Comicbook Review: “Samson: Rise” (Daryl Peninton and M. J. Baker)

Summary: This a gritty and dark re-telling of Samson’s life from Judges. As he was locked in a dungeon, he looks back to his life as a judge of Israel. He tells his rise and fall. On his final moments as the Philistines drag him to a party to be mocked, he asked God one last thing.

Cover Art: The cover is intense! You’ll know what to expect inside with this cover.

Do you know what else I noticed in this cover? Samson looks like Jason Momoa (Aquaman) which I pointed out to the author. He told me he didnt intend to make Samson look like Momoa. Nevertheless, this Samson is one tough dude you don’t want to mess with.

Artwork: M. J. Baker’s illustrations for this comic is commendable. His Disney background really helped to provide a spot on art on every panels. Whether is action or dramatic scenes, he really captured it and I couldn’t ask for more. No dull part in the story. You can feel the what emotions it’s conveying and you get suck into it.

The ending of course isn’t a surprise if you already read Samson’s story in the Bible.What the creative team did is something that isn’t focus on a fireworks of a finale but on one specific person’s death in that building collapse scene. This is a risky part of the book. Rather than an explosion the book, this will end in a dud. However,Baker (and the creative team) in this make or break part of the book, maitained it to be a great ending.

Storytelling: There are lots of mature stuff in the Samson story that you can read in the Bible that this comic didn’t cover (which are more violent and bloody). Nevertheless focusing on just some parts won’t clutter the over all narrative. Glad that they did it that way.

The creative team employed flashbacks to cover some highlights of Samson’s life. As I have pointed out, they didn’t cover all that needs to be included in this comic (although that will be cool) but having a tight, lazer focus storytelling gives an “on point” narrative, which if it’s not, will sidetrack what the creative team wants us to read.

Letterer: I would like to commend the letterer for this comic. The letterings here add intesity to the already matured theme of this book. I love how they use it and placed it that doesn’t just convey the words that the characters are saying but adds aesthetic for the interior artwork.

The Extras: The additional stuff at the end of the comic are great specially the pin up section. Ivan Anaya’s pin up dope!

My verdict: Samson: Rise is one good comic adaptation of a Bible story that caters for teens and adults. It does brings the promise that “this is not the Sunday School version”. It’s has violence, blood and a bit of bed scene but not that hardcore. These stuff are done not for the shock value or for the the sake of being a “mature” read. They rendered it still with taste. Going through those part of the Samson story is tricky but the creative team pulls it off pretty great. They presented not a water down or a kiddie version of the character to target another kind of audience who loves a different kind of visuals.

This of course is not “all big muscles” but it drives home the heart of what the message of the Samson story. I hope Peninton and Baker can do this kind of story to other characters of the Bible specially to the lesser known ones that has a bit of mature content.

My verdict

5 out of 5

Get your copy of this comic here.

(Terminus Media provided a digital copy for this review)

(Did you like what you read? Did this article helped you? Then you can share some love by buying me a coffee).

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