“Prophet #33”

(w) Brandon Graham, Giannis Milonogiannis, Simon Roy
(a) Giannis Milonogiannis
Image Comics, 23 pages, $3.99

Of the slew of releases in the last year by Image, Prophet continues to push harder in stretching ideas and imagination on the page. Brandon Graham and company are interested in big, broad strokes of expression, sprinkling dialogue and a little exposition here and there to help push a story of intergalactic war against an old empire. In this issue, the reader learns that old man prophet has assembled a crew to assist in creating a new resistance. We are dropped into the story of the crew being taken to meet a possible ally in the form of the lady probable, an entity built of a “union of thought and form,” powered in part by the remains of what is alluded to be another classic character of Image’s bygone days, the hero known as Supreme.

The core story here seems to be that the lady probable has been feeling some distressed psychic messages from a growing evil pulling at the minds of those still tuned in to the vibrations of the universe, and old man prophet feels the impact of this towards the end of the issue (that’s my interpretation of it, and feel free to tell me if I am way off). While the story is intriguing, the artwork of Giannis Milonogiannis is some of the best fantasy work on the shelves. Prophet is shaping up to be the type of book I would hear about from those who were fortunate enough to read/see the work of legendary french artist Moebius when I was coming of age. His art, along with other European artists of the ’70s who had work in the now legendary Metal Hurlaunt (Heavy Metal), was about the expression of the imagination. For those who have not seen any Moebius work, you can still get the reissue of his take on the Silver Surfer from Marvel, or, if you have the money, can order from Humanoids his Incal collection.

Prophet is a series that is bold in execution, and while every page holds something of note, my favorite moment, and really my favorite moment so far of early 2013, is the two page spread of 4-5, where the travelers see the ruins of the hyperconscious. As the ship speeds by the ruins,  Jaxson, the robot fighter, explains to the young assassin Rein-East that “There was a time when these ruins were one of the bright centers of the universe. The hyperconscious row was here. Masters from all over space that just came to be close to the living trust”. The heartbreak of destruction, the beauty of fragments, the loneliness of space, a sense of loss of what once was mighty or good, all these feelings came across to me as my eye wondered over the spiral galaxy shaped floating fragments of greek and roman-esque era columns and architecture. How often does a comic wash you in such feelings? Give Prophet a chance. I admit, it is not going to be for everybody, but that is ok too. Maybe if it doesn’t do anything for you, give it to someone and see what happens. Who knows, it might just give someone a great spark of imagination to brighten their day.