Monday, February 11, 2008

Jesus Christ Superhero

Over at his blog, the Reverend Elvis takes great pains to show how the Bible could really use some punching up when it's compared to the Great Comic Books of Truth. It appears that someone is listening. The result is a manga-version of the Bible:

Ajinbayo Akinsiku wants the world to know Jesus Christ, just not the gentle, blue-eyed Christ of old Hollywood movies and illustrated Bibles.

Mr. Akinsiku says his Son of God is 'a samurai stranger who’s come to town, in silhouette,' here to shake things up in a new, much-abridged version of the Bible rooted in manga, the Japanese form of graphic novels.

'We present things in a very brazen way,' said Mr. Akinsiku, who hopes to become an Anglican priest and who is the author of 'The Manga Bible: From Genesis to Revelation.' 'Christ is a hard guy, seeking revolution and revolt, a tough guy.'
Not surprisingly, given the format, the focus is on holy ass kicking, which leaves precious time for, you know, the actual "love your neighbor" philosophy:
In a blurb for the Manga Bible, which is published by Doubleday, the archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, is quoted as saying, 'It will convey the shock and freshness of the Bible in a unique way.'

No doubt. In the Manga Bible, whose heroes look and sound like skateboarders in Bedouin gear, Noah gets tripped up counting the animals in the Ark: 'That’s 11,344 animals? Arggh! I’ve lost count again. I’m going to have to start from scratch!'

Abraham rides a horse out of an explosion to save Lot. Og, king of Bashan, looms like an early Darth Vader. The Sermon on the Mount did not make the book, though, because there was not enough action to it.
If that's not a sad commentary on the modern state of Christianity, I don't know what is.

On a related note, the article points out:
Publishers with an eye for evangelism and for markets have long profited by directing Bibles at niche markets: just-married couples, teenage boys, teenage girls, recovering addicts. Often the lure is cosmetic, like a jazzy new cover.
If it's the word of God - or even just "divinely inspired" - why does it have to be repackaged for every generation and potential market? Shouldn't its transcendent truths shine through regardless?

1 comment:

Elvis Drinkmo said...

It's about goddamn time someone from that comic book club shows some of their heroes kicking ass.

Still, if pitted against Batgirl, I'm afraid that the Samari Jesus would be even less effective than one of Ra's al Ghul's underlings.