The Tithe #1
The Tithe is a heist story set in a megachurch carried out by a bunch of hackers.
I have no idea what’s going to happen next, and that’s a good thing when it comes to adventure comics these days. Launching the book with a quote by Jim Bakker while pointing out his time in jail sets a certain mood as well.
Matt Hawkins writes and Rahsan Ekedal draws the tale. A heavily armed crew wearing Jesus masks breaks into the cash room of a church that’s raking in the dough. Meanwhile, the many screens surrounding the gesticulating preacher are hacked by “Samaritan” to show what the leader is really up to with all that money.
Two FBI agents, a church-going family man and a reformed hacker, are sent to find out who’s behind the theft, but along the way, they wonder why the pastor is lying about how much money was taken. This is one in a series of thefts, and all the churches hit turn out to be committing fraud, which makes the agents less than sympathetic to the case they’re investigating.
Religion is an important motivator for a lot of people, but most comics stay away from it. I’m intrigued to see a book with a distinct point of view (against greed and hypocrisy) that’s taking a more nuanced approach.
The dialogue tilts a bit too much toward the expository, with characters telling each other their histories and motivations, but the art is solid without being as exaggerated as one fears from a Top Cow title. The text pages tell Hawkins’ history as a former Christian, which helps put the material in perspective, as well as showing character sketches for the two agents. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)