Arclight 4 (January 2017)

Arclight #4

Yeah, Brandon Graham really doesn’t know how to wrap up a comic, does he? Arclight meanders to a finish of sorts, with almost no content this issue. Churchland’s art is lovely, but it’s all over the place. Not enough information is the big problem. It’s decompressed storytelling or something. The Brandon Graham version. And it’s over too soon. There’s not enough of a finish here.

CREDITS

Writer, Brandon Graham; artist and colorist, Marian Churchland; letterer, Ariana Maher; publisher, Image Comics.

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Arclight 3 (November 2016)

Arclight #3

Arclight isn’t just back, Arclight is back and pretty great. There’s a lot of content, thanks to how Marian Churchland paces and composes the art. And Brandon Graham’s terse exposition is fantastic. It feels magical and dangerous and big. Churchland’s art is perfect for big, empty, and dangerous. Graham’s strange organic, magic creatures are imaginative and always used measuredly. It’s almost reassuring in its excellence.

CREDITS

Writer, Brandon Graham; artist and colorist, Marian Churchland; letterer, Ariana Maher; publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet Earth War 6 (November 2016)

Prophet Earth War #6

Graham and Roy finish Prophet with a weak, manipulative finale. Rushed art and an action movie fight scene. It’s decidedly lacking in ambition. Then they exit by pulling on the longtime reader’s heartstrings, but it’s too little, way too late. It’s a shame what happened to Prophet.

CREDITS

Writers, Brandon Graham and Simon Roy; artists, Roy, Giannis Milonogiannis, Grim Wilkins and Graham; colorists, Joseph Bergin II, Graham and Lin Visel; letterer, Ed Brisson; publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet Earth War 5 (July 2016)

Prophet Earth War #5

This issue of Earth War feels a little like Prophet-lite. At least writers Graham and Roy know where they should be focusing their attention this issue–there’s three plot lines at least, including the tedious Earth War itself–but they don’t have enough space. The story is way too rushed. It’s the Earth War version of a bridging issue. A bunch of fast paced nonsense to move some characters around while doing some expository somewhere else.

And then there’s the art–there are four different artists and no rhyme or reason to what they’re handling. It looks like Prophet art (because it’s by a bunch of great Prophet artists), but not under close inspection. There’s no detail, there’s no joy. Everyone on Earth War is just trying to get it finished, which is unfortunate, because there’s still some great possibilities in the comic.

There’s a page filling backup–I was kind of hoping the issue would keep going to get towards the end of the series faster (the Earth War stuff is really frustrating, Graham and Roy race through it so fast there’s negative personality). As someone how loved nearly every issue of the Prophet series, I just want Earth War to finish without damaging the original’s legacy….

CREDITS

Writers, Brandon Graham and Simon Roy; artists, Graham, Grim Wilkins, Giannis Milonogiannis and Jenna Trost; colorists, Joseph Bergin II, Lin Visel and Graham; letterer, Ariana Maher; back up story, Mike McGhee; publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet Earth War 4 (May 2016)

Prophet Earth War #4

This issue of Prophet Earth War isn’t the best of the series so far but it’s far from the worst. The front half, which summarizes various warring elements, slogs along a little. But there’s great art from Giannis Milonogiannis, Simon Roy and Grim Wilkins, who manages to make Earth War feel more like Prophet than ever before. Yes, the titular Earth War is incredibly lame so far, but at least the art matches Graham and Roy’s tone for the issue.

Where the issue takes off is in the second half and not just because there’s the romance between Diehard and Rein, because it doesn’t figure into this issue at all. But it is because there’s some humor to the characters, some gentleness, a whole lot of personality. It’s not just the characters, it’s the pacing.

Graham and Roy give their characters a solvable, difficult problem and they have to solve it. There’s a bunch of danger and some humor. There’s a self-awareness to the writing, an enjoyment of the moment. Prophet is at its best when Graham wants to see something expertly visualized. It’s not about being wowed by scenery, it’s about being wowed by how things exist and interact with that scenery.

