A chisel-jawed man with flowing chestnut-brown locks, rippling muscles and a penchant for "endless parties" stares from the cover of the latest comic book. This is not Superman or one of the traditional superheroes, but St Francis of Assisi, the pious 13th century monk who became the Roman Catholic patron saint of animals and the environment. This is sainthood: comic book style.
The lives of the saints have been turned into comic books by a publishing company hoping to attract young people to the Catholic Church.
Among those immortalised in the comic book format are Joan of Arc, Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, St Pachomius, a hermit who set up a monastery in the fourth century, and Antony of Padua, the patron saint of shipwrecks, the elderly and expectant mothers.
Arcadius Press, an American publishing company based in Springfield, Missouri, is launching the series in Britain later this year. A payment of around £7 a month will entitle subscribers to 48 comic books a year. Each book bears many of the hallmarks of the traditional superhero tale.
For instance, St Rose of Lima is able to protect herself from attack by two beams of light emerging from the palms of her hands. St Joan of Arc wears superhero tights underneath her thigh-length coat of armour.
Here's the company's website.