Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Nate Bellegarde
Publisher: Image Comics
Loaded Bible’s storyline is by far and away one of the most unique I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Here’s the basic idea: in order to combat the vampire hordes that have arisen in our post-apocalyptic future (and to regain control over the people), the Catholic church has cloned Christ and engineered him to be a one-man vampire slaying army. It’s intense to say the least.
The story may seem a bit far fetched, and to be honest it is, but it paints a fantastic and accessible picture of Christ’s humanity. Christ was, after all, God in man, and we must be reminded that He had to face human difficulties and frailties. And while I won’t go so far as to call the book prophetic or theologically sound (if there is such a thing), I do welcome any attempt to visually capture and relate the humanity of Christ.
We see him sent among the vampiric hordes to slaughter, and then have to decide whether to kill a young vampire child, or give it a chance to grow up under different circumstances and deny its nature. He must turn from a God of swift justice and action to Savior who offers mercy, patience, and gives a chance to a creature that may not deserve it, or accept it. I don’t want to give away too much, but this theme is followed heavily throughout the entirety of the book.
The primary struggle in the story is between Christ and his purpose. He’s forced into circumstances that leave him questioning the church, which he was cloned and created to serve. The Church’s leaders then use His image to rein in the will of the people and take control. Yet the true nature of Christ, who was not sent to save an institution but a people, all people, shines through. Does any of this sound familiar?
Again, the circumstances of the book are far-fetched, but the nature of the story is… well about 2,000 years old. The institution of the Church has been doing this for nearly as long as we’ve been around. Sometimes we demonize those we call heretics, or members of other religions (in this case it’s the demons being demonized). Either way, we’re using the image (or cloned remains), of Christ to push a way of thinking onto a vulnerable people. Yet the real image, the truth of Christ will always shine through. People love Christ and He loves people. The moment our souls truly taste the saving waters of Salvation that only flow from Christ, our lives are changed, and our very being evolves.
Just as the characters in this book, and the Christ-clone himself discovers, we must move past the image presented to us and shape our own perspectives through interaction and honesty. We are given one chance to discover the nature of truth and our role in this life. Some people are given very difficult circumstances under which to discover those truths, but it’s the dedication to understanding Christ that unites us, and keeps us focused on fending off the dangers of this existence… whether those distractions be vampires, or just good old blood-sucking Bible-beaters.