Review: Clive Barker’s ‘Next Testament’ #2

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An exciting second chapter, “Next Testament” #2 pushes its story forward in unexpected ways. With an interesting premise at work, horror fans should not hesitate in buying this comic. Not missing a beat, the “Next Testament” series continues to blow your mind.

WRITTEN BY: Clive Barker and Mark Miller
ART BY: Haemi Jang
PUBLISHER: Boom! Studios
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: July 3rd, 2013

For reasons unknown, Julian Demond, a wealthy and eccentric old man, walked across the scorching desert in search of something religious. Julian believed he was taking a leap of faith when he started digging. What Julian actually dug up from the sand is a powerful god named Wick. The Father of Colors claims that humanity wrote about him in the Old Testament and took liberties with his story. After being banished by a higher power for many centuries, Wick has awakened to a new world that may still need to be taught a lesson. Because he doesn’t believe in forgiveness, will Wick bring about the apocalypse?

Clive Barker and co-writer, Mark Miller, cleverly balance the horror and humor throughout the narrative. In the chilling and hilarious opening pages, Wick rants about how he is portrayed in the Bible. As Wick complains, he is surrounded by a field of dead bodies and vultures. In the previous issue, Tristan is searching for his missing father, Julian. I thought this subplot would take another issue to resolve but no, the writers close this storyline very quickly. Barker and Miller have something better in store for their readers.

Barker and Miller ramp up the quirky interactions between Tristan and his girlfriend, Elspeth. As they banter back and forth, their snappy dialogue resembles “The Thin Man” couple, Nick and Nora. Elspeth doesn’t really care about Wick; she just wants Tristan’s father to remember her name. When Wick first meets the couple, he realizes they are both dangerous because their love is genuine.

Artist Haemi Jang presents Wick as a bright mixture of primary colors. Though Wick looks like a walking and talking stained glass window, there is nothing heavenly about him. At the dinner party, Wick is cold-hearted, calculating, and manipulative. Wick is always smiling because he knows the dirty secrets the dinner guests are hiding. The way Jang illustrates Wick’s facial features, it’s almost like he’s wearing a mask.

In the opening pages, Jang adds to Elspeth’s quirkiness by having her wear glasses. Elspeth looks spot-on as a bookworm as she goes through Julian’s textbooks. Even though readers don’t see Tristan drinking, we already know he’s drunk at the dinner party. Jang focuses on poses as Tristan sits slouched over in his seat and holds his wine glass crookedly.

“Next Testament” is an ambitious effort and so far Barker’s pulling it off with his gripping storytelling. An epic tale in the making, “Next Testament” could only from the mind of a master of horror.

4.5/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis