The hero of Heaven’s War is Charles Williams, the eccentric British novelist, poet, literary scholar, and theologian. His friends, fellow Inklings members C.S. “Jack” Lewis and J.R.R. “Ronald” Tolkien, are supporting characters. Together they answer a call for help from Arthur Edward Waite, a mystic and scholar who was among the first to study the occult as a spiritual religious tradition.
Waite enlists Williams and his friends to oppose Aleister Crowley, the infamous British occultist, whose life and writings shaped developments in western esoteric spirituality and influenced twentieth century counter-cultural movements. The Crowley of Heaven’s War is evil. He attempts to gain access to heavenly realms, where he can effect the outcome of the cosmic battle of angels against demons, good versus evil. Only Williams, with his unique understanding of theological truths, can hope to stop him. Lewis and Tolkien are along for the ride, hoping to help.
The graphic novel has little action. Conversation drives the plot, often alluding to the works of Williams, Tolkien, Lewis, Crowley, and Waite. The main focus is on Williams. The comic reads like one of his fantasy novels. So while there is plenty here for the Tolkien fan to love, one might also need to change his or her expectations. This is not The Lord of the Rings or even Leaf by Niggle. This is a work about heaven and hell converging on the world of 1938 Europe. It is a work caught up in the thought and writings of Williams.
Heaven’s War is available in two printings, the original and a reprint.Find them: Both printings: Urbana Theological Seminary Library (forthcoming) Original printing: Your local library | Amazon.com Trade paperback reprint: Your local library | Image Comics | Barnes&Noble.com | Amazon.com
The illustrations from Michael Gaydos are done in a stark black-and-white style, with little to no shading. The black and white tones are used to symbolize good and evil or mystery and revelation throughout. Check out the preview below, provided by Michael Gaydos at his personal website:
Looking for more information? Check out reviews from fellow readers:
Or from these sources:
Heaven’s War is fantasy fiction. It may be further narrowed as a the sub-genres of historical fantasy, supernatural fantasy and religious fantasy fiction. Check out LibraryThing’s tags for the work, and use it to explore similar titles.