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Sacred superheroes

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Remember the Bible story of David and Goliath where the young Israelite kills the Philistine giant with a single stone from his makeshift slingshot? Now imagine that slingshot was a laser gun and Goliath a futuristic super-robot.

So is the Valley of Elah in co-writer/co-creator Thomas Hall’s adaptation of the text in his new Mecha Manga Bible Heroes comic book. Published by JMG Comics out of Flanders, N.J., Bible Heroes is being touted as “the coolest comic book your Sunday- school teacher ever confiscated.”

The Current chatted with Hall, 38, about his new project.

Tell me a bit about your religious background.

I was adopted as a child into a Christian family who went to church regularly and taught us about God and the Bible at home. Some of it stuck with me and some of it I wound up rebelling against as I got into my teen years. Today I have a very simple belief system. I believe that Jesus is God and that he died and rose from the dead for me.

Were you the kid falling asleep during Sunday school?

I was the kid who acted out in Sunday school. I’d steal the Jesus figure off the flannel board when the teacher wasn’t looking, and when she went to tell the story and asked, “Where is Jesus? Who has Him?” I would be the one to raise my hand and say, “You told us He was in Heaven.”

Why is Bible Heroes different from other illustrated Bibles that have come before it?

Most illustrated Bibles try to show the reader what the artist imagines the Bible days were really like and they are fixated on the artifice of it. The stories in the MMBH series take realism into a different direction. It’s set in a science-fiction genre, so there are robots and all kinds of futuristic aspects to the visuals in our book, but it’s not about those things. It’s about the relationships of characters and what motivates the characters themselves.

Is this book for entertainment purposes only or would you be thrilled to have someone who reads this be moved to start searching out their own faith?

I had to really search and go through a process myself, so if we encourage that I will be very happy for sure. There is so much of a bad spin on the Bible these days because people are disappointed with people who talk about the Bible and who aren’t perfect. If something I write gets a person beyond the gossipy stuff and leads them to think about the Bible as having a value to them, even in a small way, it’s a very cool thing.


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