With the final issue, “Next Testament” #12 comes down to a nail-biting conclusion. This is the best original work from Clive Barker and I hope this isn’t the last time comic book fans get one. With its mix of shocking scares and twisted black humor, the “Next Testament” series leaves readers with a beautifully satisfying finale.
WRITTEN BY: Clive Barker and Mark Miller
ART BY: Haemi Jang
PUBLISHER: Boom! Studios
RELEASE: August 13, 2013
Reviewed By: Jorge Solis
The final battle between good and evil takes place in the realms of outer-space. A meteorite once crash-landed on Earth, wiping out all the dinosaurs. Will history repeat itself as the human race is now just seconds away from extinction? The all-powerful Wick has transformed himself into a deadly fire-ball charged with the sun’s boiling intensity. Humanity now depends on the Devil himself to save the day. The lovebirds, Tristan and Elspeth, are counting down their last hours they have together.
Clive Barker and co-writer, Mark Miller, have carefully tied everything together in a perfect manner for their last issue. The themes about family, spirituality, and redemption have come full circle. Not only do we get the big blockbuster action sequences, we get the logic and character development behind it as well. In the battle for humanity’s soul itself, Wick is still fighting against the Devil and the Holy Ghost.
For 11 well-crafted issues, I have been seeing the character dynamics change, the emotional arcs grow, and the death count rising. Everyone acts how they should be in this final installment, especially Tristan and Elspeth. The dialogue from co-writer Miller is at its best when the last chapter steers towards its heartfelt and deep resolution.
Artist Haemi Jang continues to depict Wick, the Devil and the Holy Ghost as three giants in all their glory. In the climatic pages, Jang illustrates the character design of the Holy Ghost in a well-detailed close-up. With the long hair flying in the air, readers will soon realize the Holy Ghost has no eyes. The battle scenes are visually impressive as they captured in these riveting two-pagers.
The ending asks the artist to leave behind the action and focus on more on the emotions. Jang illustrates the sentimental facial expressions in tight close-ups, leading up to a painter-like splash page. I cannot tell you how many times I have been floored by Jang’s illustrations from each issue.
For me, the “Next Testament” series ranks up there with the best of Clive Barker’s works, such as “Hellraiser” and “Cabal.” This is a masterpiece that will gain prominent significance with comic book and horror fans as years go by. I personally cannot wait for BOOM! to put all these 12 issue into one trade.