Image Comics 2015
Created & Written by Rob Liefeld
Illustrated by Matt Horak
Coloured by Juan Rodriguez
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
The presence of the Ark inside the Philistine capital has created uncertainty and disturbed the foundations of the Temple. General Dekani grows weary of the directives of the High Priest, Kano. Meanwhile, Samuel and his men have successfully penetrated the city and have gathered in the ceremonial depths of the Temple of Dagon as a horrific ritual unfolds. Having dared the horrors of the sacrificial pits, Samuel and his crew survive the threat of bears, lions and giants in order to save Samuel’s beloved Asha. General Dekani has ordered the Ark moved to the Philistine city of Ekron. Samuel follows close behind…
I cannot believe just how much i’ve been enjoying this story. I love that it’s set in biblical times and centers on the Ark of the Covenant, the Israelites and the Philistines and a is a full blown action/adventure story. That Samuel, a High Priest, hand picked a small force to infiltrate and recover the Ark and they are doing so without anything remotely modern just the wiles and skill to pull this off has been entertaining as all get out. It goes to show that you don’t need fancy gimmicks or tricks in a story just solid writing, characterization and plot advancement.
We open with a look back at a young Samuel and get a glimpse at how he became the man he is. Though it’s all about him and his faith that really strives him to go forward and succeed and that’s a lesson he learned young. It’s a nice message really and one we could all benefit from learning.
With the Ark on the move Samuel and his small force must make haste and catch up to the General. I love seeing the mythology of the Ark and what it can do to non-believers, well and to true believers as well, it’s one of those things that perhaps Raiders of the Lost Ark really seared into our imaginations. That this is so revered and such a powerful icon for the Hebrews is wonderfully demonstrated here and it’s ill effects well that’s just a bonus.
With Asha out for blood and Samuel and the others hot on her heels they manage to catch up to the caravan transporting the Ark. I’m also pretty darn impressed with how this absolutely massive fight scene has been orchestrated. There’s a lot of fighting going on here with plenty of stuff happening around the General, Asha and Samuel while they fight in close quarters just inches from the Ark and it’s awesome power.
While Matt’s work has been stellar this issue was a bit of a mixed bag for me. While there are moments of absolute brilliance there are others where I get a feeling he was rushed on the deadline and fell back into that really amateur novice stuff. The beginning for me wasn’t up to the usual standard that’s for sure, in my eyes anyway. Then there are those moments with the boils and such that are wow and the crowded fight scenes were pretty solid and strong.
I like the way this issue ends. The action and the adventure conclude in such a wonderful way that lend itself to something worthy of the Ark. Kudos to Rob on this one because this is was truly magnificent and seeing the vision realized is something else. Granted I wish we’d gotten a clue if Asha and Samuel wed and had children. Otherwise it’s a fantastic finish to a great story.