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Guest Book Review by Stephen Hillman
Dominion: Fall of the House of Saul is a new sci-fi/fantasy graphic novel series, made in the vein of Star Wars and based on Samuel 1 in the Bible. Did I mention that the characters are all animals? At first glance, this combination seems extremely odd, but its execution is, literally and figuratively, stellar. The setting is immersive, the characters are full of personality, the animal species are all well chosen for their characters, and the art, despite the occasional flaw, is lucid and hits all the notes one could want in an action comic book. If any of that sounds intriguing to you, dear reader, and you are spoiler averse, scroll down to the bottom of this article and follow the link to get a copy!
The story begins with King Saul’s fall from grace for not executing all of the warriors of the Amalekites, a species of reptilian cyborgs in this story. His high priest, Samuel, rebukes him and tells him, “since you have rejected the Lord’s command, he has rejected you.” After slaying the Amalekite King, himself, Samuel goes missing, and his words eat at the heart of King Saul. Saul ruminates on his rejection for a year and simply cannot come to terms with it. Slowly but surely, the King’s leadership begins to degrade, and by the point of the main story, he has become paranoid and narcissistic.
The Prince is brave and decisive…
Contracted with his son, Prince Johnathan, the addled King seems even worse. The Prince is brave and decisive, whereas his father is cowering and waffling. During a battle with the Philistines, another race of cyborg reptiles, Johnathan finds a weakness in their defenses in the form of a communication hub hidden in an asteroid. At great risk to himself, he elects to go take out this station with his wisecracking co-pilot Kit. Despite his success here and in other endeavors, Saul is enraged. In an ironic twist, Saul cannot stand his son’s disobedience and decides that he must die. After Johnathan evades death, the King is hauled off in disgrace.
Meanwhile, Johnathan’s sister Michal, helps her servant, a mechanic named Judith, follow up on a distress call from her home planet of Bethlehem, in place of the King. This is in breach of the expectation of her mother and father, and those of her society as well. We find out that she has been preparing for such an expedition by hiding an old cargo freighter in a cave outside the Royal City of Gibeah. Michal puts her reputation, her only means of independence, and her life, as we later see, on the line for someone beneath her status, in contrast with her father’s vanity.
Ultimately, Dominion is about faith and obedience…
Ultimately, Dominion is about faith and obedience, and how those things come into conflict with our own notions of how the world should work. Saul claims to be a faithful follower of The Almighty, but can’t accept that God’s mandate has passed from him, because of his unfaithfulness to his commands. Meanwhile, his children are forced to choose between obedience to their father and obedience to their principles. Their obedience to what is right, brings them into conflict with their father, because of his pride, which is tearing his kingdom apart. This complex web of conflicts drives the graphic novel’s narrative and is as engaging as the tight action sequences and snappy dialogue, which give it vivaciousness.
Dominion, along with Terminus Media’s other work, is available for purchase at their website, https://www.terminusmedia.com/.
Please stop by and visit Psalmist Scribe which started as an alias before becoming an outlet for Christian art. Its founder and editor Stephen Hillman, Editor In Chief, a fictional writer himself became intrigued by the arts and creative expression. From writing to music enthusiasts he then searched for painters and poets to fill in a missing piece. “We are God’s children and have just as much if not more to say when it comes to the creative arts”. It had been a vision to one day create a platform that would highlight these artists.