(p)REVIEW- "Prophet #1" by Brandon Graham and Simon Roy

I dropped in on my comic shop after work yesterday and walked out with a nice haul of books, ALL of which I'll be writing reviews for. Arguably the best book I took home was Prophet #21,  the debut issue of the brain-melting creative team of Brandon Graham and Simon Roy.  As someone who actually read the original series, I gotta say this is probably the greatest revamp ever.

Brandon labeled the series "Fucking future space Conan Shit..."  and that's all the sales pitch anyone has a right to... here's the preview, tough guy...

 If you (like me) are a fan of Brandon's wild imagination from his previous books like King City and Multiple Warheads, you may be shocked (like me) at how disturbing his shit is when drawn by a less cartoony artist.  You'll still recognize his Mobius-soaked brain at work here... the designs call to mind the freaky denizens and perverted landscapes of Graham's critically-acclaimed urban fantasies, but the the agrarian, alien-populated Earth that John Prophet is reborn into lacks the familiarity and safety of doors that lock and police that at least might help you out when shit gets real.
It's easy to imagine Graham drawing this book himself, but much is gained by putting it in the hands of rising star Simon Roy (Jan's Atomic Heart).  Roy's art has the ambivalent sense of reality and unreality you might see in the work of  Frank Quitely, Geoff Darrow or Richard Corben, and while he leans into Brandon's sensibilities from time to time, it's the ways in which his art is different that really make this collaboration work so well. The creepy animals, parasitic organic weapons and tools, alien-on-man sex, cannibalism and a million other smarmy ideas in this book are all the more slimy and nasty when puked out of Simon Roy's drawing hand. Roy and colorist Richard Ballerman (I wonder how many kids called him Dick Baller Man" in middle school...) add an extra layer of grime, vestigial hair and general grossness to everything in this godless future Earth, and Brandon (the cruel master of comics that he is) is mushing this creative team to award-worthy heights. 
In this first issue (which in a nod to the old series starts at #21 instead of #1), the stoic reborn savior kills his way across an epic darwinistic nightmare landscape to reach the alien shaman who holds the details to his mission. So far, Prophet is the only human character in sight (unless you count the pre-Geico monkey people the aliens harvest for food... I don't), and the creepy parade of aliens he alternately kills, eats or avoids will push your WTFometer into the red. All the comics I bought this week were good, but Prophet #21 is for the babies on some ODB shit! If you're into science fiction, great art, and ultra-violence, cop it by any means. You might hafta buy a 2nd printing (like I did), but the story will reward you for your effort and hard-earned three bucks. I for one can't WAIT for issue two!


ross said...

since i got the Extreme hook-up, i've read the second issue and it is AWESOME.

samax amen said...

It has a very unique feel. I can't wait to read the next one!

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