ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘American Jesus,’ Vol. 2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

American Jesus v2 cover

American Jesus Vol. 2 is published by Image Comics, written by Mark Millar, with illustrations by Peter Gross, colors by Jeanne McGee, and lettering from Cory Petit.

In American Jesus Vol. 2, set initially in the 1970s, an angel visits the dreams of a young teenage girl named Luciana. He informs her that she is carrying the child of God and that she must protect it at any cost because there are people plotting to murder both her and the child. After Luciana awakens she goes on about her life until she finds out that she is indeed pregnant and cannot explain it since she has never been intimate with her boyfriend, Eddie. She then finds herself on the run with her boyfriend in order to save herself and the unborn child.

Millar writes a thought-provoking story in which he not only inserts discourse about religion but also incorporates a conspiracy theory plot that makes the reader wonder if it’s all in Luciana’s own imagination? The moment and image that catches my attention is on page 26 when the angel explains to her what happens to the Twin Towers in the future and the reader is shown the buildings on a splash page. According to the angel, all this is connected to thirteen satanic families that are trying to solidify their control of the world. That and Luciana’s child will have to face off against the Antichrist eventually.

Millar’s writing does well in capturing the tone of skeptics, religious people, and conspiracy theorists. These three perspectives remind me of everyday conversations I see taking place on social media or from people I know that lean toward one of those three areas. All of this coalesces into a story that slowly builds up, and keeps you guessing until you reach the final chapter.

American Jesus v2 panel

Gross’s art is consistent throughout the American Jesus Vol. 2, but there are some moments where it distinctly stands out over others. For example, the image above that features Luciana and the angel walking through the city is eye-catching. You can see for yourself he took the time to draw all the different people, not to mention the meticulous details on the buildings. However, it’s not only that image, there are pages of precise art as they walk through the city and stop at the Twin Towers on the previously mentioned splash page. Another image like this, is in Chapter Two, as the reader is introduced to Luciana’s teenaged child as they sit under a tree, smoking a cigarette and listening to a Walkman while trying to avoid responsibilities.

Additionally, I like McGee’s colors on Luciana and the angel’s walk through the city. As they begin to walk, everyone around them and the backgrounds become different shades of gray, while Luciana and the angel are the only ones with any color. Petit’s word balloons are placed well and don’t obscure anything important in the background as characters are talking. Some of the words at times are in bold italic, which gives emphasis to those words as characters discuss some of the topics found in this collection. A great example of this can be found in chapter two as Luciana and her child argue about the Bible and the story of Jesus Christ.

I enjoyed American Jesus Vol. 2 and the controversial topics it tackles. Millar continues to write great dialogue that makes the story easy to get through and Peter Gross’s art looks clear and clean even though the story takes place in a cluttered city like New York. Good job by the entire creative team. The collection also includes an interview between Millar and Peter Gross at the end where they reveal they have one more American Jesus story to tell. The interview is worth a read as well. 

American Jesus Vol. 2 will be available soon wherever comics are sold.

American Jesus Vol. 2
4

TL;DR

Mark Millar continues to write great dialogue that makes the story easy to get through and Peter Gross’s art looks clear and clean even though the story takes place in a cluttered city like New York. Good job by the entire creative team. The collection also includes an interview between Mark Millar and Peter Gross at the end where they reveal they have one more American Jesus story to tell. It is worth a read as well.