Comics can be a very good medium for reaching young people, and this is true for telling Christian legends as well. Author Philip Koslowski and artist/letterer Michael Lavoy are using this medium to reach out to today’s youths with a Catholic legend from Ninth Century Ireland.
With vivid illustrations and lettering, Finnian and the Seven Mountains tells the story of a young monk who believes he’s been chosen by God to find a sword blessed with the power to defeat evil. Ridiculed by the people of his community, he leaves for an island called Skellig Michael, and that’s where the comic starts.
Sexual Content: None.
Drug/Alcohol Use: None.
Spiritual Content: Chock full of spiritual content! Set mostly in 9th century Irish monasteries, we have everything from the wisdom of the abbot to an appearance of the Archangel Michael.
Language/Crude Humor: No objectionable language or humor.
Other Negative Content: None.
Positive Content: Many positive Christian messages, but I won’t give any spoilers.
Although only about 24 pages long, Finnian and the Seven Mountains does a very good job of introducing the story and the characters. We learn that Finnian’s village had been attacked by Vikings and his parents killed. Blaming himself for not being able to return to the village to save them, he leaves his monastery to find a legendary sword.
A lot is packed into a couple dozen pages. Without giving spoilers, it’s just the start of a story that promises to continue for at least one more comic, and quite possibly more. He doesn’t find the sword, but one would hardly expect him to find the sword in the first issue of a new comic series that’s going to be largely about his search for it. It’d be like having Frodo drop the One Ring into Mount Doom in the first chapter of the Lord of the Rings.
The artwork and the lettering are both very high quality, and there’s quite a bit of attention to detail in the colors. Finnian also goes through questions that I’d bet all of us ask God ourselves sometimes:
How we face God’s tests is, of course, one of the most important questions each of us has to answer on our own journey through life, and seeing a comic address it full-on is quite refreshing. Of course, in most comics (not to mention sci-fi and fantasy tales), just about every main character faces tests, but rarely do we see the character express clearly that it is God who is testing them.
Overall, this is a very good beginning to a new comic series, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
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