Righteous Origins Arc – Graphic Novel Review: Wonderfully Optimistic

A man who works in risk management gets a dream account. It means financial security and ensuring the dream his wife shares of acquiring as much as they can. The problem is that it sets off a chain of action which shows the impact of wanting to help others. 

 

Throughout ‘Righteous: Origins Arc’ there is a building where the top of it reads in all caps ‘ONE LIGHT,’ as if to suggest that the protagonist Daniel is about to follow a path with a single direction. Daniel has everything, great job, ambitious wife and a nice home. He also has disdain for the homeless man next to his nice car. That night he gets what seems like a visitation. A figure in a bright yellow light wakes up the empathy that appears to be missing in Daniel. From there, there’s a compulsion to do good that becomes infectious.

What Xane Daniel has done in writing this narrative is show how humanity has a tendency to go about their everyday lives. They are sometimes inclined to think of themselves first. When they get a little money, the first thought is saving for that sports car or a bigger house. Not everyone is like this. Some people are in desperate straits where their only recourse seems to be to end their lives or steal. The underlying thread is that no one seems to be thinking outside themselves. Daniel’s transformation, like a virus, begins to change that. 

 

Though the comic-book shows the dichotomy between greed and altruism, there aren’t snarling, mustached villains. Rather, Daniel’s wife and others around her that haven’t seen the ‘one light’ aren’t necessarily bad. They are living in a society where things are important. Making money does afford a certain lifestyle, but it’s also vital to pay bills and have a roof over your head. His wife isn’t wrong, the problem is that she doesn’t grow. There comes a point where you have to decide whether it’s better to get that Lamborghini or volunteer at an animal shelter. There is a danger in giving so much to the point where you may need those services yourself.

 

At one point Daniel questions the cost of his altruism. His behavior costs him a great deal. However, he gets to live. His previous myopic view of the world where he is seen as smug and a bit pugnacious by illustrator Joseba Morales, Gab Contreras and their team is turned into one with a level of optimism. Essentially, everything can’t be about money.


What’s more
, by being separated by chapters, ‘Righteous’ reveals that certain ideologies aren’t easily explained. Daniel struggles, but he is resolute in his desire to help others. Likewise, the other characters slowly come around to helping others, but in smaller ways. A family may donate a dollar where before they believed they couldn’t afford it. In turn, they get rewarded. Temperance seems to be the main goal in this story. Give and help where you can. Think of others and make some time to volunteer. A lesson that doesn’t clunk you over the head and makes you think are some of the qualities of what comic-books can do in general. It’s also what ‘Righteous Origins Arc’ does well.

About Donna-Lyn Washington 614 Articles
Donna-lyn Washington has a M.A. in English from Brooklyn College. She is currently teaching at Kingsborough Community College where her love of comics and pop culture play key parts in helping her students move forward in their academic careers. As a senior writer for ReviewFix she has been able to explore a variety of worlds through comics, film and television and has met some interesting writers and artists along the way. Donna-lyn does a weekly podcast reviewing indie comics and has also contributed entries to the 'Encyclopedia of Black Comics,’ the academic anthology ‘Critical Insights: Frank Yerby’ and is the editor for the upcoming book, ‘Conversations With: John Jennings.’

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