Tuesday, February 5, 2013

365 Comics...36: Prophet #21 (2011)

There was an obvious reason why I didn't read Prophet back in the mid-to-late-1990's, but I'll spell it out for you: Rob Liefeld.  You may have your own opinions of the guy, and hey, for a 2-year span from 1990-1992 I was pretty dazzled by him myself, but let's face it, he's got his thing and that thing ain't so good.

I've been meaning to, at the very least, check out the stuff he had Alan Moore do for him on Supreme, but I still have this block with him and the derivative characters that he created.  It's the same reason why I didn't give his recently rebirthed books at Image a second look.  Yet, with Prophet making many top ten lists for 2012 (and in many cases topping those lists) I have no choice but to reexamine.  I hate to miss out on good genre stuff.  The Comixology app made it pretty easy to get a taste, with the "first" issue (#21) available for free.

Though the series numbering continues, it's evident this is a hard reboot, stripping away the overmuscled physique, the warrior's grimace, the obscene shoulder pads and prevalent pouches, and diverting far, far away from the modern-day setting.  Instead writer Brandon Graham has been given carte blanche to do with the character as he pleases, awakening John Prophet from a deep subterranean slumber in the very distant future where alien life are keep the devolved human progeny as cattle for milking and meat.  Prophet, no longer buff and be-spandexed, instead looks famished, gaunt, and his orange jumpsuit seems less than snug.  But his appearance betrays his formidable abilities as a fighter, and his acquisition of numerous gadgets and supplies give him a Bond-by-way-of-John Carter feel.

I wasn't fond of Graham's narrative choice at first, but I settled into it and eventually understood the necessity of it.  There's an abundance of ideas in place here, much of it hearkening back to Edgar Rice Burroughs in its execution of alien life and civilization, and a human thrust among it. It's enough to be dazzled by that the actual plot kind of escaped me after an initial reading.  I definitely liked it though (artist Simon Roy, a stylistic hybrid of Frank Quitely and John Romita Jr., is astounding at making the alien environments a believable space) and will certainly be trade waiting/hunting for more.

I'm going to have to rethink Glory now too.

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