Science fiction films, television, books, and comics are in some way inspired by our desire to explore the unknown. At the core of every Sci-Fi story is the discovery of a place or people that are strange and wholly unknown to us. The metallic monster crushing cities or the alien devouring a ship’s crew one by one kicks our imaginations into full gear. Every day we wake up, go to work, come home, and go to bed, then repeat the whole process again. We gravitate towards the bizarre and unknown because it is simply something different. Prophet is that something different we are all searching for at the end of the day. This is a comic that not only explores the unknown, but also embraces it with reckless intensity.
It is obvious that when Prophet‘s original creator Rob Liefeld handed the comic’s reins over to writer Brandon Graham, he gave him zero guidelines. The few things that remained intact from the original Prophet are bare bones. Prophet is a genetically engineered super-clone sent by the Earth Empire on a mission to restore humanity. From that point on, Graham’s wonderful grasp of science fiction takes over.
What is truly captivating about Prophet is Graham’s ability to capture the scope of the world that Prophet inhabits. Alien races are introduced and in only a few panels, Graham develops a compelling look into their strange culture. Time feels tangible in this book as Prophet explores a world ravaged by wars and endless evolutions of foreign beasts. As readers, alien creatures’ eating, mating, and relationship habits are explained to us in explicit detail. This is truly a book that captures everything beautiful and brutal about a world thousands of years in the future.
Prophet follows a linear storyline, but only for a few issues. As Graham and his fellow collaborators explore to world of Prophet it is obvious that they plan reveal every corner of this Sci-Fi world. We are slowly taken away from the story of Prophet and shown different pockets of this new world through the eyes of different Prophet clones and the beasts and machines that aid them. Every new story is just another way of fleshing out this intricate world and Prophet shines because of it. In many scenes of this comic, a distant war or culture is referenced but never mentioned again. It is in these moments that Prophet builds a history for itself, one that we are dying to know but never will.
Simon Roy, Farel Dalrymple, Giannis Milonogiannis, and Graham himself all contribute artistically to Prophet and each artist is stunning in their own way. Each artist’s style is a testament to the continually changing and evolving landscape that this book explores. Just as we start to become comfortable with one area of this strange world we are thrown into a new and nightmarish alien world captured beautifully by one of Prophet‘s artists.
It would be easy to just rehash Prophet as it originally was back in the 90’s under Liefeld’s pen. Mercifully, however, Graham has reached something significantly greater. Prophet is equal parts tireless in its efforts to explore an inhuman planet and beautiful for its limitless devotion to Sci-Fi as a medium.