Prophet #34 Review

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Prophet #34 has solidified my opinion that this is the sexiest comic on the stands right now.

While previous issues have provided us with organ-transfer fertilization, lizard-on-mammal love-making, phallic cryo-pods bursting from the Earth, robotic pining and a whole manner of symbiotic fusion and fluid sharing between man and goo, in this issue by Simon Roy and Brandon Graham we meet my a brand of John Prophet clone super soldier bred specifically to act as concubines to their brothers in steamy brothels in a cavity inside another one of their brothers bred to be the massive infrastructure of their base. Kinky doesn’t begin to describe these activities.

And this sense of bizarre imagination probably is this series greatest strength. In this same issue alone we’re met with gargantuan multi-faced Star Prophets to exist in the cold of space, furry albino baboon Johns for the winter extremes of Titan, skeletal, tall and waifish Johns for the microgravity of lunar life and the breakout star of this episode: John Magnus. His introduction is short and terse. Him and his brothers trapped on an island. First there were dozens. Then four. Then him. We don’t see the brutal onslaught of “survival of the fittest”. Roy and Graham know the power of seeing Magnus triumphant and calm, casually munching on the flesh of his brothers as he’s rescued. Later, his oafish attempt at a coup lands him on his ass like an adorably naïve child being bested by an older brother.

Amidst the madness of genetic abominations and cosmos spanning telepathy the smaller, subtler aspects of the book shine too. In one understated panel, seemingly just an establishing shot, we can see that a race of aliens previously enslaving the last dregs of devolved, humanity as seen in the first arc, are now themselves the victims of a chain gang, forced into labour by the re-emerging humanity commandeering their planet from the parasites infesting it. Small, very literal sound effects like “CATCH” and “GRAB” punctuate the action with important beats. The alien language, presumably the creation of letterer  Ed Brisson is  seemingly garbled, yet structured and musical. A sing-song, mish-mash truly interesting to “read”.

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Complementing Roy’s line work is the colors of Joseph Bergin III. Unlike the flatter and more matte coloring he provides for the issues drawn by Giannis Milonogiannis, he addresses Roy’s work with more of a lighting based approach that better indicates the textures and materials of chitin, flesh and blood that Roy constructs the setting with. A highlight comes in the sauna room assassination scene where the warm, faded pinks palpably suggest the heat and humidity of the room compared to the much colder, blue and deep reds of the exterior night shots.

So as an issue to both help the reader play “catch up” in the state of the scaling Prophet war and calamity throughout the cosmos, and introducing new characters and hinting at what’s to come the issue was an unqualified success. And worth mentioning is the back up by Matt Sheean and Malachi Ward featuring a father and son’s love, an underground leviathan’s excretions and human sacrifice. Enough said. Now mate with me blog reader.

Screen shot 2013-03-01 at 18.03.48

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