King David
by Kyle Baker
(DC/Vertigo, 2002)

DC Comics' newly released King David, by Kyle Baker, was something I, personally, had been anxiously awaiting, both as a comic fan and a student of the scriptures. I have to say, I was pleased upon its release from both vantage points.

First, as a comic fan, I very much enjoyed the art and storytelling techniques. Baker's art-style is very appealing -- kind of a "rough take" on Disney. While it definitely has it's "cartoony" aspects, the line work possesses a course quality that fits the darker aspects of the story of David very well. The expressiveness of the characters is also quite enjoyable, especially David's righteous anger at Goliath's curses toward the Israelites, as well as the father-son sequence at the end.

Baker's pacing of this classic story is also quite good. As comics are content-limited when it comes to adaptations of long stories, it's important for plotters to highlight the important aspects of a tale, and Baker does this in fine fashion.

The treasury-sized format of this book complements the artist's work greatly, and gives it a cinematic quality. While some of the colors used in King David seem a tadbright, it is, all things considered, a visually stunning work.

Second, as a Bible student and a Christian, it was comforting to see that Baker had stayed true to the scriptures with this work. While there are some instances of him taking artistic license, creating particular scenes or lines to enhance character, or create interesting dialogue, this is to be expected with an undertaking of this kind. While this is disconcerting for some, it does nothing to change or alter events as they are recorded in scripture.

King David is good comic work, and these days, that's saying something. It's recommended for teens and adults.

[ by Mark Allen ]
Rambles: 22 October 2002

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