SECOND COMING: ONLY BEGOTTEN SON #1/ Story by MARK RUSSELL/ Art, Finishes, Colors and Cover by RICHARD PACE/ Finishes on Sunstar Pages by LEONARD KIRK/ Colors on Sunstar Pages by ANDY TROY/ Letters by ROB STEEN/ Published by AHOY COMICS
WARNING: The following contains SPOILERS for Second Coming Volume 1.
The first volume of Second Coming was heralded as a sign of the End Times. The forces of progressive liberalism had come for our comic books and were about to shut down our schools, steal our jewels and even change our football rules, at least according to a bunch of pundits who normally don’t give a fig about the comic book industry. Yet life went on, somehow, and now as 2020 comes to a close, the second volume of Second Coming has entered like a lamb, quietly and with little fanfare, to deliver a message as strong as that which came before.
This first issue presents itself as an origin story for Sunstar; the Superman expy who found himself charged by God with giving Jesus some assertiveness training. As a reward for his success, after Jesus reluctantly stepped up to fight an enemy who love couldn’t conquer, God granted Sunstar’s wish to be able to have a child with his wife, Sheila. They don’t show up until the final few pages, however, as most of this issue details the lives of Sunstar’s parents and their last night on the planet Zirconia, before they elected to send their son to Earth.
Mark Russell could play it safe with a number of jokes about the Silver Age vision of Krypton and Superman’s parents through his proxies. Indeed, he does take a few stabs at how everything is made of crystal on Zirconia (one shudders to consider the bathroom situation) and why Sunstar’s scientist father didn’t build a rocket big enough to save the whole family. But Russell has never been one to play it safe and his poison pen is largely devoted to skewering the real world. Specifically, he targets consumer culture and the casual stupidity of those who mistake expansion with growth.
The original Second Coming art team have returned and they are also in fine form. Leonard Kirk and Andy Troy do such a fantastic job of finishing Richard Pace’s work I am hard pressed to tell which pages they worked on and which pages Pace did all by himself this time around. It is rare for a group of artists to work so seamlessly well together and this series is all the stronger for it.
Those who missed the original Second Coming could enter the saga with this issue and feel like they haven’t missed a thing. I would advice against this, however, as the first volume was fantastic and this issue, while good, is not quite representative of what the series as a whole has been like to date. The second issue blurb promises more of Jesus reacting to how humanity has changed his teachings over the past two millennia and hijinks will no doubt ensue. I look forward to them.
Second Coming has returned and it remains as powerful a read as ever.
Second Coming: Only Begotten Son #1 will be available at your local comic shop on December 16, 2020.