REPRINT: Prophet #21: A Tasters’ Menu With A Nineties Aftertaste?

Posted by January 17, 2012 Comment

Prophet #21 is published tomorrow… already sold out, if you want a copy, you may need to line up outside the store when it opens. The scalpers are already ahead of you. Here’s something we wrote about the comic book last year.

I remember Prophet by Rob Liefeld, Stephen Platt and the like. An uber-Cable, a soldier fighting things, there was time travel involved, there was an end of days to prevent, or cause, I don’t think I was ever sure, and there was lots of quotes from the book of Revelation.

Lots of cool, very over the top, splash pages, with veins, bullets and very little sense. As a comic storytelling instrument it wasn’t very good. Hell, it was diabolical.

The new Prophet, coming out from January in 2012 by Brandon Graham and Simon Roy is nothing like that. Except it is a bit. But not in any ways I expected.

Heavy on the captions. Time travelling soldier with an ill defined mission. All there.

But its combined with a vision of the far future, beyond humanity, with a new primitive civilisation to contend with, its reminiscent of one of the first science fiction novels, The Time Machine, brought smack up to date with modern ideas of what technology will bring us, where evolution takes the planet, and what one man might need to do to survive that.

And no popping out veins or panel filling gun cases. There is however live ammunition. And the use of flesh, of fluids, or food may make you long for the comfort of a vein. Here are six small tastes of the future.

 

John Prophet arrives, slimmed down, in more convincing clothing, and his “birth” onto the planet comes with its own pains, as he also needs to give birth to something else. It feels like Twelve Monkeys crossed with Terminator.

This is still a nasty comic. But it’s a clever nasty comic. Note both Japanese and European influences in art – not just the line but composition and pacing. But also a good old fashioned injection of Avatar Press-style gore, delivered in a matter of fact fashion.

 

And suddenly this is an Avatar(film) I’d have preferred to have seen. An alien world that is carved through, rather than demanding it be understood. There is no grand Gaia, there are just things. In the way.

Not that there isn’t civilisation. There is. Just its gone its own way. A nod to Planet Of The Apes, but a declaration hat this is not that kind of future. This may be Earth, but things are far more alien.

And the wordplay here gives you a far greater understanding of the world John Prophet has found himself in.

The creature John Prophet is to meet? No spoilers. But I bet Frank Cho will like it.

This is a stranger in a strange land, but one with a mission, and less minded to understand the world around him, but to survive it, fulfill his orders, and bugger the consequences.

Prophet #21 is a very interesting book indeed. It, along with a number of other Extreme books brought back for 2012 has been seen as a part of a continued revival of the nineties. Which, on the basis of this book, is true. But it’s more a revival of nineties Moebius, of Heavy Metal, of Transmetropolitan.

And of course The Time Machine. Which was written in the eighteen nineties.

Prophet #21 is published by Image tomorrow. It is not anything you could have expected.

 

(Last Updated January 17, 2012 4:49 am )

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