Heavyweight Messiah #1 – Comic Book Review
This is a very different take on what we normally think of when we hear the word “messiah”. Most people (and that’s judging by statistics found on Google, not my opinion) think of the second coming of Christ. But what if that second coming did happen…and Jesus was pissed as hell at mankind?
What if, when Christ came back, he preached with his fists, in a boxing ring? Instead of sharing The Word, he advocates violence and abdicates kindness? With every jab, every right hook, every hit to the body, he tries to beat sense into the poor souls of the Earth. I mean, what if he felt we didn’t exactly catch on the first time he was here?
This compelling story of love, hate, pain and betrayal. Is surely gonna mix your emotions and mess with your senses.
Written by Benito Andino
Drawn, inked, coloured by Nano Flavio Giron
When Jesus returns to earth for his second coming he decides to exploit the media of boxing as a way to reach out to the people. Renouncing his previous attempts to reach the people with kindness, he now seeks an opportunity to deliver absolution with his fists in the ring, by beating it out of his opponents.
The violence in the ring may be brutal, but even after the bell has gone Jesus must continue to fight outside of the ring. A voice continues to call him from the shadows trying to entice him with promises, if he will only turn his back and forsake his father.
Heavyweight Messiah is a brilliant new comic book collaboration between Benito Andino and Nano Flavio Giron, which gives a modern interpretation of the second coming, with Jesus taking to the ring to reach the people through the power of media. The idea of Jesus coming back in his second coming as a boxer could easily have adopted a more comical tone, but Benito has taken the route of a more serious and thought-provoking approach which not only took me off guard but managed to deliver quite an impact.
Jesus is portrayed as more humanised than I first expected which is reflected in his conversations with God and his mentality when he returns to earth. After defying God’s advice Jesus finds himself forsaken once more when he returns to earth. In his human physical form, he not only has to endure the physical pain which he experiences in the ring, but the emotional fear and self-doubt. The way he is portrayed works well for the emotional aspect of the story as it gives more of an emotional connection with his struggles.
The story challenges several traditional concepts with the unorthodox second coming of Jesus in the boxing ring, whilst including familiar concepts and ideas which includes the introduction of Marie Magdalene. The most interesting idea, however, is a statement by Gods perception regarding the use of faith for both redemption and self-gain. A statement which challenges the way religion is used and although controversial it is something which I agree with.
The artwork looks great with the dark shadows and the dominating colour tone creating the atmosphere of the moment, whether it is a harsh gritty red tone to emphasise the violence in the ring or the lighter more tranquil moments in heaven. They both work to encompass the emotions of the moment; however, it is the darker moments engulfed in the shadows which come across as the most powerful, depicting the moments where Jesus feeling alone and consumed by self-doubt.
Incorporating some of the traditional concepts with religion, whilst challenging perceptions in a modern world Heavyweight Messiah #1 delivers an intelligent story and a captivating start to the series. As a mature alternative to the superhero trend, this is a surprisingly original comic which I highly recommend checking out.
Heavyweight Messiah is available to download through ComixCentral.