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Blending Christianity and comic books seems an unlikely match, but Rick Piper at Cross Comics has done just that with his comic book series “The Canadian Shield.” Although there is a Jesus vibe to his stories, it’s not preachy. Rather, he uses various elements and plot structures to introduce an angel messenger from God who sends Canadian Shield off on missions of moral pursuit. But I am getting ahead of myself…
In his first issue of Canadian Shield, the reader is introduced to his protagonist, Man Like Cougar, the name reflects the character Indigenous heritage. Man Like Cougar, begins his journey with Jesus, but it’s not that simple. Add time travel and a suit that allows the wearer to become an enhanced version of himself with super powers then pepper in heroic adventures blessed by God, makes this comic book an interesting read!
Canadian Shield #2 uses the same protagonist, Man Like Cougar. In this issue he continues to receive heavenly orders and meets the antagonist, Toxico. This character is on a mission to destroy a nuclear power plant, possibly killing millions. Man Like Cougar aka the Canadian Shield is sent to stop Toxico. Throughout the narrative, Piper touches upon Christian theology, but again he does a good job of not shoving it down one’s throat, so to speak. Once again Canadian Shield, a superhero for God, takes down Toxico one punch at a time!
Rick Piper’s desire to combine his love for superheroes and his love for Jesus is appreciated. I enjoyed the quirkiness of his character’s and his creativity in the overall story arcs. The basic superhero plot structure is duly noted in both issues. The pacing in both issues was reasonable and it had enough dialogue/action to keep the reader engaged. I preferred the coloring, panel layout and dialogue boxes in issue 2, however, issue 1 idiosyncratic’s coloring, panel layout and lettering at times diverted my attention from the story.
Areas that need work.
The most notable area in issue 1 that should be addressed is the different styles of fonts used as well as the many typographical and grammatical errors. An editor would have been able to help in this area. Issue 2 on the other hand did not have those errors. I enjoyed the addition of Piper Pulpit, but the overall tone and word usage could use some tightening up. To take these stories to the next level and reach a wider audience, a solid comic book editor could really help.
Overall both issues were an interesting read and since I know the creator, I know how much of his heart and soul he puts into his work. I look forward to reading his next issue of Canadian Shield!