REVIEW: The Tithe #1

STORY BY: Matt Hawkins
ART BY: Rahsan Ekedal
COVER PRICE $3.99
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE DATE: Apr 15th, 2015

A tithe is a percentage, normally 10%, of a person’s income that is given voluntarily to the upkeep of a church and the clergy. This has manifested into the phenomenon of the TV evangelist. It’s pretty clear, from the quote used on page three, where the creators stand regarding said evangelist.

Created by writer Matt Hawkins and artist Rahsan Ekedal and framed within a heist movie story, we have a book that may be trying to add some social commentary. Plot wise, there are  number of churches that have way more than their 10%. The ministers whilst preaching to the converted, extol the virtues of their church, taking money from the congregation. In steps the Samaritan, who with the aid of a couple of cohorts and some tech, relieves the preacher of both his modesty and the money held in the vault. The FBI gets involved assigning agents Campbell and Miller to solve the crime and catch the bad guys.

But who are the bad guys? Is it the Samaritan and her gang who take the money and donate to those in need or is it duplicitous preacher taking people’s cash and using is for his own ends? Hawkins does an ok job on this book. With it being a first issue, he needs to introduce the set-up, and the characters. In doing so, the book is quite wordy which impacts the overall pace. The characters seem to be written ok but do carry the cliché tag.

The art by Rahsan Ekedal is equally just ok. Some of the figures seem flat, which could be down to direction of Hawkins; it must be hard to draw a person examining a body in a “hero” pose. That said, Ekedal does a great job of using different panel structure. You have pages where the panels overlap and pages of nine panels all of which help convey  and compliment the script for that specific part of the story.

With the heist premise in play, the book could turn into a procedural story. Hopefully the ambiguity of those stealing the money from the church or the church using the money collected disingenuously will come more to the front and create some tension. As it stands, with everyone, bar the ministers, on the same page the book feels a little flat.

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