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    Mark Millar’s American Jesus

    By | May 14th, 2009
    Posted in Reviews | % Comments

    After doing so many reviews for New Comic Book Day, I figured I would take a short break and write about something else I’ve been reading recently. I have a list of graphic novels that I want to get through, and it just so happened that I stumbled upon one of them, just re-released after being out of print for a while and available for $9.99. I figured there was no reason to pass up this opportunity and grab it while it’s hot rather than wait for this edition to go out of print as well, and it is thus that I ended up with my copy of Mark Millar’s American Jesus Book One: The Chosen.

    In short, The Chosen is the first part of a trilogy that all in all discusses the second coming of Jesus Christ. A young boy of twleve years old, after surviving a terrific accident unharmed, discovers he suddenly has knowledge he never had before, can heal the blind and can turn water into wine. As he picks up a copy of the Bible, he suddenly feels that he understands his destiny, and quickly everyone in town starts to revere him as Christ reborn.

    When I first heard about Mark Millar’s book The Chosen, I can’t say I was overly thrilled. I am all for stories about Jesus because I find the guy intriguing, and I am also all for sacreligious comic books (seeing as Preacher is one of my favorite stories of all time). But as far as Mark Millar goes, I didn’t really have faith in him to busting out a story that fits either demographic. I love Mark Millar as a writer and think he can tell some fantastic stories, but I always figured he was better off in the super hero world. While that may still be true, when I finished The Chosen I changed my mind and apologized to Millar.

    It’s not that this is the most amazing thing he’s ever written. Far from it, in fact. It starts off slow, the art in this (compared to other artists he has worked with) is nothing really special, and the whole time you are reading it you’re picking up little cliches that go along with most every second coming of Christ story. It’s not until you get to the final handful of pages that you truly see Millar’s vision and understand what it is that you’ve been reading. This is not a stereotypical second coming of Christ story by any standards. In fact, having finished reading the first book, I want to go through and re-read it a second time (it’s a quick read) and see what I notice better now. I’ve got to give it to Millar with this one, as he really had me turning the pages at the end of the book. While I’ve always felt him to be a great writer, and his character owned properties are very good, it is quite possible that American Jesus could stand to be his most important work, if not his best or most popular.

    If you have any interest in theology, the Book of Revelations, or even just a good old fashioned origin story (as Simon Pegg calls it), this is the book for you. It’s got Millar’s humor, but it also has a serious tone about it that produces confidence in what the final outcome will be, and as those of us who have read it gear up for book two in the series, I can only beckon you to join us in reading this short graphic novel for the end of the world as only Mark Millar can tell it.

    Click on the image to the left to order your copy of American Jesus Book One: The Chosen.

    Matthew Meylikhov

    Once upon a time, Matthew Meylikhov became the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Multiversity Comics, where he was known for his beard and fondness for cats. Then he became only one of those things. Now, if you listen really carefully at night, you may still hear from whispers on the wind a faint voice saying, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine is not as bad as everyone says it issss."