Monday, October 6, 2008

American Virgin # 1

Writer: Steven T. Seagle
Artist: Becky Cloonan
Colorist: Brian Miller
Cover: Frank Quitely
Publisher: Vertigo
Published: May 2006

American Virgin # 1 introduces us to Adam Chamberlin, a teen Christian preacher who's main message is of abstinence till marriage. He is young, idealistic, and very strict on himself to follow his pledge of abstinence. Needless to say, the entire series is focused on Adam's exposure to various forms of sexuality, surrounded by a large crowd of "depraved" characters. The first issue has Adam kidnapped by his cousins. Their goal is to have Adam lose his virginity to a stripper. Adam is able to talk his way out of the situation by staying true to his pledge and God. The issue ends with Adams long term girlfriend (who is in Africa as a Peace Corp) being beheaded. And so the journey begins...

This series is extremely compelling. There are plenty of cliffhangers, action, drama, and of course sexual situations. But the most interesting element is Adam. His pledge defines his positive moral character, but at the same time, ensures his world will be filled with temptation. The mystery of his girlfriends murder further complicates his strict moral being. Does he now forever deny himself the most basic of human expressions because his one soul mate is no longer alive? Or does he rationalize the event? It's these questions that torment Adam and make American Virgin such a great series.

Some links on abstinence pledges:

Abstinence Pledge on Wikipedia
Medical News Today
Purity Ball article on Glamour
Article on

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