After ordering the Star Bastard issues from Scout Comics I was reminded of this other title that they put out, which I had heard about before it was published and planned to get but had since forgotten about. Again this is due to the fact that for some reason Scout Comics has not made any of their titles available via Comixology or some other digital source, which is the primary way in which I buy new comics these days. So I went ahead and ordered the first two issues of this series.
Written by Sheldon Allen, this issue opens with an extended flashback sequence where we see that a year ago in Los Angeles a race riot had broken out between Blacks and Hispanics and had been going on for two weeks. With the police and National Guard unable to stop the violence, the mayor contacted an individual known as The Christ, a young Black man with deadlocks. All we’re told of him is that he had a large church congregation in Compton. The Christ lead a large group of his flock straight through downtown L.A. in the midst of the violence until they reached city hall, where he proclaimed “Enough.” And with that, the rioting stopped and everything slowly returned to normal.
Okay, so we’re off to an intriguing start. Who is this man? Is he actually Christ returned in the flesh, or some kind of superhuman? Or could he be a fraud? There are many directions that this story could go, and that is why I was interested in this series in the first place.
Unfortunately, none of those questions are answered, nor even appear to be headed toward being answered, as the rest of this issue does not focus on The Christ but rather introduces a bunch of new characters, with very little information given as to any of their backgrounds (or even their names) all in response to The Christ.
There’s a woman referred to as Ms. Newbold, who is hired by a man who claims to represent some mysterious clients who were behind the riots and wanted to cause “instability” and now want The Christ dead. She then hires some professional assassin to do the deed, and we see that man in the midst of killing someone random man who is not named. That man later goes to a mansion where some rich man has just killed some young woman and is paid to dispose of the body for him, which is apparently a job he has done before.
Then we meet another man who is supposed to be The Christ’s head of security. He’s meeting with some Haitians who pay him $100,000 to get a private meeting with The Christ because they want him to save some young boy who is supposedly possessed by a demon. And then we see a local anchorwoman trying to seduce a man in exchange for an exclusive interview with The Christ.
So this issue a lot of talking heads, with very little information actually given. It feels largely padded, starting with the opening 7 pages depicting the race riot, and continuing with all of the long conversations with the other characters. It feels like writer Sheldon Allen could have easily condensed this issue to include more info and move the story forward faster. I’ll also note that Allen could have done a little research if he wanted to set his story in Southern L.A., as he has a character refer to “The Great Western Forum”, a popular venue located in my hometown of Inglewood, but which hasn’t been owned by Great Western in 16 years.
Art-wise, Armin Ozdic does a fine job, but he’s not given much to work with here.
Truthfully, if I had just bought this one issue when it was first published I don’t think I would have bothered buying the second issue.
Chacebook rating: TWO STARS
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