Look, we could talk for hours about how ridiculous a character John Prophet was when Rob Liefeld conjured him up: a bulked-out mysterious man who happened to be the greatest warrior in the world. It was garbage. We know this.
What we should also know is that Brandon Graham is some kind of warlock.
Starting with Prophet #21, Graham crafted one of not only Image's most ambitious books, but one of the most original epics in sequential publishing of the last 20 years. It's a sprawling tale thousands of years in the future of the original Image universe, where clones of Prophet have been created in mass quantities, and spliced to be able to perform different duties throughout the cosmos. For 24 issues Graham, Simon Roy, and Giannis Milonogiannis told a tale of several Prophet clones coming to the realization that the galaxy-spanning empire they had built was corrupt. You see old characters in a new light, and new characters that seem older than time, and all-in-all it was only one of the greatest comic stories I've ever read. But issue 45 dropped a year and a half ago, and the wait for Earth War is finally over.
The story takes us to the camp of the Old Prophet, along with his close-knit war camp, who are gathering power in the upcoming battle with the Empire. Old Prophet speaks with the Tailed Prophet, and Roy's nuanced artwork moves fluidly with Graham's narration to craft scene that shows how special these select Prophets are compared to the legions of other clones.
There is very little action in the book - the Crystal Worshippers send their champion against Brute John Prophet and three other warriors in a quick, simple battle to display their power - but it doesn't matter because of the gravity of this issue; there is SO much pent up here, the last gasp before the plunge. The tension is nearly palpable with the start of what we can only assume will be a sprawling epic following in the footsteps of the previous book. This book, beautiful to look at and beautiful to read, is the moment between the shifting of gears.
There is a war coming, and after so long a wait it seems like this may live up to the anticipation.
LOWDOWN: I'm an absolute sucker for this series, so I'm bestowing 10 out of 10 pelvic thrusts. Buy it. Love it. Snuggle it on cold nights. Mmmmm.