Genre

Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult, Middle Grade

Audience

All Ages

Author’s Worldview

Catholic

Year Published

2021

Themes

Superheroes, crime, justice, faith, action, adventure, truth, courage

 

Reviewed by

Corinna Turner

This is another excellent production from Voyage Comics, skillfully bridging the gap between Christian and secular fare.

Martin Claver has overcome the debilitating leg injury he sustained as an ace fighter pilot in World War I to rise from the ashes as the Phantom Phoenix, dedicated to fighting crime in lawless 1920s Chicago. But when he uncovers evidence of corruption among the police—who don’t appreciate his efforts—he may need the assistance of new acquaintance Josephine Wilson, a female officer and a trailblazer in the Chicago Police Department.

This exciting beginning takes the reader back to the roots of superhero stories with its classic setting and a refreshingly clear-cut moral focus lost from more recent superhero offerings.

Themes of justice, courage, and seeking God’s will make this book attractive to all devout Christians. Also, Martin/The Phantom Phoenix is a devout Catholic who turns to a holy old priest for advice. Catholics may also appreciate how very humble our hero is, evoking St. Joseph. Formerly homeless, he now lives in a church basement/boiler room and works as a church janitor. Heroine Josephine is brave, kind, and feminine, immediately raising the reader’s hopes for friendship (or more!) with Martin. Elements such as this enliven and refresh the otherwise timeless superhero-fighting-corruption plot.

Although the holy old priest and the other cops, villains, etcetera are white, our protagonists are both black, inspired by real historical figures, Eugene Bullard and Grace Wilson, but, just to make it doubly refreshing, nothing is made of this fact. It simply is.

The images are well-drawn, and I read the book in one go. This first issue sets up interesting characters and leaves a strong desire for more. The text is not so subtle in getting points across as in a full-length work, but with limited space, every word in a comic book has to count.

The Christian content, though clearly present, is equivalent to what might be found in original classic comics, therefore this book would suit most Secular readers as well as Catholics, as long as they like superheroes and comic books with a moral focus. It will especially suit fans of classic comics. Readers of all ages will enjoy this book, from children right through to adults, and issue 2 is already out.

If you’re fed up with the increasingly grey morality of modern superhero stories, this gripping new comic book series with refreshingly likeable characters is for you.

Get Catholic Books & eBooks for as little as $1 to FREE

Books for Lent

Deepen your Lenten reflection with these stories of repentance and forgiveness

Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang

This two part graphic novel tells its story from 2 sides China’s bloody civil war: A Boxer Rebel & a “traitor” Christian-Convert.

Feel-Good Books For Pandemic Summer

Book Therapy to chase the blues away

Why Reading Fiction Made Me a Better Catholic

How reading fiction became a crucial step in my conversion to the Catholic Church.

Finnian and the Seven Mountains (Vol. 1) by Philip Koslowski, Michael Lavoy, and Jim Fern

Join Finnian as his quest for a legendary sword takes him to the monks of Skellig Michael, a real life inspiration for the Jedi temple.

The Mission of Joan Of Arc by Philip Kosloski, Alexandre Nascimento, and Jesse Hansen

Voyage Comics’ dynamic interpretation of the Life of Joan of Arc is based on the play written by St. Thérèse of Lisieux.

August & September New Book Releases

Step into Fall with a Good Book

Books to Pray With, March: For the New Martyrs

Every month in 2024 Pope Francis has a monthly prayer intention. Every month we will release a book list that will draw your heart and soul deeper into prayer on these topics.

Saint Michael: Above the 38th Parallel by Shanti Guy

The true story of St. Michael, the original punch-communism-in-the-face superhero

Best Books of 2022

Our favorite book finds of the year!

Champion of the Poor: Father Joe Walijewski by Voyage Comics

Meet the priest who spread the love of God in Peru.

Best of 2020

Yes some good things DID happen this year- Catholic creators have not let turmoil stop their mission.

Finnian and the Seven Mountains (Vol.2) By, Philip Kosloski and Michael Lavoy

Can one map be the key to stopping the Viking Invasion?

The Tale of Patrick Peyton

How a humble, Irish immigrant brought Mary to Hollywood and then the World.

Medal Knight Vol 1 by Voyage Comics

A young inventor in the 1920’s finds out his patrons intend to use his robots for crime. To fight back he becomes a hero inspired by the miraculous medal.

Jonah’s Voyage to Atlantis by Voyage Comics

What if Jonah had traveled through the underworld while trapped inside the whale?