Like Prophet before it, Prophet: Earth War is an exercise in mad, alien excess. In this issue, massive crystalline warbeasts stride across the desert to destroy the towers of their enemies. A three-armed, telekinetic general of the Earth Empire crosses over into another dimension. Three brave warriors journey silently across fields of ash, knowing any sound will summon the hunting tentacles of a ravenous, mountainous being.
Brandon Graham’s work on the Prophet series has continually transcended the bounds of traditional science-fiction, and Prophet: Earth War #4 delivers again with a combination of astounding writing and truly fantastical art. WIth only two issues left, we’re propelled closer to what I don’t doubt will be a satisfying conclusion.
This issue is divided pretty cleanly into three parts:
- Old Man Prophet’s path to the tower
- Muitox’s pass beyond the Bleed
- John-Ka and Rein-East’s journey with the old Kinnian root
Each plotline shows progress, but Muitox’s breakthrough into ur-space is the most climactic. The panels illustrating this point are kinetically charged, conveying the incredible amount of power and energy it takes to pass through the Bleed. The aftermath of this gargantuan effort is captured in a single, pristine panel, and this aspect of the story is the one I’m most excited to see continue.
Honestly, I’m a little torn on how I feel about Earth War so far. I always felt like the strongest issues of Prophet were those that kept their focus on one or two characters, following a single story. With this many moving parts and characters involved leading up to the series finale, it’s unavoidable for the action to be divided between multiple plotlines. Readers eager to devour every page of Prophet probably won’t be bothered by this, but those who would be frustrated might be better off waiting for the trade paperback.
But my slight disappointment doesn’t hold up against the chance to see more pages from one of the most talented art teams working in comics today. As much as I love Graham’s writing, I don’t think Prophet would be nearly as satisfying without the rotating cast of incredible artists. Giannis Milonogiannis and Simon Roy have been on Prophet since the beginning, and Grim Wilkins is a welcome addition. I don’t think there’s any other comic on stands today that conveys the same sense of cosmic scale, but still pulls in close to deliver powerful character moments. If you want to see truly original sci-fi concepts illustrated by artists who can actually do them justice, Prophet is absolutely a must-read.
It’s startling to realize that after this we only get two more issues of Earth War. Brandon Graham took an abandoned character from the 90s and used him as a launchpad to build one of the weirdest worlds ever captured on a page. Though Prophet: Earth War #4’s focus may be a little divided, it still delivers a compelling story and keeps anticipation building on the way to an epic conclusion.
- Jaw-dropping sci-fi art
- Solid story progression
- A fantastic back-up story
- Only two more issues
- Divided focus between characters