Revelation: The Comic Book #1
Draw Near Art Studios (1996)ADAPTATION: Leo Bak COVER ART: Eugene Bak LETTERER: Lucy Kim
As I assume you’ve guessed, this is an adaptation of the Book Of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament. So this may end up being a different kind of review since we’re all at least familiar with what Revelation is. It’s ultimately one artist’s interpretation since none of us were there when John was visited by Jesus. However, issue #1 and 6 (I’m missing issue #2) does have something extra.
The extra bit is that the prison that John is being held in has a new warden and he isn’t happy with one guard’s familiarity with John (or 1603, his prison number). The new guard learns that John has performed miracles, like having advance information on one man’s late son and healing another, and two of the guards are now Christians. That guard, however, has to keep “1603” under control and when he starts begging for pen and paper the guard, not wanting to bother the jailer again (said jailer not thrilled with the changes the warden is making) sneaks him the items.
It’s here that the adaptation takes over. This is the second half of the book, beginning with Jesus appearing with seven stars in his had and a sword coming out of his mouth blade first. Then he gives messages to seven churches. Some are getting his teachings wrong, one church is overworked trying to do charitable works, and one features Jezebel, who gets many men into bed. I don’t know if she misinterpreted “love thy neighbor” to do so. This may be the first of Bak’s attempts to make the vision relatable to us. This also includes one part I’m a little iffy on where a modern rabbi is talking about “your god is dead. We crucified him almost two thousand years ago”. However I haven’t seen anything overtly Anti-Semitic and still has Jesus discussing false Jews leading his people to commit sin, usually sexual immorality. Another panel has some guy trying to force his affections on a woman declaring “Christ set us free, we can do anything”. These are kind of necessary to translate John’s vision into a comic and I don’t have a problem with it.
So far the first issue seems to be pretty good. The art is well done and I think the black & white actually serves the art style better than if it was colored. (Whether this was done to reduce costs or was an actual artistic decision I couldn’t tell you.) We’re off to a good start on this adaptation.