Prophecy #1

“Prophecy” #1 is a difficult sell because the premise shouldn’t work. It’s one tale featuring Sherlock Holmes, Red Sonja, Vampirella and Dracula. Those are four flavors that surely won’t work together and yet Ron Marz actually manages a decent feat of weaving this comic into coherence and genre consistency. This introductory issue drops a series of interesting concepts and then actually makes you want to return to see what happens next.

Different times periods is how Marz does it. He shows us Red Sonja in the distant past while Holmes and Watson are in their correct time. By keeping our lead characters apart, Marz helps to build the credibility for each character before later thrusting them into similar spheres. This decision goes a long way to making this story start smoothly.

The central story and conceit is silly but it’s also fun. If you’re signing up for this story, we can only assume you turned up for the promise of fun and you’ll get it. Red Sonja is the main star so far and she’s on the trail of a sorcerer. Things get violent and then weird — it’s just what you want from a Sonja tale. The action is wicked and certainly enjoyable. It’s everything you need to propel the story to where it needs to go.

The usual Dynamite “house style” is on display in this book. However, “Prophecy” #1 is one of its finer examples, so it can mostly be excused. Walter Geovani keeps a clean line and doesn’t slow the story down. There is even one double page splash where he gets to weave some very cool ideas together, which works well. The colors from Adriano Lucas spend more time filling in the backgrounds than they do getting to help the tale.

The one major gripe you’ll have to overlook (or shamefully enjoy without telling anyone) is the depiction of the two females: Red Sonja and Vampirella. This isn’t respectful, sensible, logical or flattering. This is two ladies who are apparently doing their best to get their most sensitive parts right into the path of incoming harm. This is the sort of character design that still keeps so many people’s comic habits hidden from others.

“Prophecy” #1 is a surprisingly decent start to a book that almost shouldn’t work. Marz works his disparate cast in the best way he can and the outcome is a start that intrigues and hooks. This is a cheesecake book with high concept and plenty of characters we already love and it lives up to that selling line.

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