I have a bit of a warning about today’s first entry in The 2020 PopCult Gift Guide: some people may consider it blasphemous, especially to recommend as a Christmas gift. However, those people are wrong. Second Coming is actually more Christian than most comic books that claim to be Christian. It makes a great gift for the comics fan who enjoys offbeat stories, but it would also be a good gift for a theologian with an open mind.

Second Coming
by Mark Russell (Author), Richard Pace (Artist), Leonard Kirk (Artist), Andy Troy (Artist)
ISBN-13 : 978-0998044279
$19.99 (discounted at Amazon)

The premise, God sends Jesus back to Earth to become roomies with a Superhero from another planet, may seem a bit odd, but in the hands of Mark Russell, Second Coming is a brilliant satire on life today and how society and religion cross paths.

Check out the blurb…

The book everyone’s talking about, by award-winning writer Mark Russell (Snagglepuss, The Flintstones) and artist Richard Pace (Pitt, New Warriors)! God commands Earth’s mightiest super-hero, Sunstar, to accept Jesus as his roommate and teach him how to use power more forcefully. Jesus, shocked at the way humans have twisted his message over two millennia, vows to straighten them out.

Second Coming is not a vicious satire. The satire is muted and thoughtful.  It’s a sweet and funny commentary on philosophy and how it works in the real world. Basically it’s Jesus and Superman in a buddy comedy. It’s cleverly-written and wonderfully drawn, and is one of my favorite comics published in the last couple of years.

God wants his son to be more assertive, and Jesus wants to do things his way. Surprisingly, this book does more to advance the word of Jesus than a jet airliner full of televangelists.

This book was originally supposed to be published by Vertigo, a DC Comics Imprint which has recently been shuttered. When DC brought in a new, more conservative, person to run the company, she decided to let the creators take this elsewhere. Luckily, AHOY Comics was willing to add this book to their impressive line-up of creator-owned titles.

This volume collects the original six-issue mini-series. The sequel is already in progress.

Second Coming may just be the one suggestion in this gift guide that really celebrates the true meaning of Christmas.