Battle Pope #1: Genesis,
by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore
(Funk-o-Tron, 2001; Image, 2006)

Editor's Note: A new, revamped edition of this book came across our desk under the Image flag, and Tom Knapp tackled its review in good humor. It was only later he realized the book had previously been reviewed in its former Funk-o-Tron incarnation by Michael Vance; however, since their opinions differ so very much, he decided to go ahead and add his thoughts to the mix.

Of what use is a beautifully wrapped package of sewage?

Battle Pope is a new comic book that answers that question. Its art is outstanding. Its content stinks.

Its best use is as landfill.

The premise of Battle Pope is simple. A Pope who has committed every atrocity imaginable stands in judgment before God to receive a commission to fight against the creature he emulates, Satan. His sidekick is to be that "inept" Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Ignorance is no defense of his excesses because the writer of Pope understands the principles that he trashes. Save your breath if you would claim the exaggeration of satire or the broad brush of parody as justification. Satire seeks truth as well as yucks, and the only goal of parody is laughter. Battle Pope falls far short of anything approaching humor or truth.

Christians will find the book blasphemous. Most other readers will find its graphic sex, violence and profanity tasteless, excessive and unentertaining.

The best scenario is this pretty package won't be found at all.

by Michael Vance
22 October 2002

Battle Pope: Genesis will really piss off a lot of people. It's sacrilegious to the furthest extreme, filled with heretical notions about the days on Earth after God has claimed the righteous; only the bad folks remain, along with a few hordes from Hell who invaded the mortal coil once the interdimensional walls came down.

But God still cares about the people left behind after the Rapture, so He sent the archangel Michael, in full gung-ho military mode, to oversee the world in His absence. But Michael has been kidnapped by Lucifer, who covets the power inherent in the halo, so God taps a potential hero to lead the rescue: Battle Pope.

OK, Catholics may wonder why the Pope is still on Earth post-Judgment Day, but this Pope is a hard-drinking, cigar-chewing, brawling and fornicating sinner. Once he's been pumped up with heavenly power, however, he's more than a match for whatever demons Hell might spew forth.

If the concept offends you, if you're recoiling from your computer screen in horror at such filth, then please, read no further. Battle Pope is not for you.

Those of you still reading may be amused to learn that Battle Pope's sidekick in this endeavor is none other than Jesus H. Christ, who is not the epitome of an action hero by any stretch. But he wears cool t-shirts ("What Would I Do?" is one) and pluckily threatens a demonic tormenter with fishes and loaves.

If you're worried that God will smite you for reading this trash, kindly direct your attention elsewhere. Green Lantern is fun. But if you can approach religious topics with a sense of humor and believe that God enjoys a good bellylaugh, too, you might find yourself secretly enjoying this motherlode of action-packed entertainment.

by Tom Knapp
17 November 2007

Buy it, if you dare, from