A group of people, members of a secret society, think they are doing the best for the world by changing the past while influencing the present. The opposition, a group of skilled people, is willing to fight them to save the past.
“The Saints: Unearthed” is the start of the nightmare of archeologist-turned-brand ambassador Jean Marc LaPointe as he finds himself involved with dangerous people belonging to secret societies that want to control the world.
I’m sure you are familiar with the all-seeing eye symbol and have probably heard about the group associated with that symbol in real life. However, this series seems to be using it in a different context. The saints look like it is taking us as readers to what could be the origins of that symbol.
THE CREATIVE TEAM
The Saints’ creative team consists of Patrick Stiles (Story), Mike Baron (Eisner Award-winning writer), Christian Rosado (artists), Eric Weathers (Letterer), S.N. Amendolar (Editor), Cathleen Brignac (Design & Layout), and Mitch Breitweiser (Co-creator). Mike Baron, and Eric Weathers have their own YouTube channels. Most creators do these days.
ABOUT THE BOOK
The book was published by Allegiance Arts & Entertainment (AAE). AAE is also the project manager of the crowdfunding campaign for the Saints. AAE is a U.S. Arkansas-based company founded by Mitch and Elizabeth Breitweiser. Allegiance Arts has its own YouTube Channel as well.
The bound book has a soft cover with a printed spine. The quality of the interior pages is good. The quality of the softcover however is not that great compared to other books I received from other campaigns. It easily gets easily dirty with fingerprints. If you can, you must be careful but it’s very difficult because this is the kind of book you take with you to read and reread what you just read. And since it was puzzling for me, I lend it to a few friends to get their perspective. Let’s just say the book aged very quickly.
“The Saints: Unearthed” is a teen/young adult mystery/suspense, a graphic novel filled with action, and adventure. Here is the official short summary from the campaign:
“On the cusp of a discovery that would rewrite history, world-renowned archeologist Jean Marc LaPointe finds himself in the crosshairs of dark and dangerous conspirators that will go to any length to keep their secrets. LaPointe, now an international fugitive with nowhere left to run, is recruited by The Saints, a covert society guarding secrets too terrible to be known and tasked with saving the world from an ancient menace.”
Now, it should have just stopped after nowhere left to run. I’ll explain why once we get into the story. It seems to give the summary of the series as a whole rather than the summary of the first book. I’m guessing a SPOLIER ALERT would be appropriate from hereon.
ABOUT THE STORY
The story starts with Jean Marc LaPointe, an archeologist living the good life as a brand ambassador a.k.a publicity seeker a.k.a influencer on Yip Yap. Yip Yap is like YouTube. It’s what he does to get the money for his expeditions. The next main event, we see a tactical team on the route to an excavation site in Pakistan that looks unbelievable, they were looking for Dr. Vance. They find him completely disturbed and ends up blowing up the place. We see the military discussing the filmed footage of the incident with a religious representative.
Going back to Jean Marc, we learn that his next expedition will be in Japan. Dr. Rachel Brewer is an acquaintance of Jean Marc. Unbeknown to her she is invited to his expedition where there is a discovery of a knight from 1549 described on his tomb as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.
They become victims of an attack on the expedition site perpetrated by someone looking like a ninja. The Japanese government blames him. Rachel gets a mandatory sabbatical from her job. In the meantime, other influencers on Yip Yap are demanding Jean Marc’s sponsors to drop him, and his publications are discredited. He goes on the dark web to get information on where to go next. That’s what he does.
We learn that China’s government has waged wars on all religions, in particular Buddhism and Christianity. They have destroyed hundreds of ancient houses of worship and sell historical artifacts on the dark web as reported by Sparrowhawk, an equivalent Anonymous. Jean Marc goes to the Boudhanath Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal, to take photos for posterity. He knew that the site was going to be destroyed by the Chinese government.
The next significant event is the single ninja attack on a lady referred to as “Madame” who is working in the name of powerful people. The attack is prevented by an equally skilled warrior. We learn that the attacker, referred to as Okami-san, is being forced to work for them in exchange for his daughter’s safety. He delivers an artifact that looks like a globe. I’m thinking of mini death star (Star Wars reference) when I see it. Up next he receives his next assignment continuing his forced employment.
On an unrelated public location, we see a group of people having a discussion about the artifact and LaPointe. We learn that one of them is ex-Mossad and that assassination is planned against him. Mossad is the national intelligence agency of Israel.
