Writer Mark Russell and artist Richard Pace's upcoming comic book series Second Coming is one that uses satire to push back against the narrative surrounding Jesus Christ, which is typically presented by conservative commentators and religious leaders.
As Russell explains, one way the comic accomplishes this is by portraying Jesus in a subversive manner that has him reflecting on what he did wrong his first time on Earth, and how it may have caused his message to be skewed over the years.
"My one rule about Christ is that he has eschewed super-powers," Russell told Daily Kos. "He recalls that of all the temptations Satan laid out before him in the desert, the most insidious was the temptation to show off. To prove that he was the Son of God by flexing his supernatural muscle."
"He also feels like this is maybe where he went wrong the first time he came to Earth," the writer continued. "That once he started performing miracles... changing water into wine, bringing the dead back to life, etc... that sort of became all people cared about. They stopped listening to his words and just started doing whatever they thought would land them on the right side of a magic trick or two."
Notably, Second Coming has been the source of controversy for its satirical take on Jesus, with the likes of Fox News and numerous conservative christian websites sparking outrage against the forthcoming comic book. Elsewhere in the Daily Kos interview, Russell explained why he believes this controversy came about.
"I think the religious fundamentalists and critics who are trying to stop Second Coming aren't interested in protecting Christ so much as their ability to control his narrative," he said. "Mega-churches, Fox News pundits, and YouTube outrage merchants see Christianity as their product and view anyone else talking about Christ as a form of copyright infringement... They probably (correctly) suspect that it's not Christ who's being parodied, but themselves and how they've twisted his teachings of mercy for the powerless into a self-serving tool of the powerful."
Second Coming was originally set to be published by DC under its DC Vertigo imprint. However, the publisher ultimately decided to cancel the title. It was then picked up by Ahoy Comics. The first issue arrives July 10.