Punk Rock Jesus by Sean Murphy
Reviewed by Kevin O’Bedlam
I had my doubts about this book. The title sounded like a Green Day song and my initial thoughts was that it was going to be pandering to the Hot Topic crowd. In all fairness, I bought this trade because my inner 14 year old couldn’t resist the concept. Had the book ended up being awful, my accusations of pandering would have been right and I would have been the target demographic.
So, some scientists funded by a reality TV show decide to make a human clone from the DNA on the Shroud of Turin. The kid grows up, and instead of becoming the Bible Belt Glen Beck NRA messiah, he becomes a Punk Rocker.
I read this book with full intentions of hating it. I’m kind of a punk rock elitist. I consider anything claiming to be punk after Ian MacKaye quit playing music is at least be questionable. However this trade was difficult to hate. It puts you into a well developed world that, while at times is over the top, is pretty believable. Sean Murphy writes in such a fashion that makes you want to live in that world. The characters are relatable and flawed, and while it would be easy to make Jesus (Chris) into a Mary-Sue type guy, he really isn’t. The punk references are accurate and not pulled off of wikipedia. I got chills when I first noticed that ex-IRA bodyguard Thomas was listening to a Stiff Little Fingers record.
I have but two negative things to say about this book. The pacing is a little strange. More than half of the trade Chris(t) remains a kid and doesn’t do very much. This would have been fine if it was a monthly (which Murphy could have easily done) but it was a short release seemingly with the goal of releasing a single trade paperback. That’s my second complaint, I wish there was more!
3.8 Fugazi references out of 5.