Violent Messiahs: The Book of Job, Vol. 1
Writter(s): Joshua Dysart
Artist(s): Tone Rodriguez
Published by Image comics
In the city of Rankor, on Rankor island, a vigilante has been taking over the streets, while a serial killer decimates families and leaves behind pain and despair. The police officer who gets closer to trapping him, winds up tangled in a web of political conspiracies and occult worship that inevitably devolves in a climax of fire and bullets.
How do you combine genres so dissimilar such as Sci-fi, Thriller, theology , action, romance and political thriller, all surrounded by a healthy dose of existentialism?
If you were to take up such a venture, you could be sure only options would be either sink or swim.
Ah, but the paradox of our times dictates that neither is also possible, and if you don’t believe me, let me introduce you to Exhibit A (and my only exhibit) Violent Messiahs: The book of Job.
By now you must be understanding that I love to bring to light masterpieces that never received the recognition they deserved, and this is another fine example.
The whole narrative of this book is about the flaws inherent to the character of being human. There are no shinning heroes, there are no dark villains. Everyone gets their five seconds of exposure and development, from the supposedly good guys to the alleged villains, and the conclusion is inevitable and uplifting: Even though we are just but flotsam in the storm of our circumstances, whether we rise above them or sink is up to us.
I always suspected that this comic would’ve also made for an engaging novel, and if given to the right director, a very stylized action/drama film, like the Wachowski brothers did with V for Vendetta (although I know it was directed by James McTeigue, before some one starts crying bloody foul)
This novel also manages to pull a very complex and difficult feat that I have rarely seen accomplished before: It manages to be a bit of everything in the right measure.
You want cop/drama? You got it. You wanted a Crime Thriller? You got it. You wanted a Dark Vigilante? You got it. You wanted political intrigue? Check! Ocult and esotheric conspiracies? Check and check! Voilence and amazing action scenes? Check and doublecheck!
Image Publishing always had a good track record on printing its products in quality format, and the crisp and in-your-face coloring attest to that. In another tidbit of trivia that I love to distribute with my reviews I should note that this series was first published by Hurricane Press in 1997, but only one issue made it to the stands.
The artwork is interesting, because it shows an artists evolution from amateurish to finding his own voice. Rodriguez sticks to conventions on his initial pencils, but half-way through the book he takes risks that pay off, with some powerful angles, inclined panels, and a mixture of plasticity and mastery of the ink process that starts to remind us of an early Neal Adams. And then there is that amazing splash page with Citizen Pain arms stretched out…. You got to read it to appreciate it.
So, on my Critics rating, Violent Messiahs: Book of Job gets
7 1/2 STARS
Another good review about Violent Messiahs