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  • Noah
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on March 26, 2014
I’m focusing this review on the graphic novel without any comparisons to the biblical tale of Noah or the upcoming film. The illustrations are gorgeous, and I view this as a piece of art that I’ll proudly display with my finest hardcover novels. Also, I’m very pleased with the way the story acknowledges one of the most curious verses in the Bible (Genesis 6:1-4) and borrows from the apocryphal Book of Enoch, creating an intriguing mythology for the novel. The graphic novel tells a compelling story, even if the main character is hard to root for at times. Whether this novel is true to the biblical rendition of Noah’s tale is a separate question. But standing alone, I thought this graphic novel was very well done.
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on April 3, 2014
This is the graphic novel based on the movie by the same name by Darren Aronofsky.

The images are top notch. The writing is decent however there were some jumps in the story that made it confusing to keep the train of thought going.

The biggest trouble for this graphic novel will be the same that the film had. Christians are going to be up in arms about how there were giant rock monsters involved and how Noah wants to wipe out all the girls from humanity.

It's important to talk about the differences and how this story fills in some of the blanks left from the biblical story.

This book is sweeping in its execution and was enjoyable to read. Now all I need to do is watch the film.

This book was provided for review, at no cost, by Image Comics.
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on June 17, 2015
This graphic novel is the precursor to the Aronofski-directed motion picture “Noah”, released in 2014. It shares the same story-line, but differs from the movie in its graphic depiction of environments and characters. Taken on its own artistic merit, it is a beautifully-drawn, very atmospheric water-colored graphic novel, with the well-paced story of Noah and the flood, which becomes a bit unusual relative to the expectations of casual Bible-readers.
The story actually follows closely the Jewish understanding of Biblical flood, interpreted in Mishna and the apocryphal Book of Enoch which expanded the story of Noah to multiple pages. This Jewish understanding of the flood negates the core tenet of Christianity that Creator will save each and every Christian individually. Instead, the story illustrates a profoundly Jewish morality of justice: getting what men deserve! - Creator is no Savior, there is no blanket absolution of sins, and no salvation for the sinners who repent. (it is important not to have sinned in the first place) There is just judgment and punishment rendered.

There is an aspect to this that could be shocking to modern individualist sensibility: - all men are judged and condemned to extermination on a societal scale: corrupt civilization is understood as inseparable from corrupt individuals, being the cause and the effect at once. This again goes against Christian belief in individual salvation, paradoxically held by EVERY Christian...

The antediluvian world shown in the graphic novel is epic, elemental and archaic, yet also virile and young- with the starry-speckled sky at daytime as if the atmosphere has not yet condensed enough. Notably, this world is the only world: - The Garden of Eden is something that once was and that men destroyed. Like in the Jewish Bible, there is no mention of any afterlife or paradise whatsoever. The fallen angels, called "watchers", are as much a part of this – our - world environment as men. Creator has established the natural order of things, yet he acts through human agency for anything not-natural, like building an ark.

This story offers a powerful message: On one hand, the power over the world and the responsibility for the world cannot be uncoupled, and the responsibility for the world rests as much in the hands of man as it does in the hands of its Creator. Men's mistakes are not easily righted. Through this message of responsibility, the story of Noah ultimately asserts the importance of practicing goodness, daily!
To the open-minded and those who are un-afraid to challenge their notions, this book has much to offer. I enjoyed it, and I hope you will too!
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on March 25, 2014
This is the latest bande desinee by auteur Darren Aronofsky, it's based on the first draft of the script for his upcoming movie, if the story has the same elements, and dark themes it's going to be a great one, the biblical elements brought out by the fantastic art are ones that you'll be staring for minutes, my only problem is that it is a very fast read, but otherwise entertaining.
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on September 29, 2014
Noah, by writer Darren Aronofsky and artist Nico Henrichon, centers on the story of Noah, a righteous man trying to provide and maintain a peaceful life for his family in a world filled with cruelty. He receives a vision of a great flood that will cleanse the world of humanity’s corruption, prompting him to build a vessel that will house and protect pairs of innocent animals. As he builds the vessel he begins to doubt the precise role of humans in this, and wonders whether a true cleansed world would truly include his species in it.

This graphic novel is based on the first draft of the recent movie’s screenplay, and inspired by the biblical story. In order to review this graphic novel as fairly as possible and avoid opening what could easily be the equivalent of opening can of worms on various sides, I didn’t make any comparisons whilst reading this comic to the movie or the biblical story itself, as to do so would mean for me to enter a very vague and grey area that varies within each reader. I’d also like to thank Image Comics for providing me with a review copy of ‘Noah’, and following my typical review policy, this review is completely honest and detached from this fact. Please take into consideration that I’m not including any religious grounds when rating this graphic novel, however, out of respect for the many differing views of people. Instead I centred this review in the story, character development, and art.

I’d like to start firstly by saying that I loved the art included in the volume. Though it took me at first a bit to get used to (most likely because of the styles I’ve been reading lately in comics), it proved to be a very enjoyable aspect of ‘Noah’. Niko Henrichon’s illustrations are beautiful, as well as incredibly detailed; adding a great atmosphere to the volume as a whole, as well as the characters and the plot. It had a rugged feeling that explained brilliantly the supposed political condition of the world – namely its barbaric situation – whilst keeping the layout clean and easy to follow. The panels were well composed and fit whatever moment they were showing fantastically as well, making for a great and wonderful experience whist reading ‘Noah’ in this sense.

