Prophet Volume 1 (Image)

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Rating: 4.5/5 – True Science Fiction with endless possibilities.

Prophet isn’t a light read.  It demands attention as there’s so much attention given to the building of the world and universe that Prophet lives in.  What I knew of Prophet prior to reading this first volume is that he was a 90’s Image character that at the time, I had very little interest in.  This Prophet couldn’t be any further in tone and style from that original creation.  After hearing good things about this book, and seeing some of the fascinating and distinct artwork, I decided to give it a try.  I’m so glad I did.  It’s a true science fiction story that at times requires a bit more from the reader, but rewards that time by presenting what feels like a real and mysterious universe.

The story revolves around John Prophet, who after awaking from a long cryosleep on an Earth that has drastically changed from the Earth that we know, is given the mission to reawaken the “Earth Empire”.  To do this he has to climb the towers of Thauilu Vah, which are so tall that they lead to a satellite hovering above the earth.  Once this mission is accomplished, the Earth Empire is awakened.  The book then branches out by telling stories on different worlds with different adventures…handled by different creative teams.

The book goes from the big concepts such as how alien caste systems work, down to the smallest of details like having a panel describe what’s in Prophet’s inventory after first emerging from his cryosleep.  Writer Brandon Graham takes the time to focus on the details, both big and small to create a real and fascinating world that at times you don’t want to leave.  For example, Graham goes into great detail on how a caravan of gigantic walking beasts are used as factories to create a substance called “cikade”.  Cikade is used to build domes and other structures to protect you from dangerous desert insects.  It sounds boring, but the way that Graham describes it and the artwork by Simon Roy makes you want to learn even more.  They’ve created a world you want to research, as it feels so alien, but also, so real.

The art is so well done not only by Simon Roy, but by the other artists as well.  Four different artists’ work can be found in this first volume and I can say that each one is as solid as the other.  Simon Roy’s art which is seen on the cover is the artist on the first three issues.  His art sets the tone for the book. He has a way of making everything look used, weathered and ugly.  Which absolutely fits.  As the story is full of details, so is the art.  Each drawing is purposeful and reasoned.  It’s hard to go into detail on the four different artists in this review, but know that each one puts their stamp on the universe, and makes “their” Prophet unique.

This is a book that pays off with multiple reads as you pick up a few more details each time.  I’m so excited to read future volumes of this book and have a favorite Prophet of my own that I look forward to following.  If you’re looking for true science fiction, then this book is for you.  Just be prepared to pay as much attention to all the “attention to detail” the creators put into this work.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas – shawn@comicspectrum.com
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