Crucified #1 Review - Jesus is Trending
Updated: Feb 2
Last week I reviewed Mark Russell's and Richard Pace's Second Coming. This week I'm covering Sheldon Allen's Crucified. The difference between the titles is night and day. While Second Coming failed to stick the landing, Crucified give us one of the most interesting comics of 2019. What's really weird is that Jesus is trending in comics in 2019.
I happened upon this book randomly. Every week I ritualistically hit my Local Comic Shop and then browse the store to see what's new. The cover for Crucified immediately grabbed my attention. I rarely see Jesus in comics. It's even rarer that you see a variant of the messiah that is depicted as a person of color. I flipped through the comic and decided it was worth trying out.
This is an excellent comic and I immediately reached out to my shop and added the series to my pull list. The issue doesn't have many supernatural elements and never outright says that "The Christ" is the actual son of God. It's is heavily implied that there is more to the man.
After quelling a 2-week old race war between Blacks and Mexicans in California, "The Christ" gets the attention of the hidden hand behind the riots. The riot was intended to be prolonged for weeks with all of the planning was thrown out of the window once Christ intervenes. Christ is seen as a potential threat to the establishment and an assassin is then hired to take him out.
One of the things I really liked about this book is that it doesn't waste time with an extended setup. By the end of the issue, we know most of the principal players and their motives. The mystery of whether Christ is the returning Massiah is interesting, but more interesting are the characters and subplots surrounding him.
This isn't a parody or a mockery of religion. The question is asked, What If? In leaving the answer up in the air an interesting premise is established.
The art direction for the issue is decent at best. The linework is exceptionally clean and expressive with nothing appearing out of place. Armin Ozdic pencils remind me of Steve Dillon in that the figures looked great but the backgrounds were always sparse.
The reason I almost passed on the book was because of the lack of background and color variation. The comic looks bland and every page looks the same. It doesn't matter if it's an interior shot, outside, or one of the few action sequences. The direction works tonally but it forces the writer to work harder to land scenes via dialogue as the story progresses. I really hate that I can't give Crucified a 10/10 or God-Tier rating.
The story is top-notch but the issues with the art direction cannot be ignored. I can easily see this story being adapted into a television series based on the first issue alone. The story is paced well, the writing is superb. The art isn't the greatest but its the story across.
Despite its minor flaws, the comic is worth reading, be sure to check it out.