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Chaos and Renegade Graphic Novels
by Ted Dekker

Reviewed by Heather R. Hunt

"...reading these graphic novels is probably like seeing the movie version of your favorite book: It's kinda' neat to see the tales come to life, but you probably pictured things a bit differently in the movie that played in your head as you read."

I must begin my comments with the disclaimer that I am at two disadvantages:

I have not read the original Ted Dekker novels upon which these graphic novels are based.

I have not read the first two graphic novels in this series, Chosen and Infidel.

This being the case, I have to say that I was somewhat lost as to plot and character since Renegade, the third novel in the series, starts in medias res with one of the characters falling through a twilight zone. As I read along, I find out that he apparently dropped blood on a historical book that gives power to travel through time and space. Apparently there are seven of these historical books, and if someone owns all seven, they will possess powers to rule the universe and other such superhero antics. At one point, a bad guy seduces the conflicted good guy to take "suhupow," superhero slang for "Super! Human! Powers!"

Yes, this graphic novel is full of "Oof!" "Bam!" "Pow!" moments.

Despite not quite following the storyline, I can see that these novels are well drawn, colored, and lettered. I enjoyed the various camera angles framing scenes and the variety of layouts to emphasize key points, such as occasional full 2-page spreads, and some small frames to focus on a key plot point. Graphic novels are much more like films than novels, and combine the best of both media formats.

These stories take readers all around the world through space and time, and the artwork brings you right there, from frozen midwestern farm fields to mysterious Romanian castles to vast underground chambers. I find the characterizations to be weak, however, and I can't really tell some of the characters apart. This may be a limitation of graphic novels. I did pick up much Christian imagery and themes, such as rescuing blood, powerful books, good and evil, fallen creatures, and seven as a key number. I would imagine the original novels flesh out both character and themes much better.

In short, reading these graphic novels is probably like seeing the movie version of your favorite book: It's kinda' neat to see the tales come to life, but you probably pictured things a bit differently in the movie that played in your head as you read.

Certainly, fans of Dekker stories will enjoy these retellings. Graphic novel fans and action-adventure lovers will also enjoy these works.

Heather R. HuntHeather R. Hunt is a business editor in Connecticut. For fun she reads, writes, cheers on the Red Sox, and enjoys tennis and cycling. She also co-leads a local tea party and enjoys holding government officials and media outlets accountable. Check out her blogs, The View from Stonewater and Connecticut for Sarah Palin.