Review: Clive Barker’s ‘Next Testament’ #8

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With such demented writing and mind-blowing visuals, “Next Testament” #8 delivers genuine horror into the hearts of readers. You eyes will be glued to the page right from the start. The “Next Testament” series delivers another strong installment and never disappoints.

WRITTEN BY: Clive Barker and Mark Miller
ART BY: Haemi Jang
PUBLISHER: Boom! Studios
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: April 9, 2013

After setting his sights on the innocent and guilty of San Francisco, Wick has taken a sexy bride along for the ride to Paris. No longer Wick’s main attention, ex-billionaire Julian Demond wonders where his rightful place is in the upcoming apocalypse. Wick continues to bring in the plagues, bringing all kinds of Hell to Tristan, Julian’s son, and his fiancée, Elspeth. On their route to Providence, Tristan and Elspeth are suddenly caught in a terrible car crash. At the end of the world, only the bad people are still alive and they’re not going to make things any easier for the lovebirds.

Clive Barker and co-writer, Mark Miller, gradually evolve their main protagonists as the two subplots jump back and forth. The theme of sexuality plays at the core of the narrative. Wick is trying to recreate the good, old days before he was banished by the Devil and the Holy Ghost. Wick and his punkish bride are definitely enjoying themselves as they participate in the orgy fest, right in front of the Eiffel Tower. Surrounded by thousands of willing servants, Wick wants his sexual desires to reach their peak.

On their trip to Providence, Elspeth and Tristan continue to meet the best and worst of humanity at the end of the world. After surviving their car crash, the lovebirds meet a wandering traveler, who still holds strong to her faith in a higher power. Though Tristan and Elspeth struggle with faith themselves, they are being tested. Their reunion is suddenly interrupted by a perverted survivalist, who wants his own sex slaves.

Artist Haemi Jang points out the sexual themes during the illustrations of the orgy fest. In a splash page, Jang captures different sexual acts and positions, with Wick right at the center. In close-ups, Jang maximizes Wick’s facial expressions during his climax. Jang never aims to be gratuitous with these shots, but always strives for an artistic, painter-like quality.

My favorite part about Jang’s illustrations is the intimate portrayal between the lovebirds. Interestingly, Tristan doesn’t believe in a higher power, but he does believe in his love for Elspeth wholeheartedly. Jang always focuses on the emotions when Elspeth and Tristan look at each other. You’re always rooting for these characters, especially when they turn into bad-asses towards the last pages.

Horror fans are going to enjoy the hell out of “Next Testament” #8. The “Next Testament” series is the real deal.

Rating: 4.5/5 skulls

Reviewed by Jorge Solis