Saturday, February 28, 2015

Book Review: Messiah: Origin Adapted by Matt Dorff

Messiah: Origin adapted and edited by Matt Dorff, translations by Mark Arey, art by Kai Carpenter

A lot of superhero franchise reboots suffer from the same problem. The adapters don't appreciate the source material from which they craft a "new take on" or a "more relevant version of" someone like Superman, who has been ill-served recently in both comic books and on the big screen.

Messiah: Origin takes on a person much more significant than Superman. It retells the story of Jesus Christ's origin as described in the four Gospels. The text in the book is a new translation from the Greek without any new words or ideas added. The translation is happily faithful--the text is at once familiar and fresh. The words harmonize well with the new and striking imagery. Reading the book feels like plunging into history and art. It pulls out wonder and surprise from stories that may have become too familiar to pay close attention to. The reader feels the weight of the prophets pointing to the Messiah and the majesty of the angels who visit Zacharias, Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds. Facial expressions communicate a lot and draw out the emotion of the events. The art is wonderfully evocative.

The authors of this book have done a brilliant job of weaving the source material into a seamless whole and presenting it in a visually affecting manner. The first page simple says "Messiah - Volume 1," and I can only hope that there are more volumes to come of this fresh and invigorating presentation of the gospel story.

SAMPLE IMAGE--The birth of the Lord

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