Manga Bible #3: Fights, Flights, and the Chosen Ones

Manga Bible #3: Fights, Flights, and the Chosen Ones (2008)
by Zondervan
160 Pages - Black and White [ Biblical / Comedy ]

Writer - Young Shin Lee
Artist - Jung Sun Hwang

Publisher summary: Book Three focuses on the lives of Samuel, Saul, and David as depicted in 1 and 2 Samuel. It begins with the birth of Samuel, the last judge of Israel, who was called by God as a youth. As he grows older, the people call upon him to find a king for Israel, and the Lord directs him to Saul, whom he anoints as king. As Saul disobeys the Lord, Samuel is redirected to anoint a young David to be the new King of Israel. David serves the lord faithfully, though his reign over Israel is not without trouble or circumstance, as he must deal with enemies both outside and insides his borders Ö not to mention his greatest battleóhimself.

Reviewer: UC Pseudonym | Contact | 4 May 2008

More than the other Zondervan graphic novels, this one is fairly homogenous. This volume moves into a portion of the Bible that includes the more consistent narrative of David, so we finally have a main character, but the storytelling style is much the same. All comments here will be specific, so look to the review of the first volume for an overview.

For the first time the story has a consistent main character, which unfortunately revealed how haltingly the plot progresses. Given the potential for drama in many parts of Davidís life, it is unfortunate that it was taken in the same tone as everything else. I was also disappointed that they didnít do more with Saul. Since they donít seem afraid to add details to make things flow better, it would have made sense to show his arrogance before his fall.

Throughout this volume, the narrator feels somewhat intrusive. Narration is a poor form of storytelling overall, so having an actual narrator appearing isnít much worse, but it is still unfortunate. Some of these gags feel particularly random, which doesnít help. At least some of the humor was funny (the long-faced Ammonites struck me), though there was alsoÖ a fart joke? What.

In the context of this series, I can see why they skipped the story of Bathsheba. The omission is glaring, though, especially given that thereís a reference to it in the title page of II Samuel. This may be picked up in the next volume toward the end of Davidís life, but that would seem a strange organization. I anticipate things will become more difficult in the future, as the rulers of the divided kingdoms will seem haphazard and short-lived without any context or explanation.

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