communion" but it's not the only element of the story. Like all of Seeley's writing, the tale will also have a healthy supply of humor as well. "We've come up with a couple new ways to ruin a vampire's day in this one," Seeley remarked. "But mostly the laughs in this one come from Art, Jesus' New Dawn ally who's kind of a sarcastic jerk. Art's kind of like me, with less karaoke and better hair."
Bringing to life Seeley's script for "Loaded Bible 3" is an artistic team made up of an old friend and new acquaintances, and the writer couldn't be happier with their work. "Mike Norton is just easy for me to work with," Seeley said. "We like most of the same movies. I just don't have to explain anything to Mike. He knows what I mean, even if I'm a small, unassuming northerner and he's a large, threatening southerner. But I'm not the only one hot for Mike's talents, and DC grabbed him for an exclusive contract when he was about 20 pages into 'LB3.'
"Mark Englert hooked me up with a Nortonian sort of artist by the name of Chris Johnson, who finished the book off for us. Inker/finisher Ben Glendenning came in with his inks and gave it a nice uniform look. I think it works, and I'm always lucky to have the guys and girls I have."
Obviously, Seeley has a lot more "Loaded Bible" stories left to tell, sales permitting. "We'll be doing a trade of Book One at some point," Seeley confirmed. "If that does well enough, the plan is to do a six-issue miniseries for Book Two, which will focus on a big, 'Lord of the Rings'-sized war, with our Makeshift Messiah stuck in the middle. After that? Hopefully Book Three: 'Jesus vs. Cthulhu!'"
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