Dec 18, 2016
The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 662: Battle Pope #10 (Christmas Pope-tacular!), December 2001
I think perhaps the only time I ever had a letter published in a comic was in an issue of Battle Pope. It was something to the effect that I was glad that when I died, and found out I was totally wrong about this whole God thing, that at least there'd be amazing comic artists and writers down there in Hell with me.
Battle Pope is, by far, the most heretical, irreverent, crude, and possibly hilarious, comic I've read. It's right up there with Preacher as far as its willingness to step across lines and then pick up the line and choke you to death with it. And today's issue, #10, or "Christmas Pope-tacular #1," is no exception. We open on Santa Claus, devastated in the wake of the Rapture and the realization that the world is actually full of naughty people, so he has no purpose, sitting in a bar drinking. He proceeds to pickpocket a little boy, trick a homeless man out of his warm shelter, you know, all those things Santa is known for.
And then we have Jesus, the Pope's sidekick, bummed out because no one thinks about him on his birthday. Eventually J and Santa bump into each other and proceed to beat the hell out of one another.
Oh, and Jesus' Mum shows up for his birthday. Yep, Mary, Mother of God arrives to celebrate her son's birthday with him and his friends. In fishnet stockings and a sexy nun costume. And halo. And breasts that are twice the size of her head. Each.
What's really great about Battle Pope is that, all of this "no fucks given" aside, it's still a really, really good comic. Robert Kirkman, who has knocked comics out of the park with things like Invincible and The Walking Dead, may have been cutting his teeth on this series, but he was still very good at what he does. Battle Pope, which was reprinted in colour by Image Comics, is well worth a look, as long as you're not easily offended. Because it's going to offend you. It wants to.