Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Modern Testament review


    "Biblical beings, although ancient and iconic, struggle to be understood and find their place in today's society. Humanity has changed since their creation during the days of antiquity and they along with it. These tales chronicle them on their journey of self-worth and purpose. They're stories of discovery we're currently writing every day in our own Modern Testament."

    I don't often have time to read single issues of independent comics but a friend of mine, Frank Martin, was nice enough to share his recent work. Despite our friendship, I'm going to attempt to review this comic fairly before sharing a link to those who possibly want to pick up a copy.

    Modern Testament is an urban fantasy anthology which assumes Biblical mythology is true with angels, demons, God, and the Devil actively working behind-the-scenes in the modern world. The take on mythology is decidedly cynical, much like Kevin Smith's Dogma, in that while angels tend to be good they are not perfect nor are demons particularly evil. We only get three stories in the first comic so there's only a limited amount to say about the take but I enjoyed all three stories.

    I enjoyed the depiction of the various mythological characters with the first story dealing with a angel who needs to get his mojo back, a demon who possesses a young woman so he can bring their family back together, and the Horseman of Famine who is really irritated about the fact the world is so full of gluttony as well as excess. You can't go wrong with a demon who loves Al Pachino's Scarface is all I'm saying.

    Of the three stories, I'd have I liked the Horseman of Famine one the most. While not an enjoyable story, it was an effective piece of horror dealing from the perspective of a man who could not be reasoned with and was driven by alien evil impulses. The message about appreciating the benefits of our modern 21st century lifestyle while remembering it could very easily go away is a good one as well.

    One thing the three stories share in common is a general malaise about the state of the world and how humanity has seemingly left behind ideas of absolute good or evil. There's no point in tempting humans to sin if they're doing a fine job of it themselves and there's no point in doing good if they're just kind of coasting in mediocrity. The book isn't preachy as it doesn't depict these qualities as inherently WORSE than the binary Manichean lives of yesteryear. In short, it's more about angels and demons needing to change than humanity going back to the old ways.

     The art style of the book depicts a gritty world with realistic-looking humans contrasted to the heroic and monstrous nature of the Biblical divinities. It's interesting that the most vile and monstrous character in the book, Famine, is the most normal looking. He represents the darkest impulses of humanity compared to the more mischievous demon in "The Bad Guy" and heroic titular character of "Fallen Angel."

    The comic is only thirty-two pages so there's only so much which can be said but I enjoyed the art, the characterization, the mythology, the world-building, and the message. If it is expanded into a full-blown series or at least a graphic novel available on Amazon.com then I will certainly buy it.

9/10

Buy at Insane Comics

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