Review: Prophet #22 “You Throw like No Necks and Outsanders.”

Written by: Brandon Graham & Simon Roy
Artist: Simon Roy
Colorist: Richard Ballermann
Letterer: Ed Bisson
Cover: Simon Roy
Publisher: Image

Prophet_22CoverExcuse me while I ramble for a bit, but where the hell did this comic come from? Yes I know it’s a revived Liefeld comic from the 90’s but has it always been about weird sci-fi shit? I thought it was known for having an excessive amount of bullets and detail? People hyped the hell out of #21 and I dismissed like a fool because I’m not a fan of Liefeld properties in general and had too much on my plate. A buddy of mine forced this comic on me and I’m glad he did. It’s my favorite kinds of story: something new and totally unpredictable.

I have no idea what the fuck is going on but here’s what I’ve been able to figure out so far: After a long hibernation John Prophet is released from his underground life-pod to find himself on a distant future Earth. He is on a mission and makes his way across  this wasteland of techno-dessert and tribal insect aliens. He’s fought off mutant wolves, multi-mouth sheep-like creatures and even had sex with some weird alien thing. He uses this blue, glorpy gel thing as a disguise thing or something. Actually I’m not sure what he uses it for but it looks like blue jellyfish cape. Oh yeah, and the planet is thick with insectoid creatures. If the aliens from District 9 had a baby with Dark Crystal creatures they would look something like this. I think the main alien things are called Xiux-Guin. They have 4 eyes, 4 arms, and a mouth at the bottom of their long sinewy necks. Their hands have 3 fingers, and stand on their 4 legs like an awkward cockroach centaur.

In this issue John plods through a graveyard of dead robot giants and burned-out pods and comes across a Taxa caravan, a temporary oasis from the violent world. He finds employment shoveling Cikade which is basically giant alien shit that people use as building material in order to keep swarms of flying insects out. John makes a few enemies with some Xiux-Guin showing them up and throwing knives, even though he throws like “No Necks and Outsanders.” Later, Prophet commits a giant tribal faux-paux and that leads to all sorts of mayhem forcing him to flee from a horde of pissed-off cockroach centaurs. This leads him to discover a long lost human artifact that he can possibly use to escape. All sorts of hell breaks loose.

The story is a survivalist sci-fi mystery mixed with adventure and espionage and is told in a straight forward writing style that’s not overly descriptive but feels dream-like. Everything is alien and foreign to me. If Charles Burns, H.G. Wells and the guys that wrote Aeon-Flux sat down and collaborated on a story you might get something like this. It’s future primitive tale with only one human (so far) struggling against a planet hostile and strange creatures.

prophet-22-9I really love this kind of deep sci-fi, but can sometimes looks terrible (I’m looking at you Land of The Lost). Thankfully that is not the case here. Simon Roy illustrate this brutal future Earth beautifully. He uses a style that blends the best part of Geoff Darrow’s line work with Joe Kubert-like contour shading. My only slight knock against the art is the appendages of the aliens can look a bit clumsy at times.  The proportions seem a bit off and are longer than needed. Perhaps the creatures was designed appear more like tubes than limbs, it just wasn’t the best creative decision. I would have liked to see some tapering towards joints, or bulking up closer to the torso. Basically anything to give it some variation and not look so chunky. However it does appear consistent with the world as the dinosaur-sized  spider-elephants have a similar look. And I wouldn’t change a thing about those beasts! The coloring is close to what Chris Sotomayor did for Planet Hulk, but less on the Photoshop airbrush side of things. He has more of a watercolor approach akin to a printmaker coloring intaglio etchings. I also have to mention the lettering really quick. Ed Brisson uses a unique technique of putting the translation bubbles, straight over the xenomorph hieroglyphic text. It’s visually appealing and I immediately understood what was going on. Point for storytelling, point for originality and point for design.

Prophet really is a strange new world. This book has really grabbed me and I can’t wait to see more. There’s no comic on the shelf like this right now. Everything is unexpected and fresh, with bizarre twists and shocks lurking around every corner. Forget everything about the Liefeld series of the ’90’s. You don’t need any of the backstory to enjoy what is happening here. It’s the perfect place to jump on. Don’t sleep on this book!

Story: 9/10
Art: 8/10

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Matthew Sardo
Matthew Sardo
As the founder of Monkeys Fighting Robots, I'm currently training for my next job as an astronaut cowboy. Reformed hockey goon, comic book store owner, video store clerk, an extra in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon,' 'Welcome Back Freshman,' and for one special day, I was a Ghostbuster.