Really impressive art from Ian Macewan on this issue’s backup. It’s another part of some future thing with a heist and a lot of bland characters. Witzke’s script is fine for a backup, but there’s nothing compelling. Except Macewan’s good art.

CREDITS

Writers, Brandon Graham and Simon Roy; artists, Giannis Milonogiannis, Roy and Grim Wilkins; colorists, Joseph Bergin III and Lin Visel; letterer, Ariana Maher. Back up story, The Azimuth Job; writer, Sean Witzke; artist, Ian Macewan; colorist, Sloane Leong. Publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet Earth War 3 (April 2016)

Prophet Earth War 3

There’s something inexplicable about this issue of Prophet Earth War. It doesn’t redeem the series or correct the trajectory or make up for a bad ending to the previous series, but it does reward the reader for sticking through. Like it’s nothing, writers Graham and Roy tell a rather good issue of Prophet about Rein and Diehard. It’s during the Earth War thing, but it’s also a return to that beautiful storytelling, that magical storytelling, this series once had.

This issue isn’t as great as I want it to be. It runs a little long, Graham and Roy waste some pages before they get to the personality. The Grim Wilkins art is fantastic though, so it appeals to the visual imagination. It’s a wonderful world Wilkins renders, full of strange life, perfectly complimenting Graham and Roy’s exposition.

It’s a solid effort, sincere, careful, reserved. Graham and Roy never go too far. There’s such a sadness about the characters, even when they’re laughing or happy, there is always a sadness. As a Prophet fan–even though I forgot what it meant to be a Prophet fan–I love this issue. Is it so bad to wish it was always this good, Earth War or not?

The backup, from Sean Witzka and Ian Macewan, is fine. It’s a future heist thing with a Paris Hilton knock-off and a decent Alien reference. Macewan’s art is excellent. He fits in a lot of procedural detail while maintaining a fun personality for the characters. Witzka’s script is a tad boring. So much exposition. So many narrators.

CREDITS

Writers, Brandon Graham and Simon Roy; artist, Grim Wilkins; colorists, Joseph Bergin III and Lin Visel; letterer, Ed Brisson. Back up story, The Azimuth Job; writer, Sean Witzke; artist, Ian Macewan; colorist, Sloane Leong. Publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet Earth War 2 (March 2016)

Prophet: Earth War #2

What is this comic? It’s definitely a Prophet comic. It reminds of when Graham and Roy would follow up some great issue with an inexplicable, but also great, fill-in. Only this issue of Earth War isn’t great. It’s all around pedestrian, which is a painful thing to say but… less painful than the comic (at least in the context of Prophet overall).

The story is simple. There’s one of the bad guy John Prophets who decides to kill all the Earth Mothers. So he does. There’s a little more to it, but not much. The issue is a series of fight scenes with minimal exposition and even less character. Nothing interesting about the setting. The backup tries to compensate for the feature’s lack of exploration, but it’s too little, too late.

Eventually, the one really bad ass Earth Mother comes to Earth to fight the bad John Prophet, who was multiple arms and looks more like a Rob Liefeld creation than anything in the comic, which is a Liefeld creation, has to date. I’m using “Liefeld creation” as a pejorative (hopefully the tone made it clear).

Now for the even more unpleasant part. Ron Ackins’s art. It appears painted (but I don’t think it is actually painted) and it’s a bad fit for Prophet. Earth War sort of feels like Prophet Lite and the lack of detail in the art enables that negative sentiment. There’s a dullness when Prophet needs to be sharp.

The aforementioned backup, with art from Aaron Conley and a script by Shannon Lentz, is at least an attempt at a Prophet tale. It’s detailed, it’s got intricate exposition, it’s gross. But it’s also not enough.

Earth War feels lost.

CREDITS

Writers, Brandon Graham and Simon Roy; artists, Ron Ackins; colorists, Paul Davey and Ackins; letterer, Ed Brisson. Back up story, The Shape of Tools to Come; writer, Shannon Lentz; artist, Aaron Conley; colorist, Joseph Bergin II. Publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet Earth War 1 (January 2016)

Prophet Earth War #1

Prophet. Earth War. Finally.

After months of waiting, how is it?

It’s eh. Prophet Earth War is eh.

