Oliver Davis reviews Prophet #38…
It’s a race for power, with Prophets seeking to enslave the children of Badrock to use them as living weapons against a new mysterious foe.
After an entire issue off, Brandon Graham has returned from his holiday on Koktok (Costa del Sol for psychedelic comic book writers) for #38. Regular so-good-they-kinda-named-him-twice artist Giannis Milonogiannis produced the wonderfully sparse previous installment. As a result, this issue has far more words.
The Prophets are seeking out the children of Badrock to defeat a new bad guy, and their first stop is a lady named Sally Crane. Only she’s been “REBORN THROUGH RADIATION AS THE SUPER BEING SUPERMA. LONG SINCE FREED OF HER HUMAN FORM, SHE EXISTS AS THOUGHT AND LIGHT.” Her speech bubbles are diamond shape, just like her prism form. Graham’s narration is so succinct and matter-of-fact it often transcends into some form of scientific poetry.
Beyond that, however, I’m still a bit lost. Reading Prophet is a dazzling experience, so much so that your enjoyment isn’t hampered by not understanding everything. It is getting easier with each issue.
It has to be read slowly. There are several massively intriguing science fiction ideas per page. A ship reforming itself by digesting the surrounding environment. A planet full of organisms that don’t control their own minds. The notion that something can weigh “MINUS 10 LBS.” To pause on one is to leap into a myriad of your own tangents.
The double spread on pages 8 and 9 is particularly ingenious. Past, present, future, up here, down there and in one’s mind all appear to be happening simultaneously. Milonogiannis must take credit for the superbly realised art, but it is Graham’s narration that carefully guides the reader from observation to premonition, from astral projection to memory.
Just like the recurring organic imagery throughout the series, Prophet is growing on me more and more every time I read it. And, possibly more discomforting, burrowing further and further, deep into my own mind.