Review: Prophet #21

I’m sure that I’m not alone when I say that I’ve never read a single issue of Prophet before this issue. I have no idea what happened in the previous twenty issues and I’m sure when they come to print in trade paperback Image will sell quite a few to people just like me. Although I wonder if I’m lining Rob Liefeld’s pockets once again, I can’t help but enjoy and recommend this book. The story is weird to say the least. We open in the future as a pod that resembles something out of the TMNT cartoon, digs its way up through the ground and out pops John Prophet who instantly pukes. He then activates his implants, which is good because he’s going to need to fight off a hungry creature with a Predator style mouth. His implants kick in and he boots the creature off of him and whips out a machete looking blade. He makes short work of the creature and begins gutting it for food. He explores the contents of its stomach and the scene resembles something out of Fallout, only instead of a reward of supplies it’s mostly fingers and a hand.

Prophet #21 CoverJohn takes off towards his mission and continues running into new and dangerous animals looking to eat him, but nothing is a match for his implants and machete. He comes across a small town functioning as an Oonaka meat farm. Basically monkeys are the new cattle as they’re slaughtered for meat and milked. John continues on his mission as he spots a crashing ship heading to Jell City. There he will find more information on his mission and key inventory that he’s still missing.

Ever read a book that you didn’t quite understand where it was going and overall it was just weird? That is this book to a "T". It was strange and yet not in bad way, it kept me interested from beginning to end and I couldn’t wait to see what the next page held for me. I will say even the page that alluded to freaky alien sex wasn’t enough to scare me off. This is one of those stories that could only exist in comic book form and shows why the medium is so special. This could be a number one selling book, but it would never be adapted into a movie or any other medium due to the strangeness of the story.

I don’t know if writer Brandon Graham worked on the series before and frankly I don’t want to know. I would much rather continue the belief that he simple picked up the reins and continued the story. Graham has a wonderful narration that does the heavy lifting of the issue. The bits of dialog that does exist is very good, but the narration gives information that adds to the weirdness of the story. I didn’t know this character before the story began, but afterwards I have a sense and look forward to reading and learning more about the world of Prophet.

The art really steals the show. The story is weird for sure, but without Simon Roy’s pencils and Richard Ballermann’s colors… I’m not sure this would be the same book. Roy creates an unbelievable world and then makes it believable. The designs of some of the creatures are almost repulsive, but stop short of turning your eyes away. Ballermann’s colors give this strange book a tone and feel that is unique to itself and do Roy’s pencil’s the justice they deserve. Without this art team, this book’s quality would sink considerably.

I’m sure that there are a lot of comic readers today like myself that never got into the Extreme line of books and only remember Captain American Fighting American. Though I hate Liefeld’s art if he really played a hand in creating this world than hey… good for us right? Good in the way that someone else saw its potential and delivered a fantastic story which is probably one of the best of the week. So give Liefeld some money because this is actually worth it.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Brandon Graham Artist: Simon Roy Colorist: Richard Ballermann Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 1/18/12