Writers Brandon Graham and Simon Roy stubbornly ignore characters, ignore anything except expositional dialogue. They really want readers to understand what’s going on. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why. If you aren’t already a Prophet reader, Earth War isn’t going to convert you. Setting the action on a desolate planet (kind of like where Kirk fought the Gorn) is real boring.

The artists–Giannis Milongiannis and Roy–pack each page; there’s no grand Prophet panels here. It’s overpacked. Nothing gets enough space.

And Old John Prophet and Young John Prophet. They don’t have any chemistry. Graham and Roy try to force it throughout the issue, but there’s just no spark. They stand around and talk about the prospect of battle; it’s mostly talking heads. And it’s a bore.

It’s also an improvement over the last Prophet, however long ago, so hopefully the uptick continues.

CREDITS

Writers, Brandon Graham and Simon Roy; artists, Giannis Milonogiannis and Roy; colorists, Joseph Bergin II and Lin Visel; letterer, Ed Brisson; back up story, Sarah Horrocks; publisher, Image Comics.

8house 3 (September 2015)

8house #3

Should it go without saying 8house is a little weird? Is there some expectation of weirdness just from the title itself; Brandon Graham’s involvement alone probably should account for some of that weirdness.

This issue starts a new story, Kiem. The protagonist is a soldier on a desolate planet where the soldiers do a mind-transfer into a organic-mechanical (presumably… it is Graham, after all) mech and they battle. Only Kiem has a different mission.

Graham gets co-writer credit; Xurxo G. Penalta also does the art. The art’s real good. Penalta gets lost in panels, which encourages the reader to do the same.

Most of the issue is a big lead-in to the “twist” and it’s not the most original sci-fi as far as the narrative details. Penalta’s rendering of this planet is the draw, along with he and Graham putting solid thought into the characters. But comic ends with Kiem sort of soft-booting itself for the next one; hopefully Penalta and Graham’s story has some connections to the details in the first half of this issue, otherwise why read it.

Except the gorgeous art, of course.

CREDITS

Kiem, Part One; writers, Brandon Graham and Xurxo G. Penalta; artist, Penalta; publisher, Image Comics.

8house 2 (August 2015)

8house #2: Arclight

It’s another good issue of 8house. Graham fans–especially of Prophet–will find the organic technology somewhat familiar, but with Churchland’s art welcome instead of off-putting. Churchland’s art–with her focus on expression, implied movement and landscapes–make the story feel magical. Even when it’s dangerous, possibly gross or scary. It’s gentle.

And Graham doesn’t get particularly gross. He tells a straightforward story. Arclight and the magician lady are in some trouble. Meanwhile, in a floating city ship (made from some kind of animal), Arclight’s former lady doesn’t much like the lord of the city ship. It’s a royal drama. Instead of taking place in the Middle Ages, however, it takes place in some sci-fi world.

But a lot of the issue is just Churchland’s art. The visible hesitation in some of the lines just makes it all the better. Every panel is so thoughtful.

Really impressive comic.

CREDITS

Arclight, Part Two; writer, Brandon Graham; artist, Marian Churchland; letterer, Ariana Maher; publisher, Image Comics.

Island 1 (July 2015)

Island #1

Island is an anthology series. I didn’t realize it was an anthology series with multiple creators and stories per issue. It feels like Dark Horse Presents, actually. Maybe a bit more indie, but basically it’s DHP. And being the new DHP is fine because the new DHP hasn’t done it.

There are three stories–one from Emma Rios, one from Brandon Graham (who’s also the editor of Island) and one from Ludroe. They’re all open-minded so they can continue. Two of them are all right. Ludroe’s skating thing isn’t my cup of tea. There’s no writing to it (besides alleycats being a gang of talking cats), no constraint.

Rios’s story is okay. The sci-fi setting being background to the characters is nice and some of the art’s good (not the action though).

Graham’s story is craziness and wonderfulness. He gloriously trumps continuity and expectation with ambition and exploration.

CREDITS

Contributors, Marian Churchland, Emma Rios, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Brandon Graham and Ludroe; publisher, Image Comics.

