Soulfinder: Demon’s Match is a beautifully illustrated comic book about a priest, a war veteran and an exorcist, who battles the devil in a small town in Maryland. This is a stirring example of Christian masculinity, and also a call to action.
I got this particular comic because it is beautiful, but also because I am considering giving it as a First Communion gift to my nine-year-old son. And to be honest, I am as of the time of this writing still undecided. Soulfinder deals with some pretty heavy themes: death of your family, the sacrifices of soldiers, and of course demonic possession. However, none of that gives me as much pause as the simple fact that the modern comic book style features nearly naked women.
In context, Soulfinder presents sexualized immodesty as a tool of the devil. However, I just worry because I know that pornography is a scourge of the modern world. I am well aware that I am being prudish. I am also aware that non-Anglo Catholics, such as Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry would find this funny.
I am leaning toward giving it to my son, as I would let him read the 1st edition Dungeon Masters Guide for AD&D, which also features illustrations of naked women, but is also a deeply Christian work. Similarly, Soulfinder is a very masculine Christian work, one that presents the vocation of Holy Orders in a heroic light. And this is what I am most interested in imparting to my sons.
My own bishop, Thomas Olmstead, wrote an exhortation to the faithful entitled “Into the Breach”, about the gifts of men and of fatherhood in fighting the spiritual battle that rages in front of us.
And rage it does. Bishop Olmstead called on all Christian men to Step into the Breach, to defend the defenseless, to pass on the faith to their children, and root out the influence of the devil.
Soulfinder is about all of this, and since I accept Bishop Olmstead’s challenge, I want to encourage others to read it. My own conversion to Catholicism was in part started by reading the book Possessed: The True Story of an Exorcism [Amazon link] by Thomas Allen, which documented the events that also inspired William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist [Amazon link].
The apostolic Churches retain the power to cast out devils, even if many otherwise faithful Christians within and without don’t heed the reality of spiritual warfare. Prayer and fasting are the tools that are readily available to most of us, but we also need the will to employ them for this purpose. Soulfinder can help provide us with that conviction, by illustrating the stakes, and giving us an example to follow.
I’ve linked to the Iconic Comics webstore for Soulfinder. I don’t have an affiliate relationship with Iconic, but I gladly recommend this work, and I encourage you too, to step into the breach with me.