Punk Rock Jesus has been a revelation in my eyes and a breath of fresh air to the comic world. Sean Murphy has been brave with his story subject, but has stuck by it, if not escalating the controversy with each issue. Starting the story with the second coming of a genetically modified Christ and his mother’s failure to cope with the media hype surrounding it leads to a breakdown. Thomas, an ex IRA hit man as a body guard, and a Christian group trying to kidnap the new Jesus. This story truly has everything to keep the reader hooked.
Gwen goes on TV to tell the world of the angel that saved her from certain death as she jumped from the balcony of a mental hospital. She has had a book published that tells of the real J2 project. Her son is being held prisoner against his will by executive Rick Slate. The New American Christians are now friends with Gwen, helping her try and get her son back at any cost. Before long, Gwen and the N.A.C. attempt again to storm the island, but a familiar friend is waiting for them this time. Thomas takes them out until the last one. He grabs Thomas and is about to slit his throat, when Cola the polar bear pounces, pinning the soldier to the ground. Unfortunately, and to the horror of Thomas, he reaches up and slits Cola’s throat. Thomas runs to get help. As this goes on, Gwen and Daisy have made it inside. Daisy throws a stun grenade into the assembled guards, sending them flying. The doors to the lab containing Chris are open. As Gwen races towards them, Slate presses the close button slamming them shut, trapping Gwen between them. As they try to free her, Slate increases the door pressure. Gwen tells Chris about the angel that saved her just before her body can’t take anymore. Gwen is dead and Chris wonders if he can save his mother, like Jesus, showing just how much he has been brainwashed by Slate. Thomas races to the scene. Knowing Slate killed Gwen, he pins him against the wall. He has no proof, though, as Slate had turned all cameras off before the incident. Tim will help Thomas nail Slate, but not at the moment. Their time will come.
Chris has changed since the death of his mother. He exercises every day, he reads Darwin instead of the Bible, and he listens to punk music. Especially “Jesus Was a Terrorist” by The Dead Kennedys. A sign of things to come, I think. He bypasses the hologram security and learns about all that’s wrong with religion and its part in many wars. He is slowly realizing what the real world is like. Chris is due to host the Grammy Awards. As he gets ready, he produces a set of hair clippers, planning to make a grand entrance. He is introduced to the shocked crowd and stands before them with a Mohawk proclaiming that he isn’t Jesus Christ, before escaping across the rooftops. The death of his mother is just what he needed to escape Slate’s shackles. The next few pages take us back to when Thomas was introduced to the IRA by his father, climbing the ranks to become one of their top operatives. He is a killing machine with cross tattoos on him for every one of his victims. Just the person Chris need to help him.
In New York, Chris heads towards a theatre. Inside, a punk band are auditioning for a new singer. The old singer left the band to join the N.A.C. and follow Jesus. Little do they know that the actual Jesus will be their new singer. As the news breaks, the band gets a massive following. Their gigs are sellouts everywhere they play. The Flak Jackets play a gig at the flood zone in the West Village. Everyone wants a statement from the new lead singer and he duly obliges. A stunning bit of art graces the final page. Chris stands on stage like a crucified Jesus Christ saying, “Go fuck yourself! Jesus Hates You!”
Easily 10/10, this story never disappoints. Especially this issue, as it’s spun the story on its head, taking it in a different direction. The artwork suits the storyline too, which is rough and gritty, but so good. Roll on next issue. Chris is going to kick ass!