It was an age of turmoil, lust and power. Kings and Popes bought and sold thrones. The Black Plague crept through the streets. The Turks were banging at the doors of Vienna. Human rights and an individual’s conscience meant nothing. Any dissent could land you in the stocks or find you facing the Inquisition and the stake. Into this time came one solitary monk who nailed an objection to a church door and, with it, ushered the Medieval Era out and the Modern Era in, changing the course of history forever.
With humor, wit, and meticulous historic detail, playwright and storyteller Dr. Rich Melheim weaves a spell-binding tale of courage, deception, and a world about to unravel.
Illustrated by the award-winning talents of Tim Kane, Sherwin Schwartzrock and Jonathan Koelsch, Luther: The Graphic Novel leaps from the pages. Beginning with the hauntingly predictive martyrdom of Reformer Jan Hus, the story moves to the electrical storm that launched a young law student to the monastery. It moves from his restless quest to find peace with God, to the protesting professor nailing his objections to the Wittenberg Door 500 years ago next year. It takes you from the heretic’s trail, to Luther’s staged kidnapping, and up to and through the unlikely events that gave the protesting monk and his death-defying princes the breathing space for the reform to take hold…. And eventually split the church.
Along with the well-known story, this novel includes fascinating and little-known research on how the Reformation was able to take hold through the battles, deceptions and actions of four major players on the world stage at this moment:
• Charles V: After a huge bribe is paid to the German princes to vote for the 19-year-old grandson of Emperor Maximillian, the Spaniard is crowned King of the Holy Roman Emperor. At 21 he is called to try and convict the 42 -year-old heretic monk. Charles ascends the throne with his kingdom threatened by the Turks to the South, the Protestant Princes to the East, and the Pope, himself. When Pope Clement VII conspires with both the Turks and the French to weaken his throne, the Turks take over Hungary and kill his brother-in–law Louis. Pope Clement VII and French King Francis I take northern Italy. Clement betrays Charles, and the Emperor is forced to put his fight with the German Princes on hold. He captures the French king, marches on Rome, throws the Pope in prison, sacks Rome and considers ending the Papacy altogether.
• Henry VIII: With no heir to his throne and Pope Clement VII in prison at the hand of his rival Charles V, Henry demands an annulment from wife Catherine. The queen happens to be the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain and Charles V’s aunt. Clement can’t grant the annulment because he needs the favor of Charles to get out of prison. Furious, Henry ends the marriage on his own, forms his own church and severs ties with Rome.
• Süleyman the Magnificent: With the chance to push up the Danube and take all of Europe in sight, the Ottoman Sultan’s father kills all of Süleyman's brothers, all of his uncles and all of his male cousins to consolidate power. Now uncontested, Süleyman’s near-invincible army rolls over Arabia and Hungary, doubles its treasury, sets siege to Vienna and forms a secret alliance with the Pope to unseat the Emperor.
• Mary, Queen of Hungary: Charles V’s little sister. When the Turks kill her husband the king of Hungary, she flees to the Netherlands… where she promptly becomes a Lutheran!
Specs: 72 pages, full color
Standard Graphic Novel Size: 6.625 x 10.25
Price: $14.99 Print, $4.99 eBook