Therefore, Repent! has a concept like none other. In it, the Rapture has occurred and those left back on Earth must pick up the pieces and try to come to terms with a new reality where, it seems, the Bible’s Book of Revelations is coming to life all around them. Oh yeah, and ordinary people are also developing magical powers.
Jim Munroe could have rested on his laurels in fleshing out such a compelling backdrop but he instead does the brilliant pretense justice by offering fully realized characters, a dramatic story arc and layers of subtext that provides invaluable commentary on modern religion. The book’s protagonists, Mummy and Raven, effectively act as guides to their world by explaining their city, its population and the nature of the Rapture in a manner that is never pedantic and always enveloping.
Other writers could have easily succumbed to melodrama or self-importance but Munroe manages to avoid the usual trappings of a post-apocalyptic setting by presenting a story that resounds emotionally and intellectually. Therefore, Repent! easily transitions from cosmic to personal subject matter, treating both character and plot with careful consideration. The comic works so well because we grow to care for the cast and see them as real people with real motivations—not just Ayn Rand-style cutouts that exist to sell the author’s ideology.
The book’s penciling succeeds on the same level as its text. Provided by Salgood Sam, Therefore, Repent!’s illustrations wonderfully capture the gritty streets (and ethereal planes) that make up the story’s settings. It’s a testament to Sam’s versatility as an artist those moments of grandeur and intimacy alike come across as vibrantly as they do.
Therefore, Repent! is the rare kind of story that is both timely and timeless and marks an exceptional entry to the post-apocalyptic genre.