What if God made himself known, told us we were a mistake and was a total douchebag about it on top of all that? Well that’s what Clive Barker proposes in his BOOM! Studios series Next Testament, which might be the most horrific premise I’ve ever encountered. Issue #8 of 12 comes out today… is it good?
Next Testament #8 (Dynamite Entertainment)
Last issue ended with Tristan getting into a bit of an accident after a locust swarm slams into his vehicle. He’s on his way to stop God, AKA Wick, whose co-pilot just so happens to be Tristan’s dad. His dad uncovered him when he opened an ancient pyramid way back in issue #1.
Wick decides to make out with a woman who claims to be in love with him and we find out in the opening pages Wick and his new dame fly to Paris, France to party. They arrive at the Eiffel Tower and witness thousands of people in a pile of bodies going to town on each other. I guess they figure if the world is going to end might as well do it having a bit of fun. It’s safe to say this issue is all about sex as even Tristan gets sucked into a sexual situation.
Barker and co-writer Mark Miller seem to be focused on the sin of sex in this issue which is fine by me, but I don’t think they accomplish as much as they could. Tristan and his girlfriend get picked up by a nice Christian woman, but then end up being kidnapped by a psycho rapist who wants to rape all three of them. It appears Wick sent this person to knock off Tristan once and for all. Wick is off having his giant orgy, so the juxtaposition of the storylines connects them, but there’s no ramifications to either. These are events that happen then simply terminate by issue’s end. The biggest takeaway is that maybe Tristan can stop Wick somehow; why else would Wick send someone to stop him? That said there’s a lot to be said about the carnal and animal nature of humanity that is unused here.
It’s starting to become irritating how little we know about Wick. We know he has near omnipotence, but there are hints pointing towards some weakness in him as well. Wick keeps suggesting there is a plan but keeps doing things randomly. Tristan and his girlfriend have been attempting to reach Wick for so long it’s grown tiresome to see them get around obstacle after obstacle. The best parts of this series is Wick reacting to humanity and commenting on it, but here he seems to be cool with observing and reveling in the orgy rather than making any interesting societal point.
The art by Haemi Jang continues to be edgy and brooding. His ability to draw the human form in a realistic and almost twistedly real light is always refreshing for the genre. He doesn’t get much chance to do gore, which he excels at, but you can see the gross detail in the faces. The amount of work to draw all these bodies screwing, and hide all the genitals, deserves your attention alone.
Sex with God must be dangerous.
Is It Good?
Not very, especially since it’s so darn skippable. The characters must get around another obstacle, but by issues end we’re back where we started. On top of that all the social commentary is absent here.