Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Prophet #21

Writer: Brandon Graham
Artist: Simon Roy
Company: Image Comics

Go ahead and ignore the whole #21 that appears on the cover of this comic. Why? Because it's lying to you. Well, not really lying, more like fibbing. But in a good way, as instead this is a first issue, one that you can jump on and ride the crazy with. Let me reiterate the fact that you do not have to have read any of the Rob Liefeld drawn and written stories. In fact, I might just give a hearty, "Don't seek those out," but you know, I read them at the time and probably still have them in a box somewhere, so there's that. Still, Brandon Graham, the man behind King City and Escalators, brings a delightful and fantastical voice to the proceedings.

The gist of the book follows the "Man out of Time" theme, which of course we've seen before, but Graham does such a good job with it that it exceeds the standards that we're used to. That we the audience and the main character are on the same footing in this new world, that we are learning about the makeup and the inhabitants at the same time, is a neat mechanic that goes a long way to endear the character to you.

Now, I will not dispute that there is some weirdness to the story. Weirdness however is a staple with Graham. It's what he's known for and while there may not be cats that can transform into anything they can think of, the weirdness in Prophet comes from it's living ships and alien caste systems and the idea of skinning your enemy and wearing their skin so no one will literally sniff you out. Without a doubt, it has a very European Sci-fi flavor to chew on, along the same lines as Moebius or something that you could have found in the back of old issues of Heavy Metal.

Giving the book that tactile and extremely alien feel is artist Simon Roy. To be perfectly honest, I'm not familiar with his other work in comics, but with this opening issue he's really made a name for himself and I will definitely keep an eye peeled for other new stuff. The depth and vision is there. It's in your face and rather outstanding in its depiction of this dark and violent new world. His design work for the book's inhabitants are top-notch. The savagery of Prophet is captured while making him look more more realistic, the aliens look alien and scary, and the world itself is blossoming with bizarre quirks. Roy's work has impact. It surprises and sticks with you and he works insanely well with Graham's script.

Prophet is a smart book. Graham has concocted that hard to harness mixture of ground floor jumping on point with a story that pushes the envelope. Add into said equation one hell of an artist, and the end result is a book most certainly worth a gander.

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