The world of Prophetica is a fucked up one, but one that I couldn’t stop reading. There’s something about strange worlds that take place in the desert that are just interesting. Prophetica opens with a caravan of people crossing the desert. There’s a group on foot leading the way and they’re called Waterbearers. The narration explains their role in the “Progression” as one that is noble. We find out very quickly though that these Waterbearers are slaves that have been given huge jugs of water to carry until they die and drop them into the sand. We then meet the people living high up on the biggest beast in the caravan. There’s a screaming child and group of women and their offspring gathered. It’s unclear at first why they’re there, but through their dialogue we learn that the Progression is happening because of the baby and the fact that it was born with one wing. Apparently any child born this way is taken on a Progression and they can’t find the temple until the last Waterbearer falls dead. They then enter the temple and kill the baby by throwing it down a well. This is all because of two religious beliefs and a prophecy that a winged child will raise up and destroy one religion.
There’s a lot more going on in this story and I really encourage you to read it. There’s so many details that I’m not giving you because it would spoil it. This is a well-plotted story and the fine details are worth paying attention to as they add to the depth of the world. With a fantasy/sci-fi world like this, usually setting up and creating the world is a terrible process. Just thinking back to several titles I’ve read this year I can’t say many have been successful at setting up their world. Prophetica on the other hand, manages to include half the information in a narrative from one of the characters and the rest through the dialogue. It would have been easy to explain that the Waterbearers were just slaves sentenced to die for some weird ritual in order to find a temple, but instead it’s slowly revealed through believable dialogue.
The artwork fits the story. It’s not a style that most causal readers will like, but really fits the world. It’s formatted for computer screens and tablets and very successfully so. There’s some great panel layouts and perspectives used in the issue. In the beginning there’s a shot of one of the waterbearers looking down at their water and their hair is handing in front of them. There’s also a fisheye-lens looking scene that surprisingly worked incredibly well.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Prophetica. My one and only compliant is that this first issue/volume is so complete that it doesn’t set up a true path for the next issue. We could basically start anywhere, but I would have liked a bit of a hint. There’s a mention of a possiblity, but the character is so nonchalant about it, that it’s hard to say that’s where the story is going.
Otherwise, I liked this story a lot. The premise and the world building was tremendous and I’m looking forward to seeing what else the series has to offer. Head over to Prophetica’s website and check it out.
Prophetica #1 Writer: Vince Twelve Artist: Tim Mayer Colorist: Jason Wordie Price: Pay What You Want (Suggested at $3.99) Release Date: 9/16/15 Format: Digital Website