by Will Holden
In an age of reboots, endless sequels and spin offs, Prophet (2012) is all of these and yet, isn’t.
Prophet was a relaunch of a comic series, originally created by Rob Liefeld. This original run lasted around 20 issues in the early 90’s and was initially going to be a character for X-Force prior to the Image crew breaking away from Marvel.
Published by Image comics, written by Brandon Graham and with art by Simon Roy, Farel Dalrymple, Glennis Milonogiannis and Brandon Graham himself. The Prophet relaunch continues the numbering of the previous series with the first issue being #21 (although they have been renumbered in trades), despite this, you don’t really need any knowledge of the previous runs. This story is set around 10,000 years after the events of Liefeld’s version, this is a time in which an Earth Empire has risen, conquered and fallen. The galaxy has been reclaimed by the alien species that the Earth Empire had subjugated for generations before.
But those sneaky Human’s still had one trick left up their sleeve. John Prophet, or Prophets more accurately. A series of secret pods begin to emerge and reveal that a multitude of Prophet clones, all adapted to their specific planet and atmosphere, had been seeded around the galaxy before the Empire’s end in order to retake what was theirs and reignite the largest Empire the galaxy had ever known. The story then primarily follows 3 different Prophets as they independently try to understand their new realities. Some decide to follow their programming to restart the Empire, others decide they want a quiet life on their new-found world, others just get swept along by circumstance. With the masters of the old Earth Empire returning, it will be Prophets on both sides of the divide that will tip the scales.
The art duties are split between four people, the main three artists Simon Roy, Farel Dalrymple and Glennis Milonogiannis, with each drawing one of the main Prophets so that the art styles vary between the different Johns. This is a brilliant device which means each shift to another planet and situation is joined by a switch in art style. All of the artists involved produce wonderful work for this title, each different but with enough similarity to feel like a cohesive whole.
You can pick up Prophet here: