Oliver Davis reviews Prophet #43…
Issue 43 begins telling the story of Hiyonhoiagn. At first, it’s a little bewildering, and you worry that this is another filler installment like last month’s. The art is different, smudged somewhat, like Szymon Kudranski’s work on Spawn. But within eight pages, Hiyonhoiagn is revealed as the nerve centre of the Insula Tergum, John’s ship. The opening was simply him remembering his life. In the Now, two titans the size of planets, Troll and Badrock, entangle in a simultaneous COMBAT/JOINING.
As they fight, their joint mind pushes through the ship, and provides John with A SCENE FROM THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO of the titans’ past. The art changes for a panel, a lot closer to the standard pencils of mainstream comics, lines clearly defined and colours kept within their bounds. It’s an effective moment, positioning the book’s past as our current. As though the DC and Marvel styles of today will eventually evolve into Prophet’s fluid art in the future. It reminds us that we’ll eventually look back on today’s aesthetics with the same eye we use for the crude Kirby’s and boxed-in Ditko’s of the Silver Age.
Issue 43’s third person narration matches the art’s transcendence. Everything appears to be happening at once. It’s written in the present tense; HE THINKS OF THE LIVES IN HIS SHIP, HE TRIES TO REMEMBER YIALA’S FACE. It’s breathless, exhilarating. The events unfolding in the same difficult-to-pin-down manner of a dream.
The second half (to the page) continues the imprisoned Greenknife’s story. We left him as he journeyed into a living planet in issue 41, one of the series’ most memerising sequences thus far. Now he finds himself suspended above THE DEATH MAZE OF THE BODY-CITY, a horrifying labyrinth where prisoners are decapitated for the Queen’s pleasure.
Prophet consistently remains one of the most innovative comics out today. It’ll be a shame when it concludes in two issues’ time. There will be a mini-series to wrap up the Universe, but then Brandon Graham will move onto other things. If you don’t pick this up now, you certainly will in a few years, when friends recommend it to friends who recommend it to you.