It seems only fair that a Christmas feature on the site contains something to do with the holiday – so what better way to say “Happy Birthday Jesus” than to celebrate my favourite comic of the year!
This year has certainly been filled with plenty of top notch creator owned comics, providing us with some of the most original books in years. Image have shown us that you don’t need to release a bucket load of superhero comics each month to get by in the business, and DC imprint Vertigo seem to have taken notice of this. Vertigo has survived on a healthy diet of Hellblazer, Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Sandman and Fables over the years, but has branched out somewhat in the past 12 months by introducing some new and original mini series from some of the industry’s top talents – including Azzarello & Risso’s Spaceman and Cornell & Kelly’s Saucer Country – but by far the best has been Sean Murphy’s Punk Rock Jesus.
Already a big fan of his work on Joe the Barbarian and America Vampire, I couldn’t wait to see this book, and from just the plot description – a clone made from the DNA of Jesus becoming a punk rock star – I was sold on this before even reading issue one. I was more than pleasantly surprised following the first issue to discover that this wasn’t quite the high concept I expected – it was even better. A body guard with a past in the IRA, reality TV of the future gone crazy, genetically modified polar bears – this book has it all. Murphy has carved himself a spot in my all time favourite creators, now proving his writing skills as well as his incredible artwork.
I’ll be keen to see what comes next for Murphy, but I’m also interested to see what will happen to Vertigo. It’s ideally placed to challenge Image on original content, but with the loss of Karen Berger and DC’s obsession with moving the edgier characters like John Constantine away from their natural home and into a more kid friendly environment, it’s unclear what to expect next. Let’s see what the next 12 months bring us.
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