Next up we see Okami talking to his daughter Asuka. He tells her that there are powerful forces seeking to control him by threatening her life. They want to impose a new world order by controlling the past. “The Forge” is an organization dedicated to the “advancement of all mankind seeking to end war, famine, and disease”. They consider what they do a revolution: the new world order dedicated to controlling the present by controlling the past. I’m guessing through culture, education, finance, technology, etc.
The organization controls everything and seems to establish rules and guidelines similar to the World Economic Forum (WEF) where everyone must participate and must comply. WEF Representatives call themselves “The Elite” anyways. The Forge is a representation of “The Elite” in my opinion.
Asuka needs to put into practice all the lessons her father taught her so she can defend herself. He taught her how to be invisible and kill a man with a pencil. We see that they are being watched while they are chatting in the park. We also learn that she knows LaPointe and is in contact with him regularly. She seems to know him well.
Later on, she is taken by the organization dedicated to the advancement of all humankind that seeks to end war, famine, and disease. They want her to join them voluntarily or involuntarily. They tell her that her father is a dangerous man and that they are justified in their actions for the betterment of humanity and civilization.
In the meantime, in Aqaba, the coastal city in Jordan, another artifact is found by a tomb raider. This time a mummy comes to life. The man fights the creature and ends up using the artifact against it, and it worked. I liked this part. I love the 1999 Mummy film and this so much reminds me of it. This is why I got annoyed when the creature was saying something during the fight and there was no translation of it. In the meantime, we see Asuka putting her skills to work and trying to escape. Will she succeed?
We are at the end of the story, and I’m left with so many questions:
- What are The Saints? They are mentioned in the campaign overview but not in this story.
- The Saints are supposed to be a society in charge of guarding secrets too terrible to be known and tasked with saving the world from an ancient menace. What secrets? Tasked by whom? Who do they work for? Are they independent?
- Since when are they fighting The Forge?
- We see examples of the ancient menace but what are the Saints doing to combat it?
- The artifacts, where did they come from? They are either alien or futuristic or both. I don’t know.
- Why is the Forge collecting the artifacts? How many are there?
- Did the Forge take over the symbol from the Saints?
- And when does Jean Marc get the tactical getup and the weapons? He looks more like an Indiana Jones type in this story.
Too many questions remain unanswered.
EXPERIENCE WITH THE CROWDFUNDING PROJECT
When I finally decided to back this project last year, I chose the book tier with the bookmark and the sticker. I read the experience from other backers on other projects from the same project manager that wasn’t flattering. It seems that they are doing their best to improve.
One thing I wish all project managers/creators to do in general as a standard practice is to treat all backers of their projects equally. If you make a mistake, correct it but then not only inform everyone that the correction was made but also include everyone in your correction, whether it’s an updated secret perk or holiday deal, we are all in this together.
The tracking number for the package was timely provided and arrived with no issues. The packaging itself was well done. When I finally got it, everything was still in perfect condition. Overall, I had a good experience with this campaign.
The Saints: Unearthed is an engaging and intriguing story. It resembles so much of reality it’s frightening.
I like to know what I’m reading and understand it. The Italian in the story was translated within the conversation so it was easy to follow unlike the Chinese and the creature talk. With the Chinese, it is a bit difficult to get the proper translation if you have to do it yourself but it’s just on one page and the text isn’t much. Regarding the creature talk, I hope they will disclose what was said in the next book.
I feel like there is a lot of information that I missed or did not understand from the story. I lend the book to a few friends and they seem to like it and don’t question it as much as I did. Maybe I’m biased because I link everything to real-life examples.
The art on the inside pages is not my preferred style but as I was reading I was able to appreciate it. However, it looks a little bit inconsistent in some places. The art is very detailed in some panels while in others it’s not. I can recognize the protagonist in some panels while in others he looks like another person. The one character that is always recognizable to me is Okami.
The Art on the wrap-around cover is very different from the inside panels. It looks great. There is a lot of open space on the cover which is missing a proper title. I learned that it is not uncommon to find graphic novels with no title on the cover. But I honestly think that it would look great with the title. At least that would be less unsettling than just the logo. Further, I like the slogan on the back cover “Save The Past. Rescue the Future.”
As of date, the original campaign is closed and the physical copy of the book is not available for sale directly from the publisher as far as I can tell. They do have the digital version of the book split into two digital files on their website. These are referred to as Season 1 Episode 01 and Episode 02. It’s not referred to as the Saint’s Unearthed anymore.
Looking forward to the next installment to see how the story continues. Book 2 or Season One episode 3 and 4, whichever it is, I hope it’s coming soon.
Up next my eyes will be on “Tinsel Town Volume 1”