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Saints : the Book of Blaise

by Sean Christopher Lewis; Benjamin Mackey

  Print book : Fiction

SAINTS : THE BOOK OF BLAISE (Image Comics : 2016)   (2017-01-04)

Excellent

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by AJ_Jones

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After reading Saints : the Book of Blaise, I was struck by the book's sheer originality.


The story has an underlying premise quite unlike anything I can ever remember reading :


God has withdrawn from the world completely, no longer speaking to angels or humans. However, it is prophesied that the beginning of the End Times will be marked by the appearance of certain young people, who will become avatars of their namesake saints, manifesting that saint's miraculous powers. The archangel Michael has developed an organization devoted to gathering up these saint-children for nefarious purposes, hoping to keep the Apocalypse in abeyance or at least make God sit up and take notice.


Meanwhile, the mysterious Sebastian brings together two very special avatars, Blaise and Lucy, young outsiders living at the fringes of the American Dream. With their help, Sebastian hopes to confront and defeat the archangel. Along the way, the trio enlist a group of black metal musicians to their cause, as well as an escapee from the archangel's compound and some supernatural creatures.


The resulting story is at once lyric and elegiac, epic yet intimate, building up to a cataclysmic ending in which some will become martyrs while others are transformed utterly.


Benjamin Mackey's art likewise demonstrates great originality, and I was so captivated that I pored through the book several times just to look at the art. Mackey's distinctively stylized work is appropriately iconographic, i.e., the production design draws heavily on the traditional representations of Catholic saints. However, he develops the iconography into something unique, something all his own.

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Taking all of this into consideration, I recommend Saints in the highest possible terms, and I particularly recommend it to comics readers looking for something new and different. This book definitely stands as one of 2016's very best single-volume series collections.


WRITING 4.8

ART 4.8

OVERALL 4.8

 

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