Tuesday, 9 February 2016

American Jesus: Chosen

Mark Millar & Peter Gross American Jesus: Chosen (2004)
Another new one on me, I'm afraid - a comic book asking what would it be like to be twelve years old in present day America and to discover that you're actually Jesus reincarnated for all the reasons described in the good book. Millar states in an interview in the appendix that he wanted to do a book about faith that wasn't about child-molesting priests or all the usual shit you get when we liberals write stories about the Church, which is refreshing; and peculiarly, not only does this share very little common ground with Garth Ennis, but it speaks directly to Christians on their terms, or so it seems to me. This may sound about as much fun as the church army meeting I was roped into attending when I was fifteen - which actually was fun but for all the wrong reasons - but Mark Millar clearly knows what he's doing, presenting a broad message with which it should be impossible to disagree if you have any sort of moral standard, and presenting it without a hint of droning proselytisation. It's probably not a huge surprise that American Jesus might almost be considered a rewrite of his much-earlier Saviour, albeit a substantial rewrite, and the only notes that jar pertain to the American setting, principally due to a few incongruities such as references to chopper bikes and the like - details which some editor really should have caught. Given how the notes that jar in a Mark Millar comic are usually persons forced at gunpoint to saut
é and then consume their own bumholes or similar, it would seem churlish to complain. Much of the book fixates on the texture of childhood in similar terms to Millar's more recent 1985, which nicely grounds American Jesus in the real world, or a real world. I don't think the second part of the story ever came out, leaving this one with something of an abrupt ending, and yet the book still does more or less all it needs to do, so it doesn't seem to matter.

In light of recent world events, its nice to see that some Christians are prepared to distance themselves from the actions of extremists.

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