67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Mind-blowing science fiction,
This review is from: Prophet, Vol. 1: Remission (Paperback)
Rob Liefeld has received quite a bit of flak during his career - some of it warranted, and some not. But while his characters may be ill-conceived and visually ludicrous, other creators have done some amazing things with them (as the rule goes, there are no truly "bad" comic characters, only bad writers and artists). Nowhere had this been more apparent than with Alan Moore's reworking of Supreme, but with PROPHET VOLUME 1: REMISSION, writer Brandon Graham may have outdone Moore. This trade paperback collects what is sequentially regarded as Prophet #21 - 26, but it's actually 1 - 6 of a whole new storyline, so there's no need to go hunting for back issues in order to get caught up.
Prophet was introduced in 1992's Youngblood #2 as a shaggy-maned, constipated, time-travelling warrior, outfitted with boxing headgear and a purple bodysuit, and armed with enough guns and swords to take over a small country. Throughout the remainder of the `90s, that original version of the character drifted through various forgettable series and one-shots. With this new storyline, Graham has worked around the basic concept of the character and transformed the title into something more appropriate for Metal Hurlant. John Prophet arises from cryosleep on an Earth so far in the future that it is unrecognizable, with the environment and life forms having been completely transformed, or possibly even replaced. Prophet's mission is clear - to "climb the towers of Thauilu Vah and restart the Earth Empire" - but that's only the first half of the book, and then an even bigger tale (and a bigger mystery) begins. The story is wonderful fun, but the real attraction here is the assortment of beings, settings, and situations encountered along the way: things that are truly alien, but also very matter-of-fact, such as the Jell City, the Taxa caravan, the Palatium Sleepingman, Vostok's World, and the Cyclops Rail. These ideas, and more, prevent the book from being a quick read, but the more time spent on it, the richer the experience. It's not space opera or even hard sci-fi; rather, it's a truly fantastic adventure that can't be adequately described in an Amazon review. It really should be experienced first-hand.
Art is provided by Graham, as well as Simon Roy, Farel Dalrymple, and Giannis Milonogiannis. The other artists are also credited as co-writers, indicating that everyone must have worked very closely with Graham in conceiving this story and setting, and the artists utilize a somewhat unified style. The best way to describe the look of this book is "bizarre", and that's meant in a good way. The work is both breathtaking and repellent at the same time, and some of the concepts are so wild that it took some time to wrap my head around them; however, it all looks completely natural as a whole. But the best part of this whole experience is that this 6-issue collection retails for only ten dollars. In today's comic market, that's astonishing, and I'm wondering if this is simply a teaser to attract new readers, or if this is a trend towards more affordable collections from Image. In either case, it got me to take a chance on this title, and it was much appreciated. PROPHET: REMISSION made a real impression on me, and I look forward to future volumes.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 30, 2013 5:18:57 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 30, 2013 5:21:18 PM PST
I don't know man, it's ok, but it's not all that amazing and it does read sort of quick because there is hardly any story being told. Other than weird visuals the plot is sort of a stereotypical John Carter of Mars type of thing. In fact I can think of at least a dozen stories right off the top of my head that are basically the same thing, so when you say mind blowing I'm not sure exactly what blew your mind? The art is good as it tries it's best to look almost exactly like Jean Giraud Moebius, but all the aliens that are drawn to look like penises is didn't impress me much, not to mention the alien whose entire face is a giant vagina. I guess seeing walking penises and a smoking vagina is sort of mind blowing in a rather disgusting way, but I expected much more of an actual plot.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2013 5:55:15 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 30, 2013 6:12:49 PM PST
If you can truly think of a dozen stories right off the top of your head that are basically the same as Prophet, then by all means: list them here. I'd be interested to know what I've been missing.
"Hardly any story being told"??? Actually, there's three stories being told, but you'll have to read volume 2 to find out how they converge.
As to your comparing Prophet to the John Carter stories... hmmm... well, beyond both characters waking up in unfamiliar situations (and even *that* is a stretch), they're literally worlds apart. I failed to see anything stereotypical about Brandon Graham's story, which is why I liked it so much.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2013 11:46:21 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 31, 2013 12:49:35 AM PST
I think your idea of "original" seems to be that nobody has told this exact same story the exact same way it was told here. I'm not saying that Prophet sucks, but it's more of a collection of ideas without a solid plot than it is some truly original narrative. The theme of "waking up to an alien future", which is essentially the same as traveling through time, is not only the premise of Prophet and John Carter of Mars but of hundreds of SF stories. If you throw dystopian futures or zombie apocalyptic futures, then it turns from hundreds into thousands. But regardless, I think think Prophet is ok but could have easily been better, especially if the character of John Prophet himself had any personality beyond that of a loaf of bread.
So here's the short list:
Den by Richard Corben
Arzach By Jean Giraud Moebius (I actually think this entire project was trying to look and feel exactly like a Moebius story generally)
Planet of the Apes
John Carter of Mars
A Canticle For Leibowitz
Avatar the Last Air Bender animated series
Space Seed (original Star Trek episode)
Survival by Pepe Moreno
Arrivals from the Dark
The World at the End of Time
Time After Time
X-Men: Days of Future Past
New X-Men: Here Comes Tomorrow
X-Force: Dark Angel Saga
Pulp magazines such as Asimov's Science Fiction, Astounding Science Fiction, Amazing Stories, and Analog Science Fiction have regularly featured stories with various twists on the this same theme as well, not to mention Heavy Metal and Epic Illustrated.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2013 6:36:07 AM PST
Oh, come on now... So by your broad criteria, NOTHING can possibly be original. I agree that every work of art has some kind of influence, but you're taking it to the extreme.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2013 10:49:07 AM PST
If you want to read a seriously compelling science fiction trade try Nowhere Men, which was also put out by Image. It's not pretty like Prophet (they chose quite possibly the WORST cover art possible as it's ugly and reflects nothing about the story) but it's by far the best science fiction comic book trade I've read in the past few years. Check it out.
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