Julian Demond awakens from a dream and proceeds to heed its command. Running through the desert blindfolded, he trips on something he finds to be the top of an undiscovered archaeological structure. With a sledgehammer, he proceeds to bust it open until he is engulfed in blinding white light. At that same moment in California, his son Tristan somehow knows that something is wrong and that his father is involved. With his fiancee Elspeth by his side, he proceeds to his father’s estate and searches the secretly hidden study for clues. What both father and son find may change the world for better or worse.
For those who don’t know, Clive Barker is no stranger to comic books. A long-time fan, he got his chance to partake in the business through Marvel twenty years ago and has since adapted his previously published work and created new material in the medium from time to time. Next Testament sees him and Mark Miller write a unique take on horror and religion that reads like it is certainly going to be quite the journey. Any one familiar with Barker knows that he does not pull punches when it comes to going far beyond our comfort zone with violence and the last few pages is sure to be seen as a foreshadow of the destruction to come. And yet I am fascinated by the story, which has been wonderfully paced and provides just enough details to grab my attention. The drama starts off right away and never once wavers throughout the issue.
The artwork by Haemi Jang is just as intriguing in a good way. The colors may seem flat or lacking of definition, but I think that merely plays to the direction of the story. The creature Julian unleashes is a psychedelic wonder standing out about the otherwise plain atmosphere that surrounds. Of course, the coloring would be ineffective if the illustrations were not good enough. Thankfully, Jang provides some really strong drawings. There is no doubt of the ecstasy Julian feels upon finding the being or the look of concern and terror Tristan is overcome with as he looks for answers. Jang does his job excellently in enhancing the story visually, giving life to it providing readers images that could very well haunt their dreams in the months to come.
This is a great start for Next Testament. Clive Barker and Mark Miller set the stage very well crafting a story that will surely be terrifying and exciting in the months to come. The artwork by Haemi Jang paints pictures that are going to stick to the minds of the readers, leaving lasting impressions that will haunt them as the series progresses. I highly recommend readers to check this book out and see for themselves a unique vision that could become an absolute gem of a title.
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