8house 1 (June 2015)

8house: Arclight #1

First part of the story and it’s clear Arclight is going to be something else. There’s something so human about it–when the magician (or witch) sits down to read a book with her recently resurrected goose? It’s a calm moment for the mysterious character. She’s royalty on a strange world (artist Marian Churchland does a gorgeous job of the place, desolate but full of life) and has apparently lost her humanity through some magical tragedy.

Writer Brandon Graham never gives too much away and, given the format (8house is an anthology book, Arclight has a limited number of issues), maybe he never will. With that mix of fantasy and mundane and the visual pacing of the comic, Arclight is a mysterious thing. That mystery is part of the pleasure of reading it.

Given Graham and Churchland’s skills, Arclight will always be an interesting, worthwhile read; but it’s good too.

CREDITS

Arclight, Part One; writer, Brandon Graham; artist, Marian Churchland; letterer, Ariana Maher; publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet: Strikefile 1 (September 2014)

Prophet: Strikefile #1

Prophet: Strikefile, after the entire relaunched series, explains a lot of what's been going on in the comic. The writers of Prophet always let in little details about the universe, without ever doing full exposition. Strikefile simultaneously has that full exposition, but writers Simon Roy and Brandon Graham still tell it in a reserved manner. They still rely on the art to subtly infer, for example.

The issue has a lot of different artists, most of them regular artists from the series, so they know how to compose an informative Prophet page.

Roy's opening history of the universe–with Grim Wilkins on art–is so dense, the subsequent pages covering various Prophet people, places and things is all gravy.

In their exposition, Roy and Graham maintain a somewhat playful attitude; it's like they know Strikefile is extraneous but they still want to have fun with it.

And, while entirely superfluous, it succeeds.

B+ 

CREDITS

Writers, Simon Roy and Brandon Graham; artists, Roy, Grim Wilkins, Graham, Sandra Lanz,Matt Sheehan, Malachi Ward, Bayard Baudoin, Onta, Giannis Milonogiannis, Joseph Bergin III, Ron Ackins and Tom Parkinson-Morgan; colorists, Sheehan, Ward and Amy Clare; letterer, Ed Brisson; publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet 45 (July 2014)

Prophet #45

I can’t believe it… Prophet ends with a weak setup for the subsequent sequel series. I never would have guessed it, not even as the issue progressed and old John and new John started on their collision course.

They don’t exactly collide, they team up, which is kind of worse, because Graham and Roy are now playing towards a imagined reader expectation. I say imagined because I don’t think any reader wanted them to flush all their creativity and ingenuity in plotting for something predictable. At this point, I don’t think I’d be surprised if the lizard girl ends up with the android.

The pacing is all off on the issue, both narrative and visual. After a minuscule nod towards how they used to identify objects with footnotes, the action beings racing, then slowing to a full page spread, then racing towards the next.

For Prophet, it’s a stunning flop.

C+ 

CREDITS

Writers, Brandon Graham and Simon Roy; artists, Farel Dalrymple, Giannis Milonogiannis and Roy; colorists, Joseph Bergin III and Sandra Lanz; letterer, Ed Brisson; publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet 44 (May 2014)

Prophet #44

There was an unfortunate amount of time I spent on this issue waiting for Old John and crew to show up. I should have been appreciating the wonder Graham and artist Dave Taylor were doing instead. Luckily, I caught on in time.

The issue is from the perspective of a being who is part of the empire ruling the galaxy. Graham only hints at how the empire works and who actually runs things and why, but the possibilities he raises are glorious.

The issue is first person, from the perspective of this agent of the empire. She’s got a mission to investigate a planet. On the way she has side adventures and there’s a lot of history to things and Graham has already established the character anyway. He opens on this lovely scene with the protagonist and her lover.

Xurxo G. Penalta’s cute but trite backup can’t dim the issue.

A+ 

CREDITS

Writer, Brandon Graham; artist and colorist, Dave Taylor; letterer, Ed Brisson. Lasersaw Crystal Canals; writer and artist, Xurxo G. Penalta. Publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet 43 (March 2014)

Prophet #43

The difference between a divine Prophet and an excellent one? The divine one has less story. The issue opens with the tree-man on Old John’s team. Bayard Baudoin does the art for his story. It’s very stylized, very lyrical. In just a few pages, Baudoin is able to define how the tree-man sees the universe and his place in it.

