Shabbat Man Volume 1 is the first, limited-edition volume in the Shabbat Man series. This is in a comic format about a fictional Jewish Superhero who is out there to save Israel from the evil designs of the villain Jerome Goyin whose sole motive is to make the Jews of Israel suffer the greatest agony.
My review –
When I was contacted for reviewing this book about a Jewish Superhero, I readily imagined Hanuman from the epic Ramayana. I got hooked on to the concept with the aim of knowing more about Jews and Judaism.
When I received this book, I found it to be vastly different from anything I have read until now. It was way out of my familiarity and comfort zone. It was a confusing read in the first go with the story moving back and forth every few pages unraveling one mystery after another. I decided to give it a break in order to go back to it later.
In the second reading, the book grew on me and the non-linear thread of events in the story made more sense to me compared to the first time reading. There is a normal man who becomes a superhero, Shabbat Man, due to a series of unusual circumstances. There is a villain who despises the Jews and thus wants to take control of the national water company of Israel to make the Jews suffer for water. Shabbat Man has to abort the villain’s evil plans. There is also a mysterious woman superhero in the story. It is not clear about who she works for and what is her mission. In keeping with the mystery element of the book, the story has a cliffhanger in the ending. Since this book is the 1st volume, I believe the mysteries will unfold in the following volumes of Shabbat Man.
Several Jewish words are used throughout the book the meaning of which are given in the footnotes of respective pages. The author mentions his intention to encourage a lively discussion of all the issues presented in the book and encourage the readers to open the Torah to get a deeper understanding of what being Jewish is all about.
There is a whole page at the end dedicated to discussion questions about the characters of the story and the various Jewish terms used in the story. The issue with this page is the font size is too small. There are 36 questions, all cramped up too close making it hard to read. It would be better if the questions are spaced out considerably.
The illustrations are fine displaying brilliance at certain places. The Shabbat Man adventures is an exciting and thrilling book. The depiction of nudity in a few illustrations makes this book unsuitable for younger children. It is appropriate for teenagers and young adults.
Author – Andrew Ocean
Illustrator – Blake Bradley
I received a free copy of this book from the author’s publicist in exchange for an honest review.