I lost my faith in Jesus Christ a long time ago. Pretty sure I left it in the mid-90s, somewhere between the advent of internet porn and the burgeoning foliage of my special area. And while his god-sized hole has since been filled by the bearded savior that is my own glorious visage, I will say that if the historic Jesus was anything like the one presented in Nick Marino and Daniel Arruda Massa’s Holy F*cked, I might not have been so quick to give him the slip. This sequel series to Action Lab/Danger Zone’s Eisner Award-worthy Holy F*ck follows the continuing relationship between its laid-back, hella-dope thrasher version of The Christ, and the one-time lord of hellfire (now domesticity), Satan. Basking in the afterglow of victory over the actually devilish machinations of Zeus (and, of course, their regular sexual congress), Jesus and Satan have now returned to the quiet life of enjoying each others’ company. However, as the couple excitedly shares some life-changing Good News with friends, loved ones and sundry soup kitchen patrons, a fresh hell of Herculean vengeance looms in secret from within the ruins of Mount Olympus, poised to destroy their newfound happenis.
Before experiencing Holy F*ck, I had never consumed something that was at once so willfully spiteful of the basic tenants of Judeo Christianity, and yet so absurdly sweet and (pun incoming) goddamn hilarious at the same time. That grand tradition continues in Holy F*cked #1, which is by far the most easily-quaffable yet satisfying read any soulless heathen sinner like you could possibly enjoy this week.
Much like Jesus and Satan in the book, Nick Marino and Daniel Arruda Massa make a great fucking team, the secret arm-wrestling-rife origins of which are laid bare within the issue’s backmatter, which won’t take the average reader long to reach. That’s because Holy F*cked boasts the simple storytelling style usually associated with an all-ages book like Squirrel Girl or Adventure Time, though thankfully that’s where their similarities end.
Still, you shouldn’t come to this book in search of intricate storytelling or lush backgrounds; that’s not to say the craft on display here isn’t competent, it’s just light, bubbly fun that relies on visual gags and an uncomplicated narrative. Of course, unlike most other titles beneath the all-ages banner, this has a much more twisted sense of glee, vetted mostly through a catechism of Jesus-heavy dick jokes. And it is, as Homer Simpson might say, sacrilicious! But that’s not the only reason it’s refreshing.
The good guys in this series -- including Maria, the third and arguably most morally upstanding member of the book’s (un)holy trinity -- are legitimately endearing. While Maria is a lovely and charitable giver, Jesus is a pro-skater who rocks at basketball and is nice to both elderly homeless people and addiction-addled drug mules. Satan may have certain proclivities in the boudoir (like swallowing dildos whole), but why does that matter if he’s also a genuinely good guy; not to mention a keen chef and homemaker?
But yes, make no mistake, this will without question offend even passing devotees of Christianity, but only because there’s sex between the Lord of Hosts and the Prince of Darkness (which admittedly is a pretty big but), and not because its cast is mean or nasty. In fact, the message in Hoy F*cked remains the same as many others of its more innocent ilk; that is, that Friendship is Magic, and it gets there without being vindictive, pretentious or even once taking itself too seriously.
If you haven’t yet figured out that Holy F*cked isn’t for everyone, then you need more help than I am able to provide. It’s kind of in the name. However, those of us who hold nothing sacred except the sophomoric, and enjoy the simple pleasure of graphically scathing books like The Auteur, will instantly want to go back for sloppy seconds after blasting through Holy F*cked #1 like a big rubber dick through Satan’s rectal cavity.
If that mental image doesn’t sell you on this book, nothing will.