Monday, December 16, 2013


Messiah: Origin is a 2013 graphic novel by Mark Arey, Kai Carpenter, and Matt Dorff. It covers the biblical narrative from the annunciation of the nativity of John the Baptist through the beginning of John’s ministry.

This isn’t a comic book in the conventional sense; the panels are sequential, but all the text is adapted straight from the New Testament (specifically, from John 1, Luke 1–2, Matthew 1–3, and Mark 1). As such, it often feels more like an art book. This is further compounded by the fact that, as Dorff acknowledges, the layouts borrow heavily (read: copy) from various iconic painters and filmmakers.

The unequivocal highlight of Messiah: Origin is Kai Carpenter’s outstanding art. His faces and expressions are fantastic, which is essential given the more static nature of the storytelling here. His use of light and color are also excellent, and the end product is often captivating.

If you’re looking for a comic book version of the Christmas story, Messiah: Origin really isn’t it, but it is a great looking and worthwhile piece of work.


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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”