Regular readers of this column will be well aware of my conflicted opinions of Rob Liefeld early work for Image and the original cast of Extreme Studios characters. Great characters in the right hands, really good ideas that drove the plots, but some of the most terrible execution in their early days.
Youngblood were indeed a good team with a diverse selection of members, motivations and histories, tied nicely to the Spawn continuity before the great split. Let’s not mention how they were also an obvious merging of the Teen Titans and the Avengers. However, Alan Moore’s treatment of Supreme and the excellent three issue Judgement Day demonstrated just how enjoyable the Extreme house could be.
No one could deny the force of Liefeld’s enthusiasm, and so it was truly a pleasure to pick up Prophet #21 last week. Initially, John Prophet was viewed as a second-rate Cable (and back in the days when Cable wasn’t that cool either). Yet the character has so much more potential than that, and thanks to the new offering at the hands of Brandon Graham and Simon Roy, the great heights to which John can ascend can be seen on the horizon.
If I were to compare the new Prophet to anything, my first instinct is to think of the worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Awaking in a world as foreign as the plains of Barsoom seen in the recent re-launch of Burroughs’ once lesser-known property John Carter, Prophet is treated to a far future Earth where everything has changed dramatically.
Apart from the desolation, the first clue has to be wildlife with four jaws rather than two, something that hasn’t been new since the late Eighties, but always remains cool for some reason. Life have evolved, there’s little sight of people as we know them, yet Prophet takes it all in his stride, with very basic actions concentrating on survival he reveals hints of a great politics behind his current situation and this new world.
I foresee great things for this title, if the standard is maintained. The other feeling I get from this title is the same feeling provided by the Dark Tower, only without all of the many volumes that I have missed (maybe with a bit of Kamandi thrown in). If you have never read Prophet before, it really does not matter; none of the previous knowledge seems relevant for this issue.
I also congratulate Mr Liefeld on the new series numbering, which prevents any confusion. Although having a guide for Youngblood when it arrives, detailing which issue of which series is considered which number would be greatly appreciated.