Let’s talk about Rob Liefeld for a minute. There are very few people in the comics industry that cause such divisive arguments in the comics industry from an artistic standpoint than Liefeld, but at the same time there are few people so outright enthusiastic about the art of comics than Liefeld. That enthusiasm has recently resulted in the man licensing back a bunch of his Extreme Studio property's to Image but in instead of just rebooting and becoming just one more rehash, which could describe some other recent reboots I could name, the selected creative teams were given carte blanche by Liefeld to do whatever kind of stories they wanted to do. In some ways are only tangentially related to the titles they were before, And nowhere is that more apparent right now than with Prophet which looks like a Sci Fi Conan the Barbarian by way of Moebius .
The story within Prophet is pretty simple; John Prophet awakens from apparently hundreds of years and sets off on a mission to awaken the Human Earth Empire all the while traveling an earth far more savage and strange than the one he left behind. On the surface there doesn’t seem to be much to it, but the book is written in such a weird and interesting way you are completely invested by the second page. This is without a doubt due to the scripting by Brandon Graham, Creator of King City (A book I’ve only seen bits and pieces of but aim to fix with the collected edition being released next month) with Prophet being his first time writing a character that he didn’t have some hand in creating. He writes John Prophet as if he were an apathetic Conan the Barbarian, at best he’s a man more annoyed by his new fantastical surroundings than mourning the world he once knew. I would even go so far to say this version of Prophet is a blank slate for the reader to project their own personalities onto, as were not given much of a bead on his own outside of some body language and a few scattered sentences throughout the issue. All of which makes the book immensely engaging.
The artwork by Simon Roy is truly incredible, creating a desolate landscape that’s both eerily familiar and bizarrely foreign at the same time. The design used for the various creatures throughout this world look exactly how aliens should look: weird, slimy, and vaguely familiar. Familiarity is big part of why his art works for this book as he creates a world that we know is our own but ultimately lost after years of evolution, invasion, and growth have left everything savage. The savagery surrounding all sides gives the actions of John Prophet and understated brutality to them which just emphasizes the apathetic nature of the character.
All the other books under the Extreme banner will all fall under the purview of super heroics in one way or another, but not Prophet. Prophet is about survival: the survival of a man, a species, and maybe even a whole world. The first issue only gives us glimpses of what’s to come, and what’s to come looks epic in scope and I cannot wait. Also, John Prophet may or may not have had to have sex with a lobster alien to get information, so there’s also that.
TL;DR Prophet is a science fiction tale that is only beginning to take shape, but with innovative storytelling and gorgeous artwork it will be worth checking out every month.