Story by Mark Millar
Art by Peter Gross
Colors by Jeanne McGee
Published by Dark Horse Comics 2004
Reviewed by Lydia H.
I grew up in a religious family. As I grew older I learned more about the world around me, other religions, and cultures. Eventually, I rejected the doctrine that had been drilled into me. I don’t claim any religion whatsoever, but I do still really enjoy the mythology of religious stories. When I saw this three issue story about the supposed second coming of Jesus, well, I snatched it up.
Jodie is a twelve year old boy living in a small town. One afternoon he and some friends cut part of class to find a porno mag someone left in the woods. A dog, Angel, runs in front of a large truck. The driver, in an attempt to miss the dog, ends up careening off a bridge and straight on top of a dumbfounded Jodie. Jodie not only survives the crash, but crawls out from the wreckage completely unscathed. The driver ends up in a coma. From that day on Jodie suspects there’s something that makes him different from all the other kids. Suddenly he is fluent in every language on earth, knows the answer to every question asked by his teachers (in several subjects)—he even accidentally cures a friend’s asthma. After that he attemps to perform other miracles, giving a friend 20/20 vision and turning bottles of water into wine.
Slowly the boy gains a following in his small town and everyone seems to think he is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. Jodie too is convinced and attempts to live a more “pure” life. He treats his parents with respect, stops masterbating, and tries to stop cursing. But while Jodie and his followers remain convinced, others, like the local priest, aren’t so sure of what’s the truth.
The art is excellent and I absolutely love the use of watercolor. I use watercolor to color my own comics and think it’s really exciting to see it in a more mainstream arena like Dark Horse.
Normally I can predict an ending to stories like this one early on, but I was really surprised and pleased with the way it ended. Trust me, it’s a good one. You might be able to find this in old back-issue comic boxes at your favorite comic shop (like I did) or you can purchase them online in comic form or in TPB form (American Jesus Volume 1). There is supposedly a movie of this coming out sometime? It was supposed to be filmed last summer but I haven’t heard anything else. There is also supposed to be a sequel which I haven’t seen yet, but I’m sure it’s on the way!