The times . . . they are a-changin.
A few comedians have posited over the years: “What if the folks talking to themselves on the street are actually talking to God? What if they’re the next coming and we’re all the crazy ones?” Well, other than Bluetooth devices making even more people look like they’re talking to folks who aren’t there, that thought hasn’t been coming around as much as of late. Enter Batvin Geant and Kay in their Rise of the Antichrist series, following a man whose life has led him to asylum, and his only solace is in the bedtime stories of his youth which happen to be some of the bloodiest and gruesome chapters of the Bible.
Geant places our unfortunate protagonist in a theological pickle, having been the recipient of just a shade too much ECT. Michael finds himself being brought back by the last person pretty much anyone wants to meet. Most thoughts toward the idea of the Antichrist are that he will lead through manipulation of the Word of God ™ and His teachings for selfish purpose. Geant takes this idea and runs with it, giving a man with questionable mental alacrity an (Excuse the expression.) unholy amount of power and setting this unique individual into the flock of the rest of us. His faith seems to be strong, and Geant’s use of the text from various translations of the Bible is ever-present and leads Michael to follow its law to the letter. There’s a question of who’s really in charge, we wonder whether he truly has free will or if he’s an obvious pawn of a vicious master, and the story stays charged and tight as we follow through his trials.
Okay, I have to say that above pretty much any other single subject matter, I have never been as squeaked out by imagery more than the stuff that comes from the Bible. That’s not an exaggeration; some of the ideas and visuals coming from the holy book have caused me to feel revulsion and terror to the core, and Kay’s artwork in this field certainly lives up to the tradition. The version of hell we glimpse is stomach turning not only in theme and content but in nuance and composition, as well. The story style is messy and suggestive, allowing our minds to work in the blurred edges of the panels and add our own monsters there. All in all, an impressive and graphic body of work.
If you’re a fan of good books gone bad or just like a little fiction that jives closely with the End of All Things, this title is for you. With mayhem and lunacy marrying with apocalyptic proportions, horror fans that enjoy watching a man twitch down the dark path will certainly enjoy this ride.
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