Now, the story in itself is one that we all most likely know, full of potential due to its apocalyptic tone and implications. This is the story of a man faced with the task of building an arc in order to save animals, innocent of the crimes perpetrated by the humans populating the planet. It is deep, and has the great potential to be dark and gritty in a very psychological way. Because of this I was really excited to start reading this reinterpretation of the same story, and, in a way, it didn’t disappoint at all.

The story attempts to distance itself from religion in its interpretation of the story. Rather than be filled with direct commentary between Noah and the creator, it instead offers a more indirect version of communication. This really works in making the story progress and helped in giving a ‘higher’ point of view about the state of the planet and civilization as per Noah. This worked wonders in making the barbaric society headed by Tubal-Cain seem exactly like what it was, additionally avoiding to fall into the classical ‘good v. evil’ trap that many religion or mythology-inspired works seem to fall into within the story itself. It also further included the Book of Enoch in several parts to explain the origin of the fallen angels which appear in order to help Noah, something which I welcomed as a theology-interested person. This inclusion in itself worked really well with the plot and the characters, and wasn’t out of place or overly obvious from the perspective of the plot at any point.

Now, the graphic novel in itself stands at 256 pages. Something which, though considered long for this genre at some points, didn’t seem long enough in order to tell the story. This is where my main negative impression of ‘Noah’ stands. The plot itself is interesting, and the art beautiful; however, many of the characters felt undeveloped and rushed. Additionally, some of the transitions between were also abrupt, giving the impression that some plot details that would impact in character development or world building were being overlooked in some way. This impacted my impression of the characters, not only Noah but also his family, as it seemed like they were too rough – so to say – in comparison to the delicate events surrounding them. Their motivations and internal struggles seemed unexplained or simple at times, which took away from the general enjoyment whilst reading ‘Noah’, and perhaps a bigger or clearer focus on these would have been welcome in order to make them seem even more three-dimensional. In a similar way the dialogue, though at times good, seemed to not be at the same level as the plot and art of the volume, making it generally seem as if more could have been explored in the graphic novel than what it really did.

Noah was, generally speaking, an enjoyable read. I didn’t feel uninterested at any point, and didn’t make me want to put the volume down and stopping my reading. The art was probably the aspect which I liked the most. It is, in my opinion, a wonderful rendition of the original story, and really complimented and showed the meaning of the plot. Similarly, the world that the plot established was intriguing, with an interesting magic system as well as society structure. However, I am unable to give it further than 3 stars because of the lack of development that some areas of ‘Noah’ seemed to have. This is not to mean that the comic is uninteresting or bad, not at all. Rather, like previously explained, it seemed to fall short with the characters and depth; failing if anything in its execution. 'Noah' still remained enjoyable throughout, and will make for an entertaining read, but perhaps fails to become truly memorable.
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on August 28, 2014
Awesome interpretation of the classic Noah story. Really makes it come to life on its own, rather than just a near incomprehensible event in the bible. Granted, is dressed up a bit to be entertaining, but if you are interested in this, you aren't looking for a literal biblical interpretation - something more entertaining awaits you here.
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on May 29, 2014
This is based on the first draft of the screenplay, which underwent further rewriting and revisions. As such, the film works better, and the themes are sharper. Seen through the artist's eyes, this is a different visual treatment, and it's almost equally gorgeous (if not as awe-inspiring). It's kind of fun to compare the two versions and see what changes were made along the way.
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on April 10, 2014
amazing all-around. fantastic writing, art is profoundly beautiful (same artist as Pride of Baghdad by BKV). some other readers seem to complain about this book in relation to the movie... well I haven't seen the movie but this graphic novel if outstanding. finished it in one sitting.
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on May 27, 2014
Religions adaptations are always a tricky subject and frankly it is not one I would touch with a 50’ stick. Running D&D games I always worry that introducing the concept of Religion into the game, or for that matter Devils, Demons and Angels, is going to cause some huge ruction within the group. When viewed as a religious comic, this book fails. It includes too many bits of other stories and myths which makes it feel unbiblical, but even if you tried a word for word adaptation it would annoy someone with a different translation. If you look on this as a mythical fantasy story, set in what feels like an ancient Greek/ Mesopotamian landscape with gods, monsters, angels and beasts then it actually works really well.

The only nagging problem for me throughout the entire book is that Noah is such an unlikable character. After his first run in with the clearly evil Tubal-Cain he has a massive heel turn and takes over the antagonist role in his own story working against his family and their wishes. In the end he is forgiven, but I am not sure that he ever reclaims the protagonist position and ends up naked and drunk near the end of the book. Overall this is a well told comic which reads quickly and looks fantastic and is well worth it so long as you do not object to the change to the biblical story.
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on April 25, 2014
This is based on the movie (which I have not seen) and uses the Biblical story of Noah and the Flood as its inspiration. A great deal of licence has been taken with the Biblical history but then I had been prepared for that and had taken the attitude that this would be a fantasy retelling. So ultimately I wasn't bothered with it not being accurate and I'm not even going to go into comparing it with the Bible. I really enjoyed the tale presented here and found the art absolutely gorgeous. Noah comes across as a powerful character and the story was intense and emotional. The only thing I didn't like was that they turned this into an environmental story where Noah struggles with whether the new world is supposed to be for the animals alone and that he and his immediate family are to be the end of mankind. Noah thinks that God's plan (sorry God is never mentioned, he is called the Creator) may be to exterminate mankind altogether. This is about as far from the real reason of the Flood as one can get. The rainbow was left out as well and it's significance and God's covenant are the most precious part of the Flood for me personally, so I felt cheated of that ending. OK, so I did end up comparing it more than I had intended to but for what this story actually *is*, I did like it very much and found it a compelling read.
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