Breaking the Ten Volume 1

Breaking the Ten Vol. 1Written by: Sean Michael Wilson
Illustrated by: Michiru Morikawa
Publisher: NBM
Format: Softcover, 6 x 9, 112 pages, Black and White, $12.99
ISBN: 978-1-68112-021-8

Reviewed by: Diamond BookShelf

After a crash with a drunk driver kills his wife and son but leaves him alive, David – a once religious man – finds himself angry at a God that would allow such an act to happen, and decides to find out if He actually exists by breaking each of the Ten Commandments.

Between his acts, he's visited by two mysterious figures – Mr. White and Mr. Black – who each try to pull him to a side: rejecting his sin and accepting God, or embracing an atheist, self-determinative outlook. As David progresses through his mission – first coveting then seducing his neighbor's wife, stealing from a church, creating a craven idol – his determination becomes more resolute, and as he tells Mr. Black, he plans on breaking them all, even the Commandment against killing.

Wilson's script quickly jumps into the story, moving the reader from one heretical act to the next, while David's conversations with Messrs. White and Black help flesh out the religious issues his mission provokes. As this is the first of a two-volume series, the plot is mostly build-up, and while the ending teases worse acts to come, it also hints at a deeper motivation behind his acts.

Morikawa's art is simple but compelling, bringing an energy to the story through dynamic page layouts and energetic figure work, striking a balance between manga and Western comic styles.

Breaking the Ten Volume 1 is an intriguing look at the issues that surround faith, especially once it's lost, and should appeal to readers who enjoy works dealing with theological, philosophical, and moral issues. There is a fair amount of swearing, along with some brief nudity and the provocative nature of the story itself, and so this graphic novel would be best suited to an adult or older teen collection.