Writer: Walter James Lovett II
Art: Ryan Best and Justin Birch
Publisher: Brainy Pixel Productions
Release Date: Out now
THE WATCHER #1 is a short introduction into the life of Gideon Samuels, a Minister who’s trying to save individuals around Memphis Tennessee from Human Trafficking. In recent years, the surrounding area in and around Memphis has seen a steady influx of human trafficking, drug use, poverty, and racial tension. This has helped make the location of THE WATCHER within the comic so pertinent. As Gideon “watches” women and children being abducted with no recourse or solution, he decides to take a stand with the help of the Holy Spirit. Let’s dive into THE WATCHER #1 by Walter James Lovett II to see how this opening installment unfolds.
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Gideon finds himself pushed to his limits while he explores his new God-given powers and abilities as this series kicks off. Readers get a quick snapshot of the character, the scene, and the setup for THE WATCHER moving forward. This opening tale reads incredibly fast and leaves comic lovers wanting to know a ton about the character. Luckily, the backups within the comic help uncover more insight into his identity.
Now, as informative as the backup summaries were, I wish Lovett divulged more of this information within the actual pages of the comic itself. Comic book fans want to physically watch the story unfold more so than being told the story. The art and action play just as much of a crucial role in a comic while revealing the details in the process. That said, Ryan Best did a fantastic job making this issue pop!
His illustrations are clean, crisp, bright, and vibrant. I loved the color choices and the dark tones that provided this issue a well-needed jolt to help readers connect with the story. Seeing how solid the artwork was, I hope that this creative team gives us more “comic” as the series progresses. Plus, this reviewer left confused as to who the Sons of Thunder are and what the mini introduction was for. Maybe Lovett and his team will iron out those details more as the series progresses?
Now, I’m no Christianity expert by any means, nor do I know Lovett’s expertise. However, my biggest nagging question/ concern after diving into this inaugural tale of THE WATCHER is the biblical passages scattered throughout. It’s not the fact that their are passages in the issue that’s my problem. I honestly LOVE that perspective. It reminds me of Jesus’ parables in the New Testament. For those that don’t know, MANY things that Jesus said were direct Old Testament sayings from scripture and Profits that he began with but extended and refined to make a point that’s been lost in the Pharisaical tradition and translations for thousands of years prior. However, it’s the paraphrasing/ translation of Gideon ( THE WATCHER ) that Lovett invokes which rubbed me the wrong way.
I took the time to look up many of the passages quoted in this issue and they simply didn’t match up or jive with the actual Biblical interruption. Don’t get me wrong, many of them did. Nevertheless, Lovett molded them to fit the context of the situation within the comic. My point: I get the premise BUT many people unfamiliar with Biblical text will think that’s the exact meaning or phrasing… and it’s not. So, I would tread lightly on quoting the word of God but implying/ switching it to something else. Some, like myself, who’s read scripture can decipher and understand the liberty Lovett is taking. Plus, I understand he’s merely trying to fit within the context of the issue. However, someone not as familiar with the Bible may look at it differently. I would either quote it exactly OR make it blatantly obvious that it’s paraphrased.
SCRIPTURES VALIDITY TODAY
The angle appears as though this creative team is taking is one of redemption and forgiveness through the normal flaws of humanity. During these physical and emotional struggles, readers will see that God is always by his side, which ultimately parallels Biblical scriptures in the lives of Christians all over the world. Readers, the Bible isn’t antiquated or outdated. It’s timeless and parallels our society today perfectly. Lovett and this creative team do a great job showcasing that in this opening issue. As this series truly begins to unfold, readers will be able to see critical concepts within our society today flood to the surface such as racial tensions, police brutality, and sexual addiction.
Like Moses and so many other Profits from the Old Testament, THE WATCHER finds himself as merely the vessel for God’s work and glory. The irony throughout the Bible, as well as this comic, is that God always uses the weak and fragile almost as a way to mock those individuals that feel entitled, all-powerful, and unstoppable. However, Gideon (like many of us) is simply a regular person being used by God as an instrument for his glory. And in the end, isn’t that our purpose anyway as true followers of Christ?
I personally would recommend this comic to anyone whose passion for DAREDEVIL, IRON FIST, or even THE SPECTRE has driven them in search of another hero to check out. THE WATCHER is bold, courageous, and connects directly with the Shekinah Glory of the Holy Spirit. Gideon is clever, stops crimes, and searches out balance within his community using repentance as a firm hand and foundation. I encourage Biblical scholars to take the chance on this series. However, I hope that we see more of the story discovered throughout the actual comic AND scriptural quotes that are either recognized as paraphrasing OR directly states from scripture. Pick this up, let me know what you think, and God Bless!