ALICE COOPER VS PRINCE OF DARKNESS
Dynamite Comics announced a new Alice Cooper graphic novel written by Rodney Barnes of Killadelphia. Barnes exclaims that he is excited to portray Alice matched against his “most powerful opponent to date” – the Prince of Darkness.
Alice seems excited as well to return to the comic book medium.
“The Graphic Novel medium is perfect to give new angles to the fans. There is so much more you can do in the form of a comic than you can do onstage, and the Dynamite team help take ideas to new levels. It’s just a great vehicle for storytelling, and it really has almost limitless possibilities. I had such a great experience with Dynamite on our last story, that I’m looking forward to working with them on more. We’re hoping to stretch the existing boundaries of the comic medium again, and doing it with the same theatrical, sinister sensibility that comes with the name ‘Alice Cooper.’ What else can I say but Welcome to my new nightmares!”– Alice Cooper
In anticipation of his next endeavor, let’s look at a classick, The Last Temptation – a three-part comic by Neil Gaiman. The comics and supporting LP are monumental and place Alice in new territory.
“(The Last Temptation LP) far surpasses anything Cooper recorded in almost 20 years; (it) is unquestionably some of his best work.” – Barry Webb, allmusic.com
Gaiman and Cooper masterfully created a story with a protagonist, a hero, a victim, a reason, and a conclusion. In addition, the three comics are named after songs from the LP – the connection between the books and the LP is seamless. The books and synopsis of each are listed below.
Act #1: A Bad Place Alone
A mysterious theatre appears from nowhere; a sinister Showman entices Steven inside and shows him some theatrical entertainment. The Showman claims that the show is free. Steven is beginning to suspect that there may have been some kind of price after all…
Act #2: Unholy War
In Act II of our play, we shall follow Steven through night and day as he discovers that nothing’s free… Especially not a ticket to the Showman’s Theatre. And he does indeed have a big day ahead of him.
Act #3: Cleansed By Fire
In book three, we return with Steven to the theatre. We learn a little history, watch a little pain, find no mercy and pray with Steven that the Showman’s world can be cleansed by fire.
The storyline comes to life book by book as Steven is manipulated and tempted by the Showman’s tricks and lies. Finally, Steven is offered his heart’s desires but at a price. Is the cost worth it or not?
We are offered many things during our life, and most of those things come with a price. So what are we willing to pay to gain them?
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” – Mark 8:34-38
What does Jesus mean, “deny yourselves?” Does He propose we should never enjoy life? Does He intend for us to suffer and only live a life of martyrdom?
We believe Christ was asking us to choose Him as our lead in life instead of sin and self-satisfaction. It’s not about living life without pleasure or enduring needless pain. Instead, it’s about repentance and perseverance.
“It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not everyone was clean.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. – John 13:3-17
Notice the verses above; Christ’s actions and words reveal His intentions. Jesus is leading us to selflessness. But are we willing to place others above ourselves? Do we treat everyone equally and Love them as He Loves us?
Choosing Him means choosing Love.
Much like Steven is offered the world by the Showman in The Last Temptation, we are offered peace by our Lord, Jesus Christ. Through free will and independence, we are offered the ability to know Love unconditionally and share that Love with the world.
Simple and to the point, it’s a choice – what road do we choose?
The enemy wants us to believe that life is only about us – serving ourselves instead of others. However, “Nothing’s Free.” Our actions and lifestyles have consequences. Do we fully understand the ramifications of those?
If not, maybe we should take a closer look at our lives and the path we are currently on. Then, as we continue to live and breathe, we are permitted the opportunity to redirect our course and right the ship – again, the choice is ours and requires diligence.
In conclusion, The Last Temptation sets the bar relatively high for any subsequent graphic novels, but knowing Alice (and Dynamite comics), the outcome will be worth the wait.
In the meantime, if you haven’t checked out The Last Temptation comics and LP, do yourself a favor. It’s a book-by-book, track-after-track roller coaster that will leave you excited, inspired, and rejuvenated.
The following is the track list with our favorites listed in BOLD:
- Sideshow (Cooper, Smith, Brooks, Norwood, Wexler, Saylor) (6:29)
- Nothing’s Free (Cooper, Wexler, Saylor) (5:01)
- Lost In America (Cooper, Wexler, Saylor) (3:53)
- Bad Place Alone (Cooper, Wexler, Saylor) (5:04)
- You’re My Temptation (Cooper, Blades, Shaw) (5:09)
- Stolen Prayer (Cornell, Cooper) (5:39)
- Unholy War (Cornell) (4:10)
- Lullaby (Cooper, Vallance) (4:28)
- It’s Me (Cooper, Blades, Shaw) (4:39)
- Cleansed By Fire (Cooper, Hudson, Dudas, Saylor) (6:13)
Oh wait, did you notice all tracks are in BOLD? Yep, it’s that good. Be sure to check it out.
That’s it for this week! Be well and catch you next Friday.
Until then, Keep Walkin’ in Faith and Rockin’ with Alice!
Have you accepted Christ as your Savior?
If you would like to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please pray the following prayer:
"God, I believe in you and your son Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave to save me. Today, I invite Jesus into my heart to stay. I make you Lord over my life. Make me new. Wash me, Lord, and cleanse me. In Jesus Name, Amen"
If you have just prayed that prayer, we want to celebrate your new victory with you. Please contact us at email@example.com so we can welcome you into the kingdom. We don't want you to have to walk alone and we have some resources we would like the opportunity to share with you.
NOTE: We’d also like to share the following resources used by “Fridays With Alice.” Without these books and sites, this would be a much more complicated endeavor. So be sure to check them out if interested.
Click the images to learn more about these resources: