God is real and he really despises us. Not because we’ve sinned, but because we haven’t sinned enough. Now he wