DOMINION: Fall of the House of Saul
"THE DOMINION IS ON THE EDGE OF WAR! In the midst of a time of trouble is a family in crisis. A King who has lost favor of his Divinity, a son seeking his father’s approval, a daughter longing for purpose beyond being a princess and a Queen struggling behind the scenes to keep the Empire together.
DOMINION: The Fall of the House of Saul is a Sci-Fantasy Biblical allegory based on the book of 1 Samuel. The comic book is coming August 2020. If you like, Star Wars, Dune, Game of Thrones or the Chronicles of Narnia, then you’ll love DOMINION, a graphic novel created by comic book writer and college art educator Dr. Barron R. Bell."
I and the rest of the Infinity Bros were ecstatic to receive an awesome early preview of Chapter One of DOMINION, a Christian graphic novel written by Dr. Barron Bell, and we jumped on the opportunity to review it. We will be talking about the comic and reviewing it on episode 47 of the Infinity Bros Podcast, so check that out if it is available at the time you are reading this!
Several months ago, I saw a Tweet related to the DOMINION comic, and was instantly intrigued. Growing up in a Christian household, I consumed large amounts of Christian media, and am well aware of the stereotype that follows it. Many times, media that is produced by Christians tends to be made for Christians, who are very forgiving when it comes to the actual quality of the media as long as it retains a Christian perspective. Because of this, I was cautiously optimistic and told myself to keep this on my radar. Fast forward to being presented with the opportunity to read and review Chapter One; I accepted without a doubt in my mind.
This solid graphic novel is based on the book of 1 Samuel in the Bible, which is a great choice for a comic storyline. Familial tension and political undertones rise through Chapter One, with the potential for action, romance, and a "big bad" on the horizon. If you know the story of Saul, the correlations to the Biblical historical context in this chapter are brilliant, as is the ingenuity that went into adapting that story into a sci-fi/fantasy hybrid.
There are so many great things to say about Chapter One. The anthropomorphic characters are well illustrated and cleverly assigned; lions for the royal family, other large cats for the strike team, and a raven for the prophet. The world that they start building seems large, but not large enough that attention is pulled away from the conflict at hand. The authors use Biblical names and locations, which is very smart and really cool for anybody with knowledge of the story. The dialogue is dramatic and emotional, which I really didn't expect from a Biblical re-telling of a story, as when I read my Bible I often read a no nonsense, factual story instead of descriptions of the characters emotions.
That brings me back to the fact that this is a "Biblical allegory" and definitely counts as Christian media. Approaching this as non-biased as I possibly could, I came out of it very impressed -- this isn't just a good "Christian" story, this is a good story. Period. I would absolutely recommend this comic to Christian and non-Christians alike.
I was especially drawn to the character of Samuel, who is represented as a raven. I thought his presentation was fantastic; embodying a bold, God-fearing prophet who wasn't afraid to stand up to a king, which is exactly how I pictured him from reading the Old Testament. This chapter does a fantastic job at defining itself as an allegory, as the authors take creative freedom in how the story plays out without completely deferring any major Biblical details. I'm excited to follow Samuel in his journey to guide the Dominion by the wisdom of the Almighty.
Overall, this is a fantastic start to a series; my only gripe was it left me wanting more, and I won't get it until December 2020. Time is taken to build the story and provide context, which means there isn't a lot actually happening in this chapter; but this aspect makes it all the more intriguing for me, as I love diving into the world itself and immersing myself in the context.
I'm giving Chapter One of DOMINION: Fall of the House of Saul 5 out of 6 Infinity Stones, with very good potential to become even higher upon release of the rest of the graphic novel. I absolutely loved it, and immediately went and pre-ordered a copy after reading it. I would definitely recommend you at least check out the 6-page preview that is available on the Terminus Media website to get a little taste of what this series could become, and then go ahead and pre-order (or order, depending on when you're reading this) like me!
Chapter One drops Monday, August 17th, so make sure you check out DOMINION: Fall of the House of Saul!