In this collection of stories, which were originally printed in the British children’s comic Eagle, artist Frank Hampson and writer Rev. Marcus Morris share the tale of Christ from his birth in the manger to his crucifixion and resurrection. These comics were originally published in the late 1950’s and the early 1960’s, and the influence of the Silver Age is evident: the artwork is sweeping, almost epic. Unfortunately, too much liberty has been taken with the subject material. For example, Barabbas, the criminal Pilate releases at Passover instead of Jesus, is depicted hiding in Joseph’s home and meeting Jesus even before his birth. Later, he attempts to conscript Jesus to become part of his plan. None of this appears in the Gospels. The dove is notably absent at John’s baptism of Jesus, and the voice of God is never shown speaking to the crowd. Childhood tales of Jesus, purely conjecture, with no basis in scripture, have been added as well. The story of John Mark, the author of the Gospel of Mark in the New Testament, is also included. He was a boy at the end of Jesus’s ministry and was a witness to his arrest, crucifixion, and burial. Several changes are made to this Gospel account as well, most notably when it is Mark himself, not an angel, that tells the women who come to tend to Christ’s body that he has been resurrected. It is unfortunate that a story told so richly in the artwork is told so poorly and inaccurately when compared to the original texts.
Classic Bible Stories
Jesus: The Road of Courage
Mark: The Youngest Disciple
by Rev. Marcus Morris, Chad Varah
Art by Frank Hampson, Joan Porter, Giorgio Bellavitis
TItan Books, 2010
Publisher Age Rating: Teens (16+)