Monday, December 28, 2015

The Lion Comic Book Hero Bible by Siku, Richard Thomas & Jeff Anderson

The Lion Comic Book Hero Bible

I have glanced through a few other graphic novel versions of the Bible.  This particular volume caught my eye because of the reference to Marvel heroes.  After reading through it, I had mixed feelings about the book.

Pros:
  • Visually engaging
  • Clever titles (many of which will go over young reader's heads)
  • Creative renaming of characters (which could actually confuse children so may also be a con)
  • Bible passages for the stories are included for reference (wish they'd been documented within the text for greater ease)
Cons:
  • Anachronistic language
  • Lots of overt violence and spears run through people
  • Historically inaccurate clothing (capes and horned helmets for Israelites?)
  • Sensual edge to female characters
  • Unnecessary references for children (e.g. Rahab was shown to live in the Red Light District--is that really a term readers needs to know?)
One thing that surprised me was that although the Ten Commandments were referenced more than one, they were never actually written out in the text.  Seems like a pretty big omission! 

I really, really, wanted to like this book because I do feel like a comic-like Bible could be a wonderful tool to reach a certain group of kids. Just not sure that enough of the genuine message was left intact.  My biggest concern in creating a comic like world with superheroes is that it relegates the men of history into some make believe category of mythology.

I certainly would not recommend this book as one's sole exposure and foundation of Biblical knowledge. More of an entertaining supplement for older teens.  Younger readers may be confused by the new names for characters they have grown up learning about as well as being left with some pretty graphic images of violent deaths. Unfortunately, I think the strongest appeal will be to the youngest readers and I would caution parents to preview the book prior to giving to an elementary age child.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of The Lion Comic Book Hero Bible from Kregel Publications for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

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