God Gave Rock ‘n Roll to You


Punk Rock Jesus #6

Much of the final issue focuses on Thomas McKael, the former IRA terrorist who became the security chief for the J2 project. We see his past, captured by the police and learning for the first time that his father planned to turn evidence against the IRA to keep his family safe. But Thomas’ uncle killed his parents to turn him into the terrorist he thought he should be. Soon enough, Thomas escapes from jail, heads for home and kills his uncle, then turns himself back in to the cops, where he has a vision of the Virgin Mary, who warns him that if he ever takes another life, she’ll send him to Hell.

But back to the present. Chris, the kid who may be the clone of Jesus Christ, and his punk rock band, the Flak Jackets, are preparing to play a concert in Jerusalem, just to anger as many religions as they can. And they’re entirely successful — someone shoots a rocket at them and kills their lead guitarist, and extremists kidnap Chris. Thomas saves him, but only by killing a number of other terrorists. Distraught, he asks Chris if he’s really the Son of God, or if he’s just damned himself for no reason. Chris scuttles the tour.

Slate, meanwhile, destroys the J2 complex to protect himself from criminal prosecution, leading Chris, Dr. Epstein, and her daughter Rebekah to go on TV to announce the bombshell revelation that Rebekah is actually Chris’ twin sister. The news prompts the New American Christians to attack the studio. Can everyone escape, or will someone make the ultimate sacrifice?

Verdict: Thumbs up. If I’ve got a complaint, it’s that it ends too abruptly. But I think that’s a minor nitpick, because this is still a glorious, visceral, action-packed read. The whole series has always teased blasphemy, but it’s said a lot more important stuff about belief, friendship, duty, and family. It’s a great series — I hope you got to read it all the way through, but if you didn’t, keep your eyes peeled for the trade paperback.


Batman Inc. #6

Batman goes after Talia, the head of Leviathan, to try to get her to leave Gotham and Damian alone. Nothing doing — she wants Batman dead, she wants Batman Inc. dead, she really wouldn’t mind too much seeing Damian dead. Will Batman be able to survive the hordes of cloned Man-Bats, fanatical cultists, and brainwashed children attacking him? Will the Knight, the Squire, Halo, Looker, Freight Train, and Batwing live or die? Will the rest of the Bat-family ever even leave the Batcave?

Verdict: Thumbs up. An extremely action-packed and tense story. And I’ll be honest, I don’t really care much whether Batman or Damian survive — it’s their comic, and they’re popular, money-making characters, so of course they’ll survive. But dang, I’m nervous about the survival chances of the Knight and Squire…

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