Genre
Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction
Audience
Ages 13 and Up (contains some gore & war related violence)
Author’s Worldview
Catholic
Year Published
2019
Themes
Joan of Arc, medieval history, heroism, saints, apparitions, French history

Reviewed by

Courtney Guest Kim
The Mission of Joan of Arc opens in the middle of the action at the crisis point of 15th century French history, with the siege of Orléans. Visually, the vantage point is that of the French soldiers defending the medieval city from the top of its ramparts. They can’t hold out much longer against the English troops. We learn from these French defenders of a prophecy about a Maid of Lorraine, who will save France. Then the illustrations cut to young Joan, receiving a vision of Michael the Archangel. At first, she refuses the strange commission to put the French crown prince on his rightful throne. She prays to St. Catherine for advice. And the rest is history….

Part one of this graphic novel goes on to tell how Joan overcomes the skepticism of the French leaders. She cuts her hair and dresses like a soldier—a decision that will have fateful results. A revelation shows her the location of an ancient sword buried at the church of St. Catherine. She claims this sword as her own, although she herself does not kill anyone in battle, despite being on the front lines, leading the French troops. At the height of success, she receives a supernatural warning of her own future suffering and personal defeat, which will however contribute to the success of her mission.

Part two takes us back to the city of Orléans after it has been captured by the English. Now the roles are reversed, and Joan is leading the French troops in the assault to take back the city. She is victorious, and as a result, the French prince is crowned Charles VII. He himself is no saint, and the political intrigues of the day result in the betrayal of Joan, who is captured by the Burgundians and sold to the English. Imprisoned in Rouen, she is charged by her captors as a heretic and interrogated for weeks. Condemned to death, she is burned at the stake on 29 May 1431. The final image is of Joan both burning and beholding St. Michael in heaven, calling to Jesus.

Voyage Comics’ interpretation of the Life of Joan of Arc is based on the play written by St. Thérèse of Lisieux, and an afterword gives some background about that source material, as well as filling in some historical details. (Declared innocent by the Church in 1456, St. Joan of Arc was canonized in 1920.) The dynamic, vivid illustrations capture the sheer energy of the life and times of the peasant girl who would become a saint. The medium of the graphic novel makes it possible to apprehend the brutality of her environment and the mysterious quality of her calling, without such shocking images as to make the narrative unsuitable for young readers. It is an excellent rendition in its faithfulness to source material. Both the knowledgeable adult reader already familiar with Joan’s story and the young comic book fan with no prior information can enjoy and learn from this fantastic resource: a saint’s life truly brought to life by the intertwined narrative and visual art of the graphic novel.

Unrepeatable: Cultivating the Unique Calling of Every Person By Luke Burgis and Joshua Miller, PhD

Every person is gifted with a primary vocation from birth based on motivational patterns.

Roland West Loner by Theresa Linden

When his evil brothers lock Roland up in a dungeon he finds a locked box hiding a mysterious treasure.

August & September New Book Releases

Step into Fall with a Good Book

Good to the Last Drop by Declan Finn

Marco thought his problems were over when he took on the vampire council, until he gets bit by a werewolf. Will this ruin things with his vampire girlfriend?

The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom by Gerald L. Schroeder

Essential reading for anyone involved in the debate between religion and science.

See No Evil; A Father Gabriel Mystery by Fiorella De Maria

In Post-WWII England, nearly everyone has something to hide—even kill for. Father Gabriel starts uncovering the truth, bringing souls the chance for redemption.

The City and The Dungeon by Matthew P. Schmidt

Who knew fighting monsters in a D&D dungeon could convince him that not everything can be attributed to a chance roll of the dice?

Three Reformers: Luther, Descartes, Rousseau by Jacques Maritain

Reaching back to a forgotten era of integrated Christian philosophy, Maritain retrieves concepts that could solve the dissolution of postmodern society.

Hidden: Don’t Fear the Unseen by Verity Lucia

Clare Thomson wasn’t sure she believed in angels and demons – until she could see them.

The Light by Jacqueline Brown

Even as the world & nation she knew winks out of existence, Bria discovers family secrets that leave her questioning everything.

The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas

Would you die for a flower? Would you kill for one? Providence, romance, and danger rule in this tense, heart-warming prison romance.

Brothers by Corinna Turner

To fulfill his dream and become a priest, a young man must sneak across borders and find his way to freedom.

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

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

A Truly Raptor-ous Welcome by Corinna Turner

There’s no such thing as a normal day on a dino-farm. But can Darryl and Harry’s new city-slicker stepmom make it through the first day without fainting?

Miracle at the Mission by Joseph Lewis

Visions, miracles, and a plot to assassinate the President of the United States – not the expected summer trip for two high school boys.

Lessons In Leadership from the Saints by BJ Gonzalvo, Ph.D.

A book about different Saints to help inspire you to become both a leader and a saint.

All Things New by Erin McCole Cupp Breaking the Cycle and Raising a Joyful Family

A guide to self-aware parenting for those poorly parented

Battle for his Soul by Theresa Linden

Bereft of a mother & betrayed by his twin, Jarret fights for a place to call home, unaware a supernatural war threatening to damn him to hell itself.

Champion of the Poor: Father Joe Walijewski by Voyage Comics

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

In the Footsteps of St. Therese: How to Be Single but Not Alone by Teresita Ogg

A Filipino woman recounts her lifelong journey in a single vocation, with Saint Therese guiding the way.