Except the issue isn’t just his story. It starts with him, moves to the space battle–including another fun flashback to Youngblood. Even though Graham and Roy use such flashbacks more often now, they’re still surprising. For a moment Prophet all of a sudden becomes a comic about comics, a wild imagining of what could be. Then the moment passes–organically–and the story continues. It’s a very nice move the writers make.

The third part involves the slaves (from many issues ago); it’s setup. Good, but obviously setup.

B+ 

CREDITS

Writers, Brandon Graham and Simon Roy; artists, Bayard Baudoin, Giannis Milonogiannis, Roy, Matt Sheean and Malachi Ward; colorists, Joseph Bergin III, Baudoin, Sheean and Ward; letterer, Ed Brisson. Pieces; writer and artist, Daniel Warren Johnson; colorist, Doug Garbark. Publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet 42 (January 2014)

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Wow. Usually the backups are decent, but this issue’s effort from Polly Guo is so great, I’m talking about it first. Just a superb, funny high school story. Truly excellent stuff.

Now on to the feature. Ron Wimberley does a Diehard flashback. No complaints as it’s a great story, but why is it always Diehard? Why doesn’t anyone else get a story? But he’s telling it Rein-East, which is super cute.

Anyway, the story has Diehard on this planet with a tribal civilization. He’s trying to fit in, going on a vision quest. Only it’s Diehard so his inorganic physiology screws it all up. Even though Wimbeley never outright says it, he makes it clear Diehard is sad in his condition as an immortal android.

Robot. I can’t remember. Doesn’t matter for the story.

The art’s good, full of Prophet energy and wit. Wimberley and Guo do fantastic work.

A 

CREDITS

Writers, Ron Wimberley and Brandon Graham; artists, Wimberley and Giannis Milonogiannis; colorists, Wimberley and Joseph Bergin III; letterer, Ed Brisson. Frog and Fly; writer and artist, Polly Guo. Publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet 41 (December 2013)

Prophet 41 1

Wait… Did I really read the whole thing? It feels like there should be more. Graham and Roy are back to splitting the issue between new and old John Prophet–though here it’s mostly the sidekicks of the Newfather and not much for the old John’s team–and nothing gets resolved.

Even the cliffhanger is goofy, bringing in a new threat in the last couple pages and then the comic just stops.

Then comes Ron Ackins strange back-up about a black cop defending a city in the future where some African nation has built a new civilization for African Americans. Ackins can’t write–for the first two pages, I thought it was an ad for a music group–and he doesn’t draw well either.

Like I said, it’s an awkward issue. Even in the feature, Graham and Roy rush through their character moments, which they usually spend time on.

B- 

CREDITS

Writers, Brandon Graham and Simon Roy; artists, Giannis Milonogiannis, Roy, Matt Sheean and Malachi Ward; colorists, Joseph Bergin III, Sheean and Ward; letterer, Ed Brisson. Lancaster Bleu; writer and artist, Rob Ackins. Publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet 40 (October 2013)

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Graham and Roy mostly just work towards bringing the New John together with the Old John, even though Old John doesn’t seem to understand what’s going on yet. He’s a pawn on the intergalactic chessboard, which this issue includes the return of Badrock–an old Image hero from some series or another–and a Cthulhu-like thing flying across the galaxy towards them.

There’s time for some character stuff with Old John, but it’s only a page or so and not as affecting as the conversation between two of New John’s team. One forgets Graham and Roy were able to take Prophet so far in such relatively few issues.

The main story ends up suffering from a lovely little back-up from Nerd O’Reilly. A wizard gets mad at his crystal skull (it’s animate, of course) and it’s a touching, funny little story.

The feature’s just too rambling in comparison.

