DC Comics is publishing a new comic featuring Jesus Christ as a primary character in March 2019.
“Second Coming” by Mark Russell will feature Jesus’s return to Earth to team up with a Superman analogue. According to DC Comics, the storyline will feature “the return of Jesus Christ, as He is sent on a most holy mission by God to learn what it takes to be the true messiah of mankind by becoming roommates with the world’s favorite savior: the all-powerful super hero Sun-Man, the Last Son of Krispex! But when Christ returns to Earth, he’s shocked to discover what has become of his gospel—and now, he aims to set the record straight.”
In an interview with Bleeding Cool, a pop culture news website, Russel shared his motivation for creating the comic. “The Christian religion doesn’t really base itself on what [Christ] taught, particularly in the modern Evangelical megachurches,” Russel said. “They have him more as mascot on t-shirts to prove they’re on the winning team. [Second Coming] is about Jesus coming down and being appalled by what he sees has been done in his name by Christianity in the last two thousand years.”
Reah Umlauf, sophomore art and illustration major, said, “Honestly, it’s an interesting interpretation of the relationship between God and man and Jesus. It’s really interpretive and art is interpretive. I don’t think it’s meant to be offensive but even if it was, it’s in the more mature comics that DC puts out.”
“It’s always interesting to see different interpretations of biblical ideas, even if other people think it sacrilegious, we should still explore them,” Umlauf said. “It’s nice to see what people who aren’t affiliated with Christianity have to say about the Bible as much as someone who is a Christian has to say about it. It’s really valuable that we go outside of our bubbles and see what other people think about the things that we think.”
Andrew Kirschner, adjunct professor of philosophy, is a huge Superman fan. “The primary reason for my fascination with the Man of Steel is his remarkable connection to Jesus … Jesus hears all our prayers; Superman hears everything,” Kirschner said. “Jesus has eyes like burning fire according to Revelation 1; Superman has heat vision. Jesus walks on water; Superman walks on air. Jesus saves people from a burning eternity; Superman saves people from burning buildings.”
However, Kirschner is disappointed in the author, DC Comics and Vertigo label, who are publishing the comic. “Russell is very disenfranchised with religion and with the church,” Kirschner said. “He hopes to make a satirical commentary on what he considers the sad state of Christianity and its misinterpretation of Jesus’ teachings. I wonder where he studied hermeneutics?”
“I predict the series will be wonderfully witty and blasphemous,” Kirschner said. “I doubt it will have a large impact on the spiritual lives of very many people. Hopefully this sort of nonsense will inspire more Christians to take seriously their doctrine, not just their lives and better learn to apprehend the philosophical and doctrinal issues in the world of entertainment around us.”