Pick of the Week

Pick of the Week – 08.29.2012 – Prophet #28

What did the
iFanboy
community think?

330
Pulls
Avg Rating: 4.4
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 5.1%
 
Users who pulled this comic:
Story by Brandon Graham, Simon Roy and Giannis Milonogiannis
Art by Giannis Milonogiannis
Cover by Simon Roy

Size: 30 pages
Price: 3.99

Let me begin by making a confession: I don’t know what the hell is going on in this book. Not a clue and I couldn’t care less.

Before I explain why, it’s probably worth admitting that this pick of the week for Prophet is probably long overdue.  In fact, I was shocked to look back on this past year and find that Prophet has not been pick of the week yet, which probably is a victim of circumstance in terms of the release schedules combined with our rotation. But Prophet has, with each issue, entertained and impressed me. So much so, that  I’m pleased to say that finally Prophet gets it’s due thanks to the boundless creativity of writer Brandon Graham along with his various artistic collaborators Simon Roy and the artist for this issue, Giannis Milonogiannis.

Given that praise for Graham and crew, how can I make a book that I don’t know what’s going on the pick of the week? Well for starters, that’s only partially true. I get it, from the high level concept piece of the reestablishment of  the “man out of time” with a mission in the distant future as the Earth Empire re-emerges that Graham has been spinning for us since it launched earlier this year. But from issue to issue, I never know what to expect.  Prophet has proved itself to be one of the most unpredictable comics filled with little surprises at every turn and that’s something that has got me thoroughly entertained.

As I try to wonder why I’m so fascinated by Prophet, I think it’s for a few reasons.  First, I’ve been enjoying a bit of a science fiction renaissance in my comics (as we’ve all seen and heard with our gushing over Saga) and Prophet as been a leader in that charge. With the alien worlds, space travel and out there organisms that populate each issue, Prophet has been a continual stream of the best kind of science fiction that there is. The kind of science fiction that bases itself in just enough of a world that you can recognize and at the same time is so alien and out there that it pushes your level of understanding.  This is something that Saga has done masterfully, but with more of a slant on the relatable.  As relatable to our world that Saga is, Prophet goes in the opposite direction, presenting out there concept after concept until becomes a juggernaut of crazy space alien ideas. So much so that I find myself losing track of the craziness.

Building off the science fiction love, Prophet is tapping into the same magic that Jodorowsky and Moebius did with The Incal (a book I previously made the book of the month last year). The Incal was such a wild ride of crazy out there science fiction, it was another book that I may not have understood half of what was going on in the book, but goddamn it I loved every minute of it.  In that respect, Prophet reads like a modern day Incal.  A book where you have to worry less about the specific hows and whys from chapter to chapter and just go along for the ride.  Because the ride has not disappointed yet.

In Prophet #28, we see “Old Man Prophet,” an older, wiser version of John Prophet complete with a beard and grey hair joined by an alien named Hiyonhoiagn as they hurtle through space on their mission to recover the remaining pieces of Prophet’s old android friend and ally, Diehard (who long time Extreme Comics fans should recognize from the pages of Youngblood.  A self contained issue (as most of this series has been), Prophet #28 masterfully tells this story, introducing us to the players, setting the stage, kicking in the action and then giving us a satisfying resolution.  A resolution that suggests to me that we’ll continue to see Diehard as the grander tapestry of Graham’s story unfolds.  I think that’s another aspect of what excites me about this book, is that while the self contained stories appear to be all over the map, knowing the world building that Graham has done in his previous work such as King City, I just know that he’s working towards a greater story and has been laying pieces along the way.  That excitement of what’s to come is further augmented by having no idea what’s next.

The other shining aspect of Prophet has been the ongoing rotation of fantastic art. Starting with Simon Roy and now with this issue and Giannis Milonogiannis, the task of bringing to life the world of Prophet has been done with such great design and creativity.  The idea that Graham could write in his script for this story the words “”The starship launches a layer of its skin at the attackers…netting them mid-flight…” is easy enough to write. But to bring that scene to life and make it not only believable, but to make it not silly is an skill.  The independent art style that’s been used on Prophet has been a perfect pairing, shucking any sort of connection to look and feel of comics that we know and challenging the reader visually almost as much as the story does.

As we inch closer to the end of 2012, in a few weeks we’ll start looking back at the year that was, as we’re oft to do, and I believe that I’m not alone when it comes to praising Prophet as one of the bright lights in comics this year.  Coming from the unlikeliest of places, Brandon Graham, Simon Roy, Giannis Milonogiannis and the rest of the Prophet team have achieved the goal of creating the type of comic that oozes with innovation, broad creativity and excitement and Prophet #28 is no exception.

Ron Richards
Plus the inventory panels entertain me immensely
ron@ifanboy.com

Comments

  1. omg, enjoyed this book so much even though it will probably be my on comic for the week. I read it with a specific voice inside my head and the weird names and locals just fascinate me. I don’t even care that they don’t explain everything. It’s just there, existing, being kind of awesome. The only books that makes me want to look at everything is Orc Stain (anything Stokoe that I’ve manage to dirty up with my fingers) and Chew. @_@ nerdgasms all the way.

  2. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    *fist bump*

  3. God damn you….now I gotta watch ‘The Jerk’. Excuse me.

  4. First time I’ve read this. It is nice to see science fiction becoming a strong presence, and this was very interesting and I suspect even more so once one reads across the story. And to my taste, it is better science fiction than Saga, which to me is really more fantasy since there seem to be few rules or relation to physical reality. Anyway, thanks once again for a Pick that points to a book I had not read and will enjoy in the future.

  5. When I think of “The Year of Image,” this sort of Image Renaissance that’s going on, Prophet, Manhattan Projects and Saga are the first books I think of. Love this book

  6. Cool, The Goon was my pick. kind of a weird week of books.

  7. Just finished this. The last two issues featuring old man Prophet have been some of my favorite. BTW anyone else notice the price jump?

  8. Yay!

  9. One of US, One of US

  10. This and planetoid and great companion books — both have wicked inventory panels 🙂

  11. Ron stated, “…Prophet is tapping into the same magic that Jodorowsky and Moebius did with The Incal”.

    I suppose, but my first impression after reading Prophet was of the wordless classic by Moebius entitled Arzach from Heavy Metal.

    I find the similarities between Arzach and Prophet uncanny, even down to the personalities of the two characters (Arzach and John Prophet).

    For any fan of Prophet , check out Arzach!

    • I’m in complete agreement. If I remember the first collection of Arzach is completely wordless so doesn’t require finding translations or paying out the nose for an OOP book.

  12. This is awesome all around.

  13. Prophet is probably one of my favorite comics out there right now. Graham’s King City is worth reading as well.

    BTW, the story makes much more sense if you read several issues at once. I’ve been getting the singles, but I may also get the trade that just came out.

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