Ah the fabled Comic Bastards group reviews. If you’re a follower of the site then you’re likely accustomed to what has become a weekly occurrence where the many writers/reviews of Comic Bastards pool their forces like Voltron and come together for one review. Each writer shares their thoughts and opinions on the issue and then gives it a score of: Buy, Borrow or Pass. Since we don’t sum up the book like we usually do, here’s a blurb from Boom about Next Testament. Julian Demond, captain of industry, has left behind everything to begin a walkabout -- he believes he’s on a mission from God. While in the wasteland, he comes across a figure unlike any other, who calls himself Wick...and claims to be God. Their journey will span the globe, as neither man merely wants to make a mark on the world, but a scar.
Yeah, this one’s alright, I guess. I do like the premise of the godless academic going into the desert to find and resurrect his own personal (technicolored) Jesus, and how both of these characters prove to be more fucked up than we at first imagine. But then again, while it is still too soon to call, I’m worried this will boil down to another god-gone-mad type story, which I’ve seen before. There is still hope for it, as it really isn’t bad, but it doesn’t do enough to show me its uniqueness, either; until then, the story is just a "borrow" affair for me. Artistically, there are quite a few visuals that I really like, and even though he kind of looks like a moister version of The First Lantern, I dig the syrupy rainbow look of Wik, the so-called “Father of Color.” Although, I should think that Mr. Crayola might take some issue with the nickname. Otherwise, though, some of the perspective used in the book is unnatural and a bit sloppy. I’ll probably stay on to see what’s going on here with the motivations and power levels of Wik, but probably just in passing and from a distance.
I have mixed feelings about this first issue. It doesn’t offer much but a very thin baseline of a story. What I mean by that is we don’t really get any introduction expect for this God figure and even he is vague on his plans. I can tell you one thing though no one should be that obsessed with anything. It will only end in regret which I think Julian Demond will soon feel.
Okay I have decided on Buy because although it is a slow beginning I have a feeling this story will kick some serious ass in the future. The horror was barely even scraped at. If I know The Bible then I know it is scary and with that level of horror put into a comic format it will only make it more explosive.
I really enjoyed this issue. I knew from the first page that it wasn’t going to be for everyone, but if this was a solo review it would score pretty high. The issue was nuck and futs, but I enjoyed every single page. Seeing the exiled God hang people in the air and then just kill them for shits and giggles was hilarious and reminded me a lot of Supreme Powers in a lot of ways. In fact, so far it reminds me of a superhero comic and that’s pretty damn cool. For me this was just a fast, enjoyable read that made me laugh at it’s over the top nature, but at the same time crave more of it. I know there will be mixed feelings about this issue, but it was a definite buy for me.
I read through this issue very quickly and suspect that this series might work better as in a collected format. That said, any 'Wednesday Warriors' reading this review shouldn't allow themselves to be put off. Next Testament #1 is a very good opening to what promises to be an intriguing and harrowing horror comic. There's not much in the way of dialogue or captions to judge Barker and Miller's writing by, but the concept they've cooked up - of a messianic monster that's almost like a fusion of H.P. Lovecraft's otherworldly and unintelligible old ones with the religious elements of Christianity - is potent and unsettling.
Haemi Jang's artwork is excellent, combining rich detail, expressive characters and skillfully applied color to create a loaded atmosphere and an undercurrent of menace throughout. In "the Father of Colors" the series has a genuinely sinister villain (if that's even the right word to describe him), with his inhuman powers and godly megalomania, and appears more sickening than joyful in his near-psychedelic coloring. Jane's line work feels, to me, like a cross between the 'clear line' style pioneered by Hergé with the 'camera angles', manipulation of space and judicious use of detailing you would expect to see in the quality manga books. It's good stuff and I'm already looking forward to issue #2.
Next Testament #1 is a proper mind f%$k and a scary, scary book that made me think for hours afterwards. Some of the panels are very disturbing and the story itself will make you doubt your god. That said, I can’t wait for more. Reviewing regularly Clive Barker`s Hellraiser series I thought I knew what to expect of the man as far as comic writing was concerned. I was wrong. New Testament—the little I’ve seen so far-- managed to intrigue me and excite me more than any issue of Hellraiser could (or at least has so far). Wick: The Father of Colors is terrifying and his seemingly above morals level of consciousness makes him one of the more intriguing figures I’ve seen recently in comics. What the hell did Julian Demond do exactly to call him in the first place? If the art in this book was drawn by a school child id still buy the second issue on the basis of story alone, and you know what? Maybe more so then, Wick would be scary as shit drawn crudely in crayon.
Score: 4 Buys and a Borrow
Writers: Clive Barker and Mark Miller Artist: Haemi Jang Publisher: Boom Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 5/29/13