Review: Mecha Manga Bible Heroes #1
It has long been an issue for parents to get their children interested in the teachings of the Bible. Colorful pictures, simpler retellings of the marvelous stories, publishers have used various techinques to try and appeal to the younger demographic and had varying success with each one. Well now JMG Comics has added one more to the ever-growing list of tactics; replace the characters with mechanized manga versions and inject some kinetic energy into the typically thoughtful and solemn state the Good Book usually exists in. Unfortunately, this first outing, detailing the age-old story of David vs. Goliath, has the same mixed results as every other attempt made throughout the years.
$2.25, 32 pp.
Besides the human characters, all of which stay true to their Biblical counterparts, everything here has been mechanized to try and infuse some new life into these really, really, really old stories. In a flashback to David’s shepherding days, we see that even the sheep are robots, preyed upon by, yep, you guessed it, mechanical versions of a bear and wolf. I’m not sure why the animals all have to be robots as well but there it is.
The production values are what hurt this book, as it looks like a work from a self-published creator, not an actual publisher. Granted, I’ve never read any other JMG titles, but from what I’ve seen, the cover is the only aspect that says "professional quality" to me. The art and story aren’t necessarily bad, but the overall production values are below what I usually read (admittedly that’s predominantly DC and Marvel fare, but come on, if you want to emulate and retell the BIBLE, you need to step up your game a notch or two). Also, the washed out color palette is an odd choice given the all ages demographic target. For issue two, I hope they’ll try to liven things up with a few more brighter colors and see how the results turn out.
Overall, it’s a fun read that offers enough new twists while still staying as true to the original source material as one can when replacing key characters with robots. I’ll certainly be checking out the next issue, if only to see what direction they take the next installment in. However, I’ll wait for the production levels to ramp up before I recommend any copies for my church’s library.
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