Review: ‘Next Testament’ #7

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With such sharp writing, fast pacing, and some spectacular visuals, “Next Testament” #7 cleverly manages to intensify its epic scope. Just like its previous arc, this installment takes the reader to dark and thrilling places. Get ready for a true lesson in horror and see why the “Next Testament” series was my #1 comic book series of 2013.

WRITTEN BY: Clive Barker and Mark Miller
ART BY: Haemi Jang
PUBLISHER: Boom! Studios
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: Jan. 15, 2013

The powerful entity known as Wick has set his sights on the innocent and guilty of San Francisco. Always staying by his side, billionaire Julian Demond watches as a massive crowd of followers worship Wick’s feet. But just like Julian, these worshippers are afraid of what Wick will do to them if they don’t obey his every whim. After Wick destroyed the Midwest with the snap of his fingers, Tristan, Julian’s son, and his fiancée, Elspeth, are all alone in their journey to Providence. Even if they can get to their destination alive, what can the young lovers possibly do to stop Wick?

As Clive Barker and co-writer, Mark Miller, jump back and forth between the two subplots, the character arcs of Tristan and Julian are starting to gradually change. Because his own father abandoned him, Tristan did the same and disregarded God. After everything he and Elspeth have witnessed, Tristan is starting to believe he has been caught up in this extraordinary situation for a reason. Never showing any lack of loyalty, Julian has always stayed by Wick’s side, even after so many lives have been lost. The story takes an unexpected turn when Wick demands more than complete obedience from Julian.

Though Wick’s ranting at the sky sounds like a delusional madman, Barker and Miller are actually hinting at what’s to come. Wick mentions his brothers, which is a reference to a flashback in the second installment. In the flashback, Wick, who calls himself the Father of Colors, explains what happened the last time he met The Son and The Holy Spirit. One of Wick’s brothers happens to be the Devil, who might be the Son, and I hope this scene foreshadows a reunion.

Artist Haemi Jang does a terrific job portraying the aftermath of Wick destroying half the world. In a stunning wide shot, Jang illustrates Tristan and Elspeth driving across the wasteland. We see nothing but never-ending sand and clear blue skies in the broad view. Though they are alone, Jang depicts such warmth and closeness between the young lovers as they hold onto each other.

What I really liked about Jang’s artwork are the little details in the crowd scenes. If you notice in the facial reactions, this isn’t a devote group of worshippers that Wick is dealing with. Jang illustrates a few of Wick’s worshippers with beads of sweat running down their forehead. They crowd isn’t sweaty because they’re exhausted from something; they’re actually terrified of Wick. They’re afraid of Wick because he’s holding them as hostages.

The start of its second half, “Next Testament” #7 never seems to be waning and still continues to be a fantastic reading experience. The “Next Testament” series is just five issues from its finale and I cannot wait to be there.

4.5/5 Skulls

Reviewed by Jorge Solis