Crisis of Faith Paperback – Sep 2002
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-This graphic novel collects the prequel and first six issues of the ongoing comics series "The Path." Combining superhero sensibilities with a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon aesthetic results in a compelling, at times beautiful work that will have no trouble finding readership. The characters and plot can be complex, and the work is best suited to older teens. The title refers to Obo-San, a monk who lost his faith when he witnessed the murder of his brother at the hands of capricious and cruel beings that he believes were the gods he once honored. Armed with a mystical weapon, and backed by two unusual martial-arts experts, Obo-San rebels against a supernaturally controlled monarchy in an epic battle for justice. The artwork is both bold and subdued, relying on heavy black lines, muted earth tones, and dramatic layout. At times, it resembles an elaborate patchwork of panels, while elsewhere it flows powerfully across both pages. In a concluding interview, Sears makes no bones about his artistic inspirations for "The Path": Frank Miller, creator of the "Sin City" books (Dark Horse) and The Dark Knight Returns (DC Comics, 1997); and Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima's influential martial-arts saga, "Lone Wolf and Cub" (Dark Horse). While it doesn't quite measure up to Miller's revolutionary oeuvre, and lacks the stark purity of "Lone Wolf," the compelling darkness (both literal and metaphoric) of this work bears the stamp of its progenitors.
Douglas P. Davey, Guelph Public Library, Ontario, Canada
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 9-12. This first installment in The Path graphic-novel series explores the crisis of faith confronting Obo-san, a monk disillusioned by the gods' murder of his brother, and also General Ryuchi, Obo-san's boyhood friend, who serves the mad emperor of Nayado. After his brother's death, Obo-san swears revenge against the gods. His vow and his newfound cynicism lead him to question the decisions of the emperor, putting him at odds with Ryuchi. The story, with a fair amount of classic comic-book violence, seems like a Clint Eastwood western--moody, epic, and iconoclastic--with characters, heroes and villains alike, mostly victims of circumstance and their code of honor. The action is slow to start and the plot is very intricate, but Sears' art pulls readers through the rough spots, with its stark black backgrounds and details getting a lift from rich, yet subdued, colors. An appended interview with Sears is a great bonus for YAs curious about how comics are created or interested in working in the business. Tina Coleman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
(1) The warriors have a code to follow. Much like Zatoichi from the cult series of films, the samurai pledge their loyalty to one another -- not so much to a leader -- and the warrior allows that pledge to influence his (or her) every action.
(2) The warriors stay true to their 'paths.' Once they've started down the road toward where their actions will inevitably deliver them, they do not stray from the straight and narrow. It is the quest, not the destination, that compels the warrior -- and, in this case, the reader -- onward.
(3) Their stories are told with several layers of complexity that is gradually shaved away by the warrior's choices. One could make a strong argument that -- while they may be seven universal stories in the world -- there is only one samurai story, and it will play out as dictated by the choice of the hero.
That said, THE PATH presents us with Obo-san, a warrior fallen from the grace of his emperor due to his allegiance to an oath to protect "the weapon of Heaven" from falling into the hands of the wrong men. His traveling colleagues make the most of pledges to fight with Obo-san against the forces of darkness, most of which only make passing appearances in this first installment.
If CRISIS OF FAITH has any weakness, then it is that the tale is far from over at the conclusion of this outing. The story is told at a wonderful pace, with incredibly inventive visuals and dialogue that rings true to other samurai works, and it is an incredibly rewarding experience despite its lack of a real climax.
Discover the new wave of graphic novels before they're gone from the bookshelves!
The story of Obo San, and his companions - each bound by their honor and the decisions that they have made in the face of difficult choices, makes for a very intriguing story indeed. Even more intriguing is the treachery and the conniving that exists behind the facade of honor within the nobility. And as Obo San suspects, possibly within the realms of the Gods themselves. Obo San and his companions search for answers and truth behind that facade, despite the fact that they have incurred the wrath of their mysterious Emperor, and imminent war threatens their people. Whether the path they have chosen leads them to truth and discovery, or death, it promises to be a very eventful journey.
Also eventful is the comic book itself. And I use the term comic here strictly in ways only a comic book reader would understand. If anything, 'The Path' only illustrates how the medium has grown far beyond the irrelevance of being called comic. 'The Path' will leave you wanting for more about this strange journey. A superbly crafted journey that won't disappoint anyone.
Some may worry that a reader of "The Path" will miss out if he doesn't get all of the other CrossGen books. While I recommend each of them as worth at least sampling, "The Path" is totally different than any of the others (even the Marz-written Scion and Sojourn) and stands on its own. Yes, the main character of "The Path" is marked with a sigil, a mysterious symbol which gives the bearer great power, just like characters in other CrossGen books, but that's really all you need to know about those other titles.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
The Path is a very good read for avid comic fans that look beyond muscle bound super men. It's artistic approach is done with a Japanese flat style with compositions layed out... Read morePublished on Aug. 4 2003 by Jeremy Browning
As big a fan as I am of CrossGen comics in general, "The Path" is not really a book for me. I've never been the biggest fan of Bart Sears' artwork, and at times it becomes quite... Read morePublished on July 31 2003 by Blake Petit