DOMINION: Chapter 3 Review
"The DOMINION border worlds are under attack! Will King Saul’s weakening leadership and growing paranoia bring the Kingdom to ruin? Not if it’s up to Prince Jonathan and Princess Michal! The adventure continues as our bold heroes risk everything to protect their people and secure the future of DOMINION.
DOMINION is a sci-fantasy space opera inspired by the book of 1 Samuel in the Bible, created by artist, writer, and college professor, Dr. Barron R. Bell. Star Wars meets Narnia is this timeless story of war and family reimagined for a new generation!"
DOMINION: Fall of the House of Saul continues to be one of my favorite indie comic runs, and chapter three is a wonderful addition to the ongoing story. Dr. Barron Bell and his team at Terminus Media have done an incredible job of adapting a Biblical story for contemporary media, and I fully expect that will continue and even improve with the furthering of this fantastic series. Chapter three continues the building tension within the kingdom of Dominion, as well as including a few intense battles that we haven't been exposed to in this series quite yet. Before I give away anything else, lets do a little recap of chapters one and two (of which I have conveniently compiled reviews for in the Daily Snap; Chapter One and Chapter Two here). Fair warning, spoilers ahead; if you want to check out the series for yourself, make sure to check out Terminus Media's website to order digital or physical copies!
If you haven't had any exposure to this series, let me give you a little background. The storyline is a allegory of the book of 1 Samuel in the Bible, which lends itself well to graphic novels with its extraordinary events. This sci-fantasy is based in the kingdom of Dominion, that is currently under siege by an enemy (the Philistines) that King Saul refuses to acknowledge is a formidable foe. His son, Prince Jonathan, leads the army in the far outer reaches of the kingdom, and by the beginning of chapter three, suspects that his father is unable to see the threat that their enemy poses. He plans an undercover mission that will lead him behind enemy lines to hopefully get an edge on the Philistines, while his father sinks deeper and deeper into madness. We also meet Princess Michal in chapter two, who grows tired of sitting idly by and decides to take action by going to a nearby distress call to see if she can help.
Through the first two chapters, I have been impressed by the universe-building that Dr. Barron Bell and his team at Terminus Media have put forth. While this is a Biblical allegory, they do a tremendous job of treating it as an original story, which is essential in capturing an audience. In my review of chapter one, I mentioned that this is one of the greatest pieces of Christian media that I have had the pleasure of consuming, not because it is a perfect, word-for-word retelling of the stories in the Bible; but because they do an amazing job of adapting that story to the environment they have created for it. While the setting takes place in a beautiful sci-fi backdrop, the overall tone of the story is much more medieval and makes for an interesting and compelling narrative. We were able to speak with Dr. Bell on a minisode of the Infinity Bros Podcast, so make sure you listen to that to get some insight into the creator and creation of the series. If you're all caught up on the series, continue on to read my recap and thoughts on the latest chapter!
Chapter two left us on two separate cliff-hangers: Prince Jonathan about to undertake a serious undercover mission, and Princess Michal responding to a distress call from some civilians in danger on a nearby planet. Chapter three dives right in, starting off with Jonathan and his co-pilot infiltrating enemy lines to attempt to destroy the enemy base and shift the war in their favor. There are some fantastic art panels, and one in particular that really shines (pun intended) is the destruction of the Philistine base. The creative team does a great job with the space battle, with incredible colors and different styles of ships that aren't your typical spaceship fighters. Prince Jonathan is successful in his mission, which launches the Philistine fleet into disarray, and gives the Dominion a small window to strike. However, when King Saul learns that Jonathan was successful in a mission that deliberately defied his orders, he orders Jonathan to stand down. Prince Jonathan, having fully realized that his father is not in his right mind, continues to push for an immediate attack.
Meanwhile on planet Bethlehem, Princess Michal responds to a civilian distress call with an out-of-use special forces assault mech in tow. She finds a group of refugees that were driven from their city by the Philistines, and immediately knows that she needs to help them. Before she is able to formulate a plan, the Philistine army locates the refugees, and begins to descend on them. Michal springs into action, ordering the refugees into her freighter ship and suiting up in the worn mech. She holds off the Philistine army while her handmaiden Judith tries to get the ship off the ground. We get to witness some fantastic mech battle panels, as she tests the suits capabilities, and even encounters enemy mechs that she must face. She is able to fight off the infantry, but the Philistine mechs are able to overpower her, and a mysterious figure comes to her rescue. We don't see much of this character, but they are able to fend off the Philistine mechs, and rides off into the distance, never revealing their identity. I absolutely love this story arc, as it really emphasizes the compassion that Princess Michal has on the people of Dominion; a stark difference from her father King Saul, who is so self-absorbed that he is willing to sacrifice his people to his own gain.
The familial tension continues to build, as we see the downward spiral of King Saul; his delusion is leading him to focus on himself and his own legacy, rather than the threats that are right before his eyes. Fortunately, there are characters in this story that care about the people of Dominion, and we see through Jonathan and Michal that there is hope for the kingdom. But the power of King Saul still looms large, and he seems hell bent on keeping that power -- even if it means the Kingdom will not survive.
Dr. Bell and his team continue a fascinating story that is really ramping up for a huge conclusion. The art continues to impress, with incredible panels of space battles and mechanized assault suits that are every sci-fi connoisseur's dream. The narrative is engaging, and I'm really loving the characters in this series. If there's a gripe that I have with this issue, it's that we don't see Elijah, who is still my favorite character, despite really only appearing in chapter one. Without further adieu, the moment you've all been waiting for: I rate chapter three of DOMINION: Fall of the House of Saul 5 out of 6 Infinity Stones, with potential for that score to grow as the series goes on. I really can't get enough of this series, and can't wait to get my hands on a physical copy of chapter three. I also can't wait for the release of chapter four, which will be happening soon... stay tuned.
Make sure to check out this series and all the other great things at Terminus Media. I implore you to check out this amazing indie comic, and keep supporting other indie comics as well!
Isaac Edlund is a filthy casual when it comes to comic books, but loves a good story. You can check out his reviews on Chapter One and Chapter Two on The Daily Snap, along with his robust quote on the back end of DOMINION: Fall of the House of Saul, Chapter Two.