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Religion and Comics – A Top 10 (Part 7)

Revelations #1


I’m a fan of British TV detective dramas, with their flawed everyman and everywoman characters, the languid turn of pace, and a general world-weariness about the characters and their attire. The comic and graphic novel, Revelations, has that in spades – Charlie Northern, the chain-smoking, cynical, lapsed-Catholic detective who is asked by an old childhood friend (who is now a senior cleric) to investigate a murder in the Vatican. It is a detective story, set in a religious context, told through a graphical medium. It’s like a thinking person’s The Da Vinci Code.

The plot works like a well-written crime story with the immediate likely suspects, inside and outside of the Church, all playing their parts: the murdered priest was considered the logical successor to the ailing pontif; it appears elements of the Curia, as well as the Swiss Guard are implicated, or at least obstructing the path to justice; there is a parallel investigation into the Vatican finances; and there the standard byplay between the British cop and his Italian counterparts. Throw in a love interest, some additional murders, evidence lost, and what looks like a secret society within the Vatican and the story romps along.

I won’t reveal the denouement, but suffice to say those who are interested in the interplay between the natural and the supernatural will find enough to satisfy them, as well as the solving of the crime with a twist.

If you liked the style of Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, Scott Mariani’s Ben Hope series, or detective dramas like Vera, A Touch of Frost, Taggart, or Inspector Morse, then this graphic novel might grab you. It’s a nice change from religion and comics only being about those in spandex, capes or weilding magic.