Crabcake Confidential: Zombie Jesus!/The Beast

There are very few names in comic books as controversial or as mocked as one Rob Liefeld. I’ve mentioned before on this blog that I actually don’t hate Liefeld. I became a huge comic fan in the 90’s and Robbieboy was a huge part of that. However, some of Rob’s projects are so out there that even my own faith is tested. And, man, wouldn’t you know it, Rob’s first forays into webcomics are more that a little off the deep end than usual. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s Zombie Jesus! and The Beast. (These are two separate titles, incidentally, and not some crazy Beauty and the Beast tribute. Sadly.)

Both comics have a very … unique take on Christian themes. I should point out that this isn’t the first time Mr. Liefeld has incorporated Christianity into his comics. If I remember right, Prophet was awash in heavy-handed Christian imagery from Revelations. And then there was a possibly blasphemous issue of Avengelyne where a muscular Jesus got off the cross to lay the smackdown on the Greek Pantheon.

Liefeld carries over the same “Biblical badasses who have muscles upon muscles” theme to his two webcomics. The first, Zombie Jesus!, is a black and white number based on a literal interpretation of Matthew. When Jesus dies on Good Friday, the zombies walk the earth. Judas somehow gets off the tree where he hanged himself, possessed with demonic rage. Larazus is some sort of immortal warrior, as Jesus raising him from the dead was more or less a permanent thing. And Simon Peter has decided to ignore Jesus’ command to put his sword away after cutting of a dude’s ear to deliver everyone from evil. A zombie/Holy Scriptures mash-up? Stab my eyes, it’s sooooooo random!

The Beast is less nuts, which makes it a little less stupid but a lot more boring. It also features the crowning example of Liefeldian Man. You know, the giant shoulder pads, the pipes coming out the back, the bandana, the unwieldy flashlight gun (and, yes, pouches). So the Guile-looking guy is named John Corbin … wait, you mean like DC Comic’s Metallo? C’mon, Rob. Anyway, he’s a WW3 vet (the war the Brits save our asses, I think). Now, he’s a soldier of fortune riding his hog all over Israel with a dude named Corinthian (sadly, not the same guy with teeth for eyes) and shooting dudes with wanton abandon. He’s told that he has the same power given to Moses, the Three Wise Men, and Jesus, which is a really forced way of saying that the guy has a destiny.

I have to say that the coloring does a great job of hiding the Liefeld house style. You almost don’t notice that everyone’s grimacing or glowering 24/7, or how hands are drawn like weird-looking claws, or the lack of any discernable plot.

As of this writing, eight pages of Zombie Jesus! and nine pages of The Beast have been put online. Both webcomics debut the first two weeks of November, and hasn’t updated since. Will we ever find out whether Mary Magdelene gets cast as a hot, scantily-clad, anatomically confusing zombie-killer for the Lord? Or will we see John Corbin shooting more dudes in the Middle East on his way to meeting the titular Beast? It’s too early to call, but Liefeld does have a reputation for abandoning his projects when he gets bored … so don’t hold your breaths.

Overall, Rob Liefeld’s webcomics fall somewhere between the annoying Lobo-ripoff Bloodwulf and the forgettable and unfinished-looking Re: Gex*. I’m confused as to who the intended audience for these webcomics are. People who appreciate irreverent humor? Christians who wish the Bible was just a little more EXTREME? Zombie fans? Apocalypse fetishists? I can’t see ether comic going over well in any of those categories.

Final Grade:

Awwww, who can stay mad at that little scamp?

* – Originally, I had this as The Coven, then I did some research and realized Rob only did the covers. Such is the perils of trying to remember the really, really bad Rob Liefeld comic you once read in your wild and crazy youth.


Posted on December 2, 2010, in action webcomic, adventure webcomic, Crabcake Confidential, fantasy webcomic, horror webcomic, The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics, zombie webcomic and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Honestly, I don’t know who Liefeld is aiming these comics at. The only Christian book series that I know of that is similar to Liefeld’s Christian battle comics is the “Left Behind” series, but thankfully Liefeld doesn’t share the same political agenda that “Left Behind” authors LaHaye and Jenkins crammed into their book. Liefeld is more about the mythology in Christianity. “Left Behind” isn’t so much about the Book of Revelations, but rather telling people that homosexuality and abortions are WRONG. But both stories do seem to contradict the whole “peaceful Christian” idea.

    I don’t know much about Liefeld or his view on Christianity, but if he’s aiming his stories at the Christian market, I think he will be disappointed. “Left Behind” has run its course, and most Christians aren’t looking for any replacements.

  2. The only audience Liefeld requires is Liefeld, as Liefeld is Liefeld’s only fan.

  3. The poster boy for Comic Book Stupidity. What pretty much prevents comics from being respected as an art in itself.

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