Apr 04 2012
What better avenue to explore creative license than attempting to visualize God in a comic book? Imagine the fun it would be to try to illustrate the concept. Yes, that is what God is, ultimately. A concept. No one has actually seen this God everyone speaks of, so we can only conceptualize what God may look like by our own terms. The great thing about comic books is, they do what they want. They put things to visuals in THEIR OWN terms, and then show us the end result.
Though some believe in God, and others do not, comic book creators have no fear of treading on the taboo and showing you what their version of God is, in terms of their story. Here are six wildly varying versions of God, as seen through the eyes of comic book creators and illustrators. Beware, if you believe in God, these could be considered potential life spoilers.
God in PREACHER
I will say this right now, Preacher is easily one of the greatest comic books ever created, and in terms of WTF moments and readability, it is in a league all by itself. Even outshining The Walking Dead by a great deal.
I am one of those few people who are very grateful no major movie company or cable channel has attempted to sully it’s perfection with what would ultimately end up being a subpar adaptation. You could NEVER do material this twisted justice without scaring off a good deal of your potential audience in the process. But I digress.
Preacher is about a man who becomes fused with a being known as Genesis. Genesis is the offspring of a tryst between an angel and a demon. So, long and the short, an angel and a demon bumped uglies, a spirit was born, and that spirit flew to Earth and inhabited the body of a hard drinking Texas preacher named Jesse Custer. Who then inherited God’s powers. Without saying too much, the “word of God” power is my favorite comic book power of all time, ’nuff said.
But God is in this book, too. And, well, he is not the most pleasant guy.
What comes next we will never speak of.
This version of God is disgusted with the fact that man would have his knowledge, and looks at humanity as something that is under him. And while he visually looks like what you imagine a typical interpretation of God would look like, he is far from the loving God you learned about in Sunday school, and that is what makes this version so awesome and such a joy to read.
Also worth noting: The cover to each issue was absolutely mind blowing.
While I refuse to get into the intricacy of the relationship between God and Jesse, or how things play out for this version of God, I will say this: If you have not read, and/or are not reading this series (which has been conveniently collected in graphic novels from beginning to end) then you are doing yourself a huge injustice.
And God is watching. And this one is not too afraid to kick your ass.
God in The Fantastic Four
Alright, I will admit, this one is a little cheesy. But for fans of the Golden Age of comic books and fans of classic artists, this one was also a sort of Easter egg, and made a bunch of us fanboys smile.
Long and the short: Thing gets possessed by Dr. Doom and Mr Fantastic has to kill him. They then go off to afterlife to bring him back because, well, this is comic books, that is just the type of stuff comic books do.
So there are a lot of existential questions posed and metaphysics discussed, and finally, they arrive on God’s doorstep. And wouldn’t you know it, God looks an AWFUL LOT like Marvel Pioneer and artist extraordinaire Jack Kirby.
And he was one of their “creators” so this is actually quite brilliant and “meta”.
And maybe the coolest moment of all about their meeting, he uses his “magic pencil” (which is not as creepy as it sounds, I promise) to erase some scars on Reeds face from some recent altercations. It was a definite moment of deus ex machina, but it was an extremely cool, albeit slightly silly example of it.
A perspnal reason I put this on the list is a personal connection I had to it. My Father, who is the most amazing illustrator I know, had a picture of Jack Kirby hanging in over his desk through his entire career as an illustrator, so to really appreciate this moment, you need to appreciate what Jack Kirby meant to a lot of young artists and how many souls he would go on to influence and inspire.
If you have a golden age hero, there is a good chance Kirby helped create him.
Was the moment a bit silly? Ofcourse it was! But sometimes, between all the heavy-handed, self-righteous, serious comic books, you need to be reminded that silly is not always a bad thing, and this moment with their version of God did just that. And Kirby is a comic God to many, so it was nice to see him get some respect.
God in SPAWN
So to even attempt to inform you on what lead up to the moment in the Spawn comic book when he met God would cause a seizure in even the most dedicated fan. Spawn had a tendency to do that from time to time ( meaning always), having stories that get so convoluted within the pretension of their world, that the story itself gets buried under “too much epic”, and that happened here as well.
Spawn comics RARELY shy away from using religious imagery for effect.
Don’t believe me? Alright pull up a chair: Armageddon is happening, and Satan and God are watching their armies clash on the Earth, and Spawn (who is a God himself now, don’t ask) just starts decimating both sides, to which God and Satan reply: Holy shit, we need to stop this dude.
They pair up their armies, the armies of Heaven and Hell, and Spawn is like “f**k this noise” and wipes the earth free of all inhabitants. AKA kills everyone. Spawn is happy all of the armies of Heaven and Hell are wiped out, but he kind of feels bad that he had to kill every human being on Earth, too, so he goes into a kind of emo phase.
But then, God and Satan kill Spawn, because, um, he killed everyone else. But then they realize that Spawn was the last element of humanity left, and they get REALLY mad at each other, and God and Satan begin fighting again. Endlessly, for all time.
See what I mean? This comic makes LOST seem easy to follow.
Apparently their basis for God was on the 90’s Latin pop star, Gerardo. Best known for his classic, Rico Suave.
But more importantly, this comic makes God look like a creepy, Spanish porn star (who even has a mullet) and that is, most likely, an image of God very few people had. Except for Spanish porn stars. I bet to them, based on visuals alone, this version of God is perfect.
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