Story & art by: Brandon Graham Published by: Image Comics.
Prophet Strikefile issue 1 is a wide ranging attempt to map the Prophet universe, detailing the ages of Man in relation to the Earth Empire, of age old colonialism across the stars and all the minutiae involved. This book is an interestingly illustrated though somewhat turgid affair. The set up of the book feels like a historical travelogue, and this feeling pervades. Yes, the collected pieces are well done, the level of detail is worthy. Unfortunately, this lends the book a dusty, almost academic feel. This is possibly the remit of those behind the book. However, for the reader, unless you are a fervent Prophet aficionado, there is little here for the casual passer-by. One area of strength in this issue is the art. There are many fine examples of really nice illustrations, some are quite beautiful, and combined they leave you with a really ‘classic’ feel to the pages. The varied creatures on offer have enough variety to maintain the visual interest. There are some rich rewards to be had in the pin-up quality of the science fiction illustrations; some contain elements of grotesquery, others are splendid examples of the medium, one in particular brings to mind the late, great, H.R. Giger.
However, a series of interesting images doesn’t make a comic book, and Prophet Strikefile pays the price for the encyclopaedic approach. Reading this book is akin to reading the dictionary – the material is interesting in a similar way that the derivation of words can be. But it doesn’t make for good entertainment. Unless you are a devotee of the Prophet series you will probably not find a lot in this book for you. However, if you are a fan, and must have every book to do with it, then this will be a ‘collection filler’. The creative team behind this book have put together a studious and well illustrated piece, while it is easy on the eye it is somewhat heavy going as a reading experience. With issue 2 in the pipeline this isn’t one to whet the appetite.