CREDITS

Writers, Brandon Graham and Simon Roy; artists, Giannis Milonogiannis, Roy, Matt Sheean and Malachi Ward; colorist, Joseph Bergin III; letterer, Ed Brisson. Crystal Wizard; writer and artist, Paul Bohm. Publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet 39 (September 2013)

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It’s the Diehard issue, which is an easy pick for favorite Prophet issue but maybe only because Graham and Roy get to do a summary story covering about 10,000 years.

They open with a retelling–I assume, I have no idea–of Diehard’s origin on Earth in the twentieth century. The art, by era, is from one person or another (or a team). It’s all awesome, with Lando’s standing out the most because it’s such a sad story.

Anyway, there’s a first act, a second act, a little third act. Even though the issue moves fast, across the galaxy (and beyond) and through thousands of years, Graham and Roy show the the effects on Diehard and how he changes. Graham is doing so much with Prophet already, I guess he figured he had to do amazing things with forgotten superheroes too.

Lovely, muted Paul Bohm backup too.

Truly exquisite stuff.

CREDITS

Diehard; writers, Brandon Graham and Simon Roy; artists, Giannis Milonogiannis, Joseph Bergin III, Matt Sheean, Malachi Ward, James Stokoe, Aaron Conley, Lando, Ron Wimberly, Graham and Roy; colorist, Bergin; letterer, Ed Brisson. Backup; writer and artist, Paul Bohm. Publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet 38 (August 2013)

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What an issue. With Roy and Milonogiannis splitting the art–basically between Old John and New John–it’s a visual feast to be sure. It’s also exceptionally confusing.

The Old John stuff is simpler. It’s a tie-in with Supreme, which most Prophet readers can’t be familiar with, right? But Graham runs with it.

He doesn’t give enough time to the sidekicks though, especially not with the middle issue changeover to New John. And New John doesn’t really do anything–he gets a new arm–before Graham moves on to some planetoid.

At that point, the issue becomes completely incomprehensible. I think a planet gets broken up to free a planet-sized Prophet from a gravity well. Or something.

The backup, from Kate Craig, is cute. It’s a little too cute, with a white koala bear looking guy on a distant planet playing with the weird indigenous lizards. It’s fine.

CREDITS

Prophet; writers, Brandon Graham and Simon Roy; artists, Bayard Baudoin, Giannis Milonogiannis and Simon Roy; colorist, Joseph Bergin III, Jessica Pollard and Roy; letterer, Ed Brisson. Catch and Release; writer, artist, colorist and letterer, Kate Craig. Publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet 36 (June 2013)

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So New John is just Newfather now. Very easy. Oh, and nice cameo again–Graham really seems to enjoy the winks. He’s able to put them in and move right along. It helps Old John’s crew is so personable. Wouldn’t work without them.

There’s a little on Diehard’s crushing again this issue. Nothing ominous but it’s hard to say how it’ll work out. You can never guess with Prophet.

Graham now has Newfather set up his own crew. They’re not as personable–they are just clones after all–but he’s making the juxtaposing between the two Johns more similar in delivery while maintaining difference in texture. Very cool. They’re on the same mission too, so a meet-up is inevitable.

The Care backup is positively distressing this time. The art’s grossness hurts the strip big time. One fixates on the ick factor, not the delicate profoundness of the actual story.

CREDITS

Prophet; writers, Brandon Graham and Simon Roy; artists, Roy, Giannis Milonogiannis, Matt Sheehan and Malachi Ward; colorists, Joseph Bergin III, Roy, Sheehan and Ward; letterer, Ed Brisson. Care, Part Three; writers, artists and colorists, Sheean and Ward. Publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet 35 (May 2013)

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Graham has seemingly hit a lull issue. Not a bad issue, but definitely some kind of a bridging one. It’s always hard to say with Prophet, since Graham and his collaborators often do something unexpected.

He splits the issue between Old John and New John. Old John is traveling to meet The Troll, a warlord of some kind apparently, who occupies a moon of Mars. There’s some great stuff with his crew, some oddly touching moments and some funny ones. Very grand scale sci-fi stuff.

New John, on the other hand, should have grand scale too–he’s part of an attack to defeat these aliens who Graham leaves obscure–but Milonogiannis never amps up the huge battle. There are establishing shots, some quick interludes, some expository help, but it feels oddly small. Even though it’s obviously huge.

