Monday, September 16, 2019

Second Coming #3 Review

Writer: Mark Russell
Art: Richard Pace, Leonard Kirk, Andy Troy, Rob Steen, and Amanda Conner
Publisher: AHOY COMICS 
Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 18th, 2019 
Searching for his missing grandmother, Sunstar is forced to confront the weaknesses of his super-powers in this week’s all-new SECOND COMING #3 by Mark Russell. Let’s dive in and see what happens to Sunstar and how Jesus of Nazareth does with a little street preaching.

Superheroes can do many things. Stop villains by force, use strength or speed to catch the bad guy, or fly people to safety. However, they can’t stop dementia, heart disease, and simple societal changes. Their powers are mighty but there are certain things heroes with superpowers simply can’t do. Brute force can’t stop every problem. Jesus says in this issue that, “Force is just the illusion of control”. This is the reason why God doesn't fly down on a winged horse, punish the wicked, and immediately put humanity back in the perfect garden. It's merely the misconception of peace with an iron fist.
With the above in mind, Mark Russell’s style of writing is generally utilizing his characters as a vehicle to say something significant or to focus on political, social, or religious issues.  Russell uses satire to lure readers into the narrative and hopefully gets comic buffs to ponder their position by the end of the anecdote, which was his greatest strength throughout this issue.  During this week's narrative, Russell is trying to explain to readers that humanity was given free will with the opportunity to make their own choices - good or bad. It doesn’t matter how much force or power someone uses to change your mind. Ultimately, your choice is made by something internal, meaningful, and heartfelt. 

At the end of the day, YOU are the only one who can change YOUR mind... not some caped crusader or witty smart talker. Russell is trying to use Jesus as the motorcoach to drive home the point that love can persuade and gently push people in the right direction permanently. Force may work at first. However, a force can cause anger, hostility, bitterness, and even resentment. Look no further than science for a better explanation. Newton’s Third Law of Motion states, ”When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force EQUAL in magnitude and OPPOSITE in direction on the first body.” Whether it’s Jesus, Newton, or Russell, it's a common theme in any avenue of life. Russell clearly circles back to the same principle he’s focused on since issue one, as well as many other philosophers and scientists from the past. Love, patience, peace, and kindness will ultimately lead a person where they need to be by choice and truly save the day in the end. This is what leads to permanent change.
As incredible as the series has been, there is one portion of this issue that this critic hopes gets cleared up as the series progresses. There is a discussion with a person from Mega Baptist One about Saul of Tarsus that stunned this reviewer and appears to contradict a huge aspect of the New Testament... and frankly is a linchpin to Christianity. Now, this could simply be Russell taking artistic license to be uniquely creative by throwing a satirical twist into the story. This could also be something that Russell clears up in later issues and therefore is set up for a later confrontation between Jesus and God. However, this was a bit jarring to this Christian reviewer at first look. With three issues into a twelve-issue story, it is a bit too soon to condemn any writer for their artistic license. However, it is something to keep in mind for future reads.

Speaking of artistic license, Richard Pace and Leonard Kirk are simply brilliant. For example, readers, have you ever been to Sunday School? If so, have you ever heard the song “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”? Well, Pace and Kirk add in minor details throughout the story that add to the subtle humor of the issue like Jesus bowling with a ball that looks like the Earth. Or, notice the change in colors by Andy Troy when the issue turns a bit dark and grim. The tone shifted throughout each discussion with any questionable character. That sensation readers felt throughout the issue was entirely because of the Pace, Kirk, and Troy. Their expertise shined throughout the issue and expanded Russell’s key developmental panels to hammer in the important meta-details of the narrative. 


Overall, Russell, Pace, and their creative team blend their ideas together flawlessly. Readers can see the relationship formed between this entire creative crew as their comical quips turn into thought-provoking lessons on religion and humanity. Russell is definitely setting up something big between Jesus, Satan, and God Himself that will reach a climax as the series continues. Will Sunstar, as well as humanity be in the crossfire? You’ll have to read on to find out! This reviewer will certainly be continuing his journey through SECOND COMING and I pray many more will too. Pick this issue up and let me know what you think. 


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