Saturday, 14 July 2012

Punk Rock Jesus #1

Punk Rock Jesus
Written/art by Sean Murphy

Action Ash
As the latest Vertigo title to hit the shelve, Punk Rock Jesus is just what the doctor ordered as far as Vertigo titles go. Unlike their other titles of late this book comes straight from the old school. Irreverence - Check, Indie sensibilities - Check, Anti-religious sentiment - Check, and all rendered in the scratchy brilliance that is Sean Murphy's art.

Brief plot summary - A company named "Ophis" has funded a famous geneticist to clone Jesus Christ using the shroud of Turin, for the purpose of impregnating a virgin who is chosen through an audition process. This is all for a reality TV show that will follow the pregnancy and then the child as he grows up to be the second coming of Jesus. Also, an  uber violent ex IRA member has been hired to be the head of security for the project. Shit is clearly about to get real!

Being primarily an artist does not hinder Sean's ability to plot out an engaging story. This book seems very well thought out and seems to have a good few sub plots, however not too many and handled well so you don't find yourself getting lost. Then you have the themes of blind faith, the moral issue with cloning, the moral issue of bringing a child into the world with such a big responsibility already thrust upon it and of course cold blooded corporations willing to do anything for money.

The art is a masterclass in stark black and white storytelling, all done with a tremendous amount of detail.  Murphy's use of shading and shadow is an art form in itself, the extremity of which, in certain panels, calls to mind German expressionism. At times it seems slightly manga influenced (I mean that in the best possible way) especially during the action. The fact that it's in black and white seems to help exhibit Murphy's already impressive talent for drawing facial expressions.

Clocking in at approximately 30 pages it is well worth the £2.65 ($2.99) cover price.Technically, there's been no punk yet but I'm more than willing to stick around and see where that will come in to it.

5 Ex-IRA members breaking placards upside old men's heads out of 5

Super Geil!