Before I go any further, I have a confession to make. I did not pick up Battle Pope in a bargain bin. I paid full price for a shiny new trade. However, what Battle Pope lacked in low, low prices it made up for with blasphemy-laden kick-assery.
One of the first things I noticed about Battle Pope (beside it being called Battle Pope and the muscle-bound Pope on the front cover dual-wielding John Woo style on the front cover) is that it's written by Robert Kirkman. Yes, that's the guy that writes The Walking Dead. Needless to say, Battle Pope is a tad different than Kirkman's other works.
Battle Pope is Book of Revelations meets B-list action flick. It's kind of like if Brock Samson were Pope during a post-rapture future. Battle Pope chain smokes cigars like Wolverine, pounds whiskey like an Irish author, and chases tail like a senator. He's quick to spout cheesy one-liners and smart ass remarks while he decapitates demons with a broadsword and/or mows thems down uzi's.
The story is simple. God returns to earth to take those who have lived pure, sin-free lives to heaven--which is only two people (spoiler alert: Pope's not one of them!). This pisses God off royally, so he decides to stop watching over Earth. With God not around to keep everything in check, Hell opens up and it's demonic denizens start to wreak havoc. God sends St. Michael to protect humanity, but he gets captured by Lucifer. So, God takes our left-behind, foul-mouthed, lecher of pope and gives him super powers making him the Battle Pope! Battle Pope and his bungling, hippie sidekick, Jesus (yup), must fight the forces of Hell to free St. Michael
Battle Pope is fun, guilty pleasure read if you're not easily offended by parodies of religious icons. It's a simplistic story that relies heavily on it's ridiculous premise for laughs, which isn't entirely a bad thing. Pope's raunchy behavior and Jesus' childish incompetence make for some funny moments. However, the joke starts to fizzle towards the end of the book, but it's still a hell of a ride if you're into dirty jokes and ultra violence.
Battle is also a glimpse into the early career of Kirkman. It's also interesting to note that the original publishing of Battle Pope was entirely in black and white. It wasn't until the re-released trade (which is what I bought) that series was seen in color.