Prophet #31 continues to do what the series does best, offer unique worlds whilst teasing out a larger back story. Its not always entirely welcome, but it makes for good reading none the less.
The official description from Image:
Old Man Prophet goes to meet with a lost matriarchal tribe of humanity to try to form an alliance.
This issue takes place on a market city, itself on the body of a giant dead body floating in space. Whilst I admire the creativity of the idea, something the art work pushes further in the opening pages, it doesn’t go into too much detail. Whilst there is plenty thats easy to work out and accept, the idea of giants floating in space is something that might need explaining a bit more; its too interesting too simply set-up for the sake of a new location for a single issue.
Yet Prophet has a habit of doing this, fleeting between different settings. Whilst this makes sure every issue shows something unique, something the art thrives on, it does get a little repetitive. Even when following Old Man Prophet and his crew, the pacing is incredibly slow. They arrive at a location, do something with some form of conflict involved, and then leave. Whilst a larger plot is obviously being threaded, its certainly taking its time to reward readers. Even in this issue, the final conclusions happen so quickly very little is taken in with any meaning.
This might sound like poor writing, but the character development provides some saving graces for Prophet. More than just Old Man Prophet and Hiyonhoiagn, the rest of the crew are starting to become more fleshed out. Jaxson and Wein-East get more face time after their previous introductions, which certainly helps make the crew feel more varied.
Yet the real writing talent seems to focus on Die Hard, someone who has been a background character of sorts. The developments here certainly make the character more likeable, or relate-able at least. Prophet #31 seems to longer expect readers to follow these characters because Old Man Prophet likes them.
This gives the title much more depth, even if this is contrasted against a repetitive plot; I still long for a longer yet understandable plot where these characters can develop greatly. Prophet has a great universe, but it jumps through so much its hard to focus or feel anything for the locations that, from what the title tells us at least, Old Man Prophet is so keen to protect.