Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artists: Robert Kirkman (layouts), Tony Moore (p & i), Val Staples (colors)
Publisher: Image Comics
ĎTis the time to pay the fiddler, or in Battle Popeís case, pay a (summoned) visit to the Top Pop of Ďem all, the biggest big cheese, the man in the sky, blah blah blah. Just in case anyone is wondering and on the probable chance they havenít read the solicit for this story, in this issue, Battle Pope gets FA-FAASH!-ed away to pay attendance in front of a clearly, as expected, devilled God. (Punny, eh!)
For those who are wondering how this came to be, what did Pope do that led to this event, I have but five words and they are Ė Jesus, birthday, Mary, visit and bed. Just for good measure, Iíll also toss in the pivotal word, "sex." There, that should make things clear about what went down between Pope and the Mother of the Son of God, and not only once but multiple times over. Thanks to heavenís equivalent of water cooler gossip, the word of Maryís Pope-ly escapades reaches Godís ears. Rather than confront Mary with a "sexual talk" (something he says that he has never been able to do), God summons Pope. However, with this just being the first issue of this arc, that meeting will be dealt in the upcoming issues.
Elsewhere, returning home (i.e. to the church where he and the others live now) after a regular grocery run, Pope blows his hat off on learning that in his absence Jesus and Santa went off on patrol, by themselves. Rushing after them, he finds them just beaten to a pulp after having jumped into a fight that was clearly beyond their, uh, skills. Rescuing the duo and beating the demon in question, Pope takes the two of them out on lunch. What he doesnít know is that even as they are sitting down enjoying their meal, an angry and thirsting for revenge Amon is heading towards them. Nursing a continental size crush on Brenda (the demoness that Pope bedded and dumped in issue #10), Amon has spit polished and gassed up his gigantic War Bot and is roaming about searching for Battle Pope. The two run into each other, and it is just their luck that Jesus and Santa get caught in the crossfire, only to find themselves the only game in town after Pope is whisked away to appear before God.
With Tony Moore (pencils, inks) and Val Stapes (colors) on the boards, the quality of art is..., well..., good. What I like best about their work are the character expressions, and how well they depict it, be it the restaurant waiter who Pope complex-ed into shaving his head (last ish.) or God. More than a match for the writing, the art of Battle Pope is better than even quite a few of the "Big Name" titles out currently.
Conclusion: Readers will recognize Santa and Jesusí opening pose as the same one that Jesus has with Pope (which itself is a parody of a classic Batman and Robin one). Though not a classic in the making and full of juvenile digs at established icons (religion or otherwise) Battle Pope does make for an easy tension free read. I usually start a review for this series with a warning for readers who might be offended by the characters and tone of Battle Pope. However, at this late juncture in the story, I take most of them must have already departed. Still, even if it is at the very end of the review, consider this a warning for new readers.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!