Review by Jorge Solis
With a memorable and terrifying villain at its helm, “Next Testament” #9 delivers a frightening vision of the world gone mad. The writing has such a strong handling of suspense and the artwork packs a knockout punch to boot. If you’re looking for some great scares and twisted black humor, “Next Testament” never disappoints on any level.
WRITTEN BY: Clive Barker and Mark Miller
ART BY: Haemi Jang
PUBLISHER: Boom! Studios
RELEASE: May 14, 2013
After taking part in a frenzied orgy fest in Paris, Wick has taken his sexy bride and ex-billionaire Julian Demond along for the ride to Italy. The last battle between good and evil will take place in the Roman Colosseum, where gladiators fought to the death. While the rest of the world has gone to Hell, Julian’s son, Tristan, has run off with his fiancée, Elspeth, to find sanctuary in Providence. Tristan and Elspeth have survived a plane crash, the seven plagues, and fought off against a rapist/survivalist. What answers will the two find when they finally arrive in Providence? What hope do they have in defeating Wick?
Clive Barker and co-writer, Mark Miller, deliver a realistic and shocking portrayal of the whole world falling apart. In the opening pages, the lights have gone out in Washington D.C., people are wandering aimlessly across the San Francisco bridge, and riots have broken out in Brazil. Wick is feeding off the chaos, murder, and despair as people have abandoned hope. But even in the bleakness, in humanity’s darkest moments, it’s the lovebirds who are trying to save the day. Tristan may not believe in a higher power but he does believe in his love for Elspeth. It’s their love for each other that makes it through the apocalypse.
Even when the writing is at its bleakest, Barker and Miller know how to throw in some laugh-out-loud comic relief. When Tristan and Elspeth finally arrive in Providence, the witty banter between them delivers some hilarious one-liners. It’s like Barker and Miller hare having fun as they come up with some kind of demented romantic comedy. The writers have always found ways to make these two lovebirds engaging and utterly likable.
Artist Haemi Jang captures the global apocalypse in these epic wide shots. Through the over-head shots, as if God is looking down on Earth, we see the empty streets of Washington D.C. and the crowded masses of San Francisco wandering in the darkness. Because the sun has gone out, Jang uses the fires caused by the riots as her light source. This dark imagery of the world gone topsy-turvy will stay with you long after you finish reading.
I really like how Jang uses the surroundings during Wick and Julian’s intense argument. Jang makes sure you see parts of the Colosseum in the background. We, the readers, are the ones, sitting in the Colosseum, watching Julian making a stand against Wick. In a close-up, Wick is talking to us, the readers, as he delivers the climatic monologue.
“Next Testament” #9 ends on a shocking cliff-hanger, setting up the grand finale in the next three issues. I cannot wait to be there for the exciting conclusion.