The Care backup continues to be weird. Better this issue than last.

CREDITS

Prophet; writers, Brandon Graham and Simon Roy; artist, Giannis Milonogiannis; colorist, Joseph Bergin III; letterer, Ed Brisson. Care, Part Two; writers, artists and colorists, Matt Sheean and Malachi Ward. Publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet 34 (February 2013)

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It’s another excellent issue. Whatever Graham’s got planned for Prophet, he’s also figured out a way to draw it out but never get boring.

This issue, featuring some great art from Roy, does establish a little more with the New Father John Prophet–he’s the one from the first few issues of the relaunch; seems like he’s been gone for a while and even though he’s sort of a bad guy, it’s nice having him back.

Anyway, what Graham and Roy do here is move him along baby steps but do so in a way to show all the variations of the John Prophet clone. Not all the Johns appear human, not all are equal, some are quiet alien. It’s wacky and wonderful.

The backup, from Matt Sheean and Malachi Ward, disappoints a little. It starts really cool but then turns out to be a Logan’s Run knockoff or something.

CREDITS

Prophet; writers, Brandon Graham and Simon Roy; artist, Roy; colorist, Joseph Bergin III; letterer, Ed Brisson. Care, Part One; writers, artists and colorists, Matt Sheean and Malachi Ward. Publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet 33 (January 2013)

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Awesome issue, just awesome. Graham ends it with this awkward silence–he only hints at the big events going on–with a focus on Old Man John Prophet’s reaction. Milog does a beautiful job on the art for these pages too.

A lot of the issue is spent with the crew in this strange hive mind fleet. Hive suggests bugs but there are no bugs. It’s all ethereal and beautiful, some kind of Amazonian space fleet. There’s an unexpected cameo too. Graham integrates it beautifully.

He also has a lot of humor. There’s a wonderful running joke about Rein-East and her discarded biological mass. Graham doesn’t do a lot of the detail callouts–he does a few–but something about the pacing of Rein-East’s biological mass reminds of them. It’s matter of fact, but hilarious.

The backup, from Sloane Leong, is rather impressive. Poetic, visceral stuff.

Fantastic issue.

CREDITS

Prophet; writers, Brandon Graham, Giannis Milonogiannis and Simon Roy; artist, Milonogiannis; colorist, Joseph Bergin III; letterer, Ed Brisson. Backup story; writer, artist, colorist and letterer, Sloane Leong. Publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet 31 (November 2012)

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This issue has to be the most traditional Prophet yet. Maybe Graham was just taking his time establishing everything. By traditional, I don’t mean “normal” in terms of Prophet issues. I mean “normal” as compared to other comics.

Prophet–Old Man Prophet–and his crew end up on a planet for some trading and for Prophet to attend a meeting. Graham writes Prophet as a solitary guy, but the other crew members talk and hang out. There’s comic relief with Jaxson the drone too. The plant guy and the lizard girl bond. It’s all very well done, with Graham’s return to the characters unexpected (but welcome).

He’s also got some interesting things going on with Diehard the robot.

Prophet is still picking up steam, its best issues ahead.

Olivier Pichard and Cécile Brun’s backup concerns a space traveller stranded on an unfamiliar planet. The art’s lovely, but the story’s slight.

CREDITS

Prophet; writers, Brandon Graham, Giannis Milonogiannis and Simon Roy; artist, Milonogiannis; colorist, Joseph Bergin III; letterer, Ed Brisson. Waveless; writer and colorist, Olivier Pichard; artist, Cécile Brun. Editor, Eric Stephenson; publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet 30 (October 2012)

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Graham brings together a lot of plot threads this issue. Well, he actually more just brings the drone guy–Jaxson–alongside old Prophet. That part of the issue, the third, is probably the least interesting.

The issue opens introducing another new character–who Graham brings back somewhat deftly–and then moves into a lengthy flashback about old Prophet. Milonogiannis handles the illustrating on these two stories; he brings a palpable melancholy to Prophet’s flashback. The series continues to surprise in this way–Graham and his artists get a lot of emotion out of a few pages in the middle of their grandiose sci-fi.

