Brainiac On Banjo #029: Ahoy There, Mr. Christ!

If you’ve been to a comic book shop lately or you’ve thumbed through a recent Diamond Distributors catalog, no doubt you’ve noticed there are a hell of a lot of viable-looking, professionally-operated new publishers around who are doing some very interesting projects. You’ve also noticed there are far too many new projects for you to check out. Or, perhaps, you’re tired of hearing your credit card scream every time you go to the comics shop.

Lucky for Ahoy Comics, one of the better new imprints to come down the pike in the past couple years, our friends at DC Comics just gave them one hell of a promotional boost.

DC had this six-issue project called The Second Coming, by Mark Russell and Richard Pace – which, alone, should be enough to get you to check it out. It’s about Jesus Christ, his superhero roommate Sunstar, and his reactions towards contemporary society. As Russell told the New York Times he was telling a story about how we have “fetishized physical violence and force as being the solution to every problem.” OK, that’s a valid pitch for this satirical series which, clearly, was not intended to be the gospel truth, or a replacement or a revision of same.

DC solicited the first couple issues before word got out to the various hate groups such as the Christian Broadcasting Network, Citizen Go, Christian Headlines, and Fox News. Just because you throw around the word “Christian” does not mean you aren’t a hater, and these groups and their fellow travelers quickly organized petitions urging its cancellation and threatening a boycott of DC.

Of course, absolutely none of these people ever read this as-yet unpublished material. All they knew about it was what was in the solicitation and what bullshit they gleaned from their equally uninformed fellow haters. Worse still, they pulled out the wieniest, whiniest and most pathetic excuse from their quiver: “Can you imagine the media and political uproar if DC Comics was altering and poking fun at the story of Muhammad… or Buddha?” Well, folks, Buddha couldn’t care less and probably would have had a good laugh about it. Muhammad would have sued over likeness rights. They give is a time-worn and still lousy argument for their lack of intellectual and spiritual honesty. They have no idea what they are talking about.

Nonetheless, DC cancelled the project. Clearly, Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences division president Pam Lifford, who runs the company that is part of AT&T’s WarnerMedia, did not want to take on the censorship-happy fiends of the Religious Right, certainly not while they were still receiving flak from the Trump administration for the AT&T / Time Warner merger. This is understandable. She just took the job, and Pam probably would like to avoid shit from equally uninformed stockholders.

So Russell and Pace took their property to Ahoy Comics, which now provides shelter, aid and comfort to The Second Coming.

This isn’t the first time DC inadvertently gave help, comfort and promotion to a strong Third World publisher. Remember DC’s The Boys? The X-ratedish series that DC began and published for a few issues before they chickened out and dumped it? And then The Boys got picked up by Dynamite Comics? And now it’s going to be a television series streaming from Amazon Prime starring Erin Moriarty, Elizabeth Shue and Judge Dredd? Oh, yeah! That one!

An important digression: in the above paragraph, the First World is Marvel, the Second is DC, and there’s about a half-dozen that combined make up this Third World I’m talking about. The Fourth World, of course, is Jack Kirby.

There have been lots of changes coming down at DC lately, with all the firings and cancellations and needless hysteria about a heavily-shadowed shot of (what I assume to be) a small part of Bruce Wayne’s penis in an adult-labeled comic book. I’d call that one “Dickgate” but that would confuse the Comicsgate morons.

Well, DC’s loss is Ahoy Comics’ gain, which is ironic as Ahoy’s staff and contributors includes quite a number of DC folks. They’ve got a solid team over there, and I admire whomever put that together. I think The Second Coming is in the right hands.

So if you’re tired of the same-old yet ever-rebooting same-old, perhaps you should give these new kids a shot. You can start with The Second Coming series, which will hit those comic book stores that believe in freedom of expression on July 19, 2019.

Note: Our pal Bob Harrison put in his two-cents on all this right here