Book Review: iPlates, Volume 1 by Stephen Carter & Jett Atwood

If you find yourself falling asleep every time you try reading the Book of Mormon but are still curious about its contents, you might want to try iPlates Volume 1: Zeniff, Abinadi, Alma, and Ammon: Book of Mormon Comics by Stephen Carter and Jett Atwood. Carter and Atwood have the credentials: Carter is an editor at Sunstone, an independent magazine that seeks to foster frank conversations about Mormonism, and he and Atwood collaborated on the book Mormonism for Beginners.

Like its source material, iPlates tells incredible (and often gory) stories about Hebrew prophets, missionaries, kings and warriors living in the Americas before Christ’s birth. The stories in iPlates center on:

  • Ammon, a missionary-for-Jesus (before Jesus was born!) who wins a king over to Christ by chopping off the arms of  thieves
  • Zeniff, a political leader who challenges his culture’s prejudices against the other nations
  • Noah, a king who controls his kingdom by keeping his subjects drunk
  • Abinadi, a prophet who challenges Noah’s corruption and (spoiler alert) is executed
  • Alma, a corrupt and a-whorin’ priest who gains faith in Christ’s future life on earth after hearing Abinadi’s testimony, then becomes a prophet and missionary

iPlates doesn’t chain itself as tightly to the minutiae of the source material as other visual adaptations of the Book of Mormon I’m familiar with, such as the epically tedious Book of Mormon Movie or the reasonably-entertaining-but-too-didactic Animated Book of Mormon Stories. Instead, iPlates uses the Book of Mormon’s skeletal stories as a starting point, fleshing out the details to create interesting, relatable characters.

It’s a fun, action-packed, and occasionally campy introduction to the Book of Mormon. The only drawback is that it might mislead the reader into thinking that the Book of Mormon is a more action-packed read than it actually is.

 

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