Okay, I’m not quite sure how to phrase this, without hurting the feelings of a bunch of good folks out there… I guess I will start by putting out there that I take my faith pretty seriously, so as I make the following statement, understand it is not out of any vindictiveness or irrational grumbling against faith-based stories… but most Christian comics are “Meh” at best. I can say this after spending years at cons, looking for that faith-based comic that had both art and story. Most of the Christian or faith-based comics are simply tracts with a graphic to them. At a Christian youth gathering that might be a fantastic evangelism tool… at a comic convention at best it’s a tough sell, at worst it’s mock-able and embarrassing. A few years ago the now defunct Metron Press had a great book, Testament. Testament had fantastic writing, great art and at the time seemed like a full-blown marketing machine behind them. But Metron, to put it simply, went away. It would seem that The Guardian Line out of Chicago has picked up that torch and has raised the bar for what should be expected for the family friendly faith-based comic.
Michael Davis and the rest of the Guardian Line family has done a FANTASTIC job of making a line of comics that is plot driven, interesting, fun to look at, all around well done and Biblically based. I don’t know whether or not Mr. Davis would agree with me or not, but it very much seemed like an urban update to Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness. Guardian has released four intertwining series and a one-shot (Alpha) introducing the characters. The overall plot takes place in New Hope City (a variation of Chicago) where one Steven Dark is attempting to come into complete political power with demonic forces at his side. Steven is a great enemy that is one part Smallville Lex Luthor, one part Kurgan, one part smooth Wesley Snipes and one hundred percent demonic villain. One of the many things that I have appreciated about the Guardian Line books is that heroes, while they may be faulted and may make bad choices, are heroes… and villains, no matter how charming, are still villains. You aren’t going to get them confused. Other things that stand out about the Guardian Line is that they are multicultural, girls are represented and that most of the characters seem like they are people you might know… not just your stereotypical superhero archetypes. Guardian uses classic comic book hooks, but in wonderful new ways. Here is the four series at a bullet’s pace…
Code (Baron / Simpson / Frogrocket) – Code is one of God’s special agents on Earth. He has been struck with amnesia and given abilities that allow him to fight Dark on his own terms. This is Guardian’s high action series.
Joe & Max (Medley / St. Aubin / Frogrocket) – Steven Dark has foreseen that it is young Joseph Julian Davis who is going to grow up and be Dark’s downfall… so why not take him out when he’s a 10 year old? The Lord sends Max, a large Hispanic angel, to be Joe’s protector. While it seems very T2, Jason Medley takes the story in a fun and fresh direction. This book was my family’s favorite.
Genesis 5 (Kindzierski / St. Aubin / Frogrocket) – Genesis 5 is about five angels who are doing a less then stellar job individually when the Lord calls them together to be a task force witha very specific focus. The idea being that the five less-than-average-individuals working as a team they can accomplish great things.
The Seekers (McCarthy / Martinbrough / Kindzierski) – This late add to the Guardian line follow a couple teenagers as the find an i-podish time machine that allows them to travel wherever they want to go. It is my guess that where this is going is that this is the team that will be the information gatherers in the war against Dark and his minions.
The Guardian Line is one of the best things I found this year at WWC. If you are looking for a faith-based comic to share with your family / friends / youth at your church… this is it. And even if that is not your angle, but you are looking for fresh stories from fresh faces who have real talent check out the Guardian Line