Second Coming is a 2019 comic series written by Mark Russell and illustrated by Richard Pace, Leonard Kirk and Andy Troy and published by Ahoy Comics.
God commands Earth's mightiest super-hero, Sunstar, to accept Jesus as his roommate and teach him how to use power more forcefully. Jesus, shocked at the way humans have twisted his message over two millennia, vows to straighten them out.
Second Coming provides examples of:
- Batman Parody: Night Justice is a hero in Sunstar's therapy group who wears all-black, is a Badass Normal with grappling hooks, boomerangs and a small fortune to do his fighting with and possesses a one-sided rivalry with Sunstar.
- Death Seeker: Satan thanks Jesus for ending his life when he corners him, Satan having reached this point when God turns down his plea for redemption.
- Future Imperfect: It is revealed that Jesus's message from the events of the New Testament have become nearly unrecognizable to due to the two-thousand years of hearsay and political tampering, barely recognizing it when he finds a copy of the Bible.
- God Is Inept: A point is made that God is Not So Omniscient After All and this has caused a lot of problems for humans. When Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit, Eve asks how they were supposed to know that it was wrong to do it when they couldn't know what "wrong" even was before they are the fruit, only for God to deflect.God: I mean, I'll create an eyeball, but I won't stick around long enough to make sure it isn't diseased or near-sighted or whatever. Gotta keep the assembly line rollin'. Know what I mean?
Sunstar: So the answer to the eternal question — how can there be evil in the world if God is all-powerful?
God: Laziness. I'm just lazy.
- Humans Are Flawed: While years of trying reign humanity in and failing gives God a Humans Are Bastards stance and Jesus thinks that Humans Are Good and just need encouragement, the comic itself veers more into this. By the end, God is less cynical about humans in his friendship with Sunstar and Sheila, while discovering just how twisted his followers have become teaches Jesus that humans aren't exactly perfect either.
- Irony: Whenever Jesus has a real encounter with modern American Christians, he is either getting into arguments with them (since they are fundamentalists who take the worst message out of it) or they attack him (Satan having recruited a bunch of zealots to attack the "heretic").
- Jerkass to One: While Jesus' entire hat is about learning to show mercy and forgiveness, when God kicks upstream the idea of letting Satan back into Heaven after all this time, Jesus talks him out of it under the assumption that Satan will stab him in the back when it's turned.
- Jesus Was Way Cool: God is portrayed as a lazy deity frequently indifferent to humans and their suffering. Jesus however was determined to help them find a better way. It didn't work out, but he is never shown as anything except a deeply compassionate person, unwilling to do harm except as a last resort in self-defense.
- Jews Love to Argue: A flashback in the second volume has a Rabbi in a protracted debate with his peers because some of them want an oven to be deemed non-kosher for the gross quality of food due to its shoddy construction. He argues that it's not technically against the letter of the Torah, and regularly gets backing from God with calls for a sign if he's not wrong, yet they persist. When God gets fed up and shows himself to deem him correct, they proceed to ask God himself how closely he's studied the Torah. (Based on an actual Jewish legend from the Mishnah.)
- "Last Supper" Steal: When Satan gathers his own Legion of Doom, they are all together on a table similar to The Last Supper.
- Mundane Afterlife: Heaven is fairly nice but a pretty mundane place to live. A subplot in the second volume involves a puritanical old man who spent his whole life avoiding anything that he considered "sinful" and is furious when he finds out how ordinary Heaven is. (On the other hand, there's no Hell in the "eternal lake of fire" sense — "Hell" is the area of Heaven near the city dump, so its residents have to deal with garbage smells and annoying seagulls. One gag panel reveals that Hitler and Stalin are now in neighboring apartments there.)
- Papa Wolf: The reason why it took 2000 years for the Second Coming to happen was because God was so horrified by Jesus' crucifixion that he barred him from returning to Earth for his own protection.
- Second Coming: It's in the name. Though a point it made that Jesus returned way later than he said he did. This is because God was so horrified by what Jesus went through the first time, he doesn't let Jesus return until after two-thousand years.
- Superman Substitute:
- Sunstar lands in all of the usual trappings of the trope; he's The Ace among superheroes, has Flying Brick powers with laser vision, has his own kryptonite (solanite), is a Human Alien raised on Earth, etc. Though he isn't as flawless as Superman, having accidentally killed humans in robot suits thinking they were just robots and briefly took on a "With Great Power Comes Great Perks" stance after a brief talk with God.
- Sunstar also deconstructs the Chronic Hero Syndrome lifestyle of being Superman. He struggles with this status as The Ageless and the fact everyone mortal that he loves will die again and again. The fact he constantly saves lives is also brought up as conflicting for his personal desires, in general saving at least 20 lives a day. When his wife wanted to go on a two week honeymoon and demanded he take a break, he remarked doing so would cost 280 lives that he could saved during that time and was reluctantly forced to give up 140 lives just to make his wife happy.
- Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
- Sunstar and his girlfriend are unable to conceive a child because she is human while he is a Human Alien. Subverted in the end when God blesses them with a child as thanks for being Jesus' friend.
- Jesus is briefly arrested and put up for psychiatric evaluation when he claims to be the Jesus Christ.
- When Sunstar and his girlfriend try to get married, they find out it's illegal almost everywhere due to Sunstar not being human and in fact lacking legal citizenship in his alien identity. They're forced to get married by a Unitarian Church in secret.
- Take That!: There are more than a few digs against theism (at least, certain versions), with God portrayed as inept and lazy. However, it really goes hard against American fundamentalist Christians, who actually beat Jesus when he reappears, offended due to his disagreements with their bigotry.
- Tropaholics Anonymous: Sunstar attends a support group for costumed people, along with Night Justice and Lady Razor, who is eventually revealed to be a costumed villain.