Graham does the art for the last part. It’s action-packed and good, but the issue definitely peaks during the middle.

The Bartan backup from K.C. Silver and Dimi Mac is lame. It’s anthropomorphic animals in space stuff. The jokes are cheap, the punchline’s even worse.

CREDITS

Prophet; writers, Brandon Graham, Giannis Milonogiannis and Simon Roy; artists, Milonogiannis and Graham; colorists, Joseph Bergin III, Milonogiannis and Graham; letterer, Ed Brisson. The Maleficient Maze of Tzontonox!!!!; writer, K.C. Silver; artist, colorist and letterer, Dimi Mac. Editor, Eric Stephenson; publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet 29 (September 2012)

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Farel Dalrymple does the art this issue. It’s a younger Prophet issue, involving his adventures on a prison ship. Or the prison part of a ship. It’s a very big ship. Dalrymple finds all sorts of stuff to draw. It looks, no surprise, amazing.

I just noticed most Prophet issues are these stopovers. Graham has Prophet–both or all of them–on journeys and issues tend to be about a stop. Here, young Prophet is able to get out of control of the Earth mother he’s escorting. It’s a side effect of the main story, but it provides a big change. Only Graham created both sides of that change this issue.

His writing is never disjointed or episodic. Every Prophet issue reads like it’s the only one. It’s a very interesting approach.

Andy Ristiano’s backup is derivative but okay. His art style nicely contrasts the serious nature of the story.

CREDITS

Prophet; writers, Brandon Graham and Farel Dalrymple; artist, Dalrymple; colorist, Joseph Bergin III; letterer, Ed Brisson. Game Over; writer, artist, colorist and letterer, Andy Ristaino. Editor, Eric Stephenson; publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet 28 (August 2012)

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Graham and company keep up the crazy and camaraderie, but continue to tone down the grossness. Prophet and his living tree sidekick are now traveling the galaxy (or at least the solar system) to find pieces of their other friend. For most of the issue, the other friend is a hodgepodge of parts. It makes for a very interesting supporting cast member.

Towards the end, Humpty Dumpty does get put back together again; Milonogiannis has a good time illustrating it. The character, Diehard, seems like it should look slick (and lame) but Milonogiannis makes the organic android lumpy and awkward.

Most of the issue takes place on a moon. Shattered pieces of planets hang in the atmosphere. Milonogiannis takes no time to beautify, instead suggests enough with his lines the reader fills in the majesty.

The Zooniverse backup is a cool discussion between Graham and Fil Barlow about Barlow’s technique.

CREDITS

Prophet; writers, Brandon Graham, Giannis Milonogiannis and Simon Roy; artist, Milonogiannis; colorist, Joseph Bergin III; letterer, Ed Brisson. Zooniverse; writers, Graham and Fil Barlow; artist and colorist, Barlow. Editor, Eric Stephenson; publisher, Image Comics.

Prophet 27 (July 2012)

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This issue of Prophet is positively touching. It’s something of a quest story, with Prophet–old man Prophet–searching a planet for his friends from long ago. Of course, Prophet gets to this planet on a giant space worm.

Milonogiannis’s art doesn’t really get great until the planet. It’s an amazing place, full of strange creatures and gigantic, intricate landscapes. The inhabitants are tied to these landscapes too, which makes it all the more visual. Graham isn’t being gross in the details anymore. It’s implied more than shown; instead he lets the art overwhelm the reader.

And it’s Graham who makes the touching stuff so good. He never goes too far with Prophet and his friend, using a single line to make the friendship so powerful.

It’s a wonderful issue.

Lin Visel’s backup mildly amuses, sort of David and Goliath with aliens. The art’s in a cartoony style and underdeveloped.

CREDITS

Prophet; writers, Brandon Graham, Simon Roy and Giannis Milonogiannis; artist, Milonogiannis; colorist, Joseph Bergin III; letterer, Ed Brisson. Backup; writer, artist, colorist and letterer, Lin Visel. Editor, Eric Stephenson; publisher, Image Comics.

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