Battle Pope #3: Pillow Talk
by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, Cory Walker (Image, 2007)

And you thought it was sacrilegious before.

The third volume of Battle Pope, Pillow Talk, is packed to the gills with content that takes a bite out of modern religion, chews it up and spits it out with careless disdain for the fragile sensibilities of zealots who might accidentally stumble upon this book in their local comic-book store. The assassination attempt against the Pope -- and his reckless handling of same -- doesn't even begin to cover it.

There's a torrid affair with a purple-skinned she-demon who, it turns out, doesn't float the Pope's boat as buoyantly as he'd hoped. There's a brief, sushi-inspired bout of manga-style fisticuffs. There's a battle royale between Santa Claus, who's been out of a job ever since the Rapture left not a single good boy or girl on Earth, and Jesus, who feels like his birthday was ruined by a materialistic sack of flab in a jolly red suit. Oh, but these vicious Season's Beatings will make the holiday tremble from manger to pole.

If that's not enough heresy for you, there's the unexpected appearance of Mary, who just had to pop down to Earth to wish Jesus a happy birthday. She, it turns out, was chosen by God more for her cup size than her piety, and she's willing to celebrate her son's natal day in the Pope's well-oiled bed. Of course, a woman who has lain with a God might not be all that impressed with a mere mortal, papal powers or not.

I keep thinking I should be shocked by this book. I feel I should set it aside with an appalled shake of my head and write a review warning all you readers to harken close and stay away from this one. But, damn it all, it's funny. It's fun. It makes me laugh. And, if you aren't too terribly pious about your reading selections, it might just make you laugh, too.

review by
Tom Knapp

7 June 2008

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