Prophet 22 by Brandon Graham and Simon Roy
Story: Brandon Graham with Simon Roy
Art: Simon Roy
Colors: Richard Ballermann
Letters: Ed Brisson
Published by Image Comics
One of the impressions I got from Prophet, especially after looking at some of the old Rob Liefeld art pages, is that it had the feel of Conan in outer space. The second issue of the Prophet revamp, brilliantly done so far by the way, would seem to confirm this theory.
From our first issue we learn that John Prophet has awakened from a long cryogenic sleep and finds himself in a futuristic and somewhat Hellish future Earth. It looks to be populated by all kinds of alien lifeforms. We also learn that what humans remain are farmed pretty much like cattle thereby confirming some kind of vegan karmic revenge. We also learned that John Prophet will sleep with pretty much anything.
This issue John Prophet is attempting to get to his destination but finds that he has no transportation so hitches a ride on what could only be called some kind of moving industrial farm that has some kind of shielding. This protects the various insectoid like aliens from the insects and the harsh environment. It would not be unlike someone being awakened here in the US with a mission in South America so that person takes a fishing boat headed in that general direction and thus our adventures begin. This actually does remind me of many of the plots that I’ve seen in Conan, who was constantly placed in alien lands and found himself on various quests.
Likewise, this John Prophet finds himself in an alien caravan. Here’s how the very talented writer describes it.
“A speaker wired to the caravan creatures brain core barks its thoughts. He pays his way across the desert working among the qid-pids as a shoveler. The slow trundle of the caravan is sanctuary across this deadly wasteland. Sanctuary in the form of a human built power shell. Under its protection pacifist web watchers return home. A xiux-guin blade wearing his death mask and trophies in the middle of his hunt journey. The blind UO monks. And deep in the center creature, the caravan king in his fossil sleep.”
Nicely done. Just to attempt to describe the caravan: massive homes carried about by dinosaur like creatures who are fed plant trash and that excrete a valuable commodity. Here’s how the workers spend their time:
Also nicely done. And notice the little things. Such as how hideous the aliens are (really alien aliens), where the mouths are placed, the translator ball and check out that cool alien lettering in the background. Is that an actual alien language with script? When you consider the level of detail here that wouldn’t surprise me.
Here’s something that did surprise me: John Prophet stops the murder of the sleeping fossil king. I have no idea why. If you’re on some alien world and your job is to save humanity then you don’t get involved in a local political dispute. Actually, it might not have been a dispute according to the aliens but just the way that power is handed over. So now he’s blown his ride and gained a bounty hunter who wants him dead. Remember: John Prophet is the only person that can restore humanity so he shouldn’t be making too many enemies no matter how many enhancements he has. Yet another thrilling deeply science fictional issue. 4.5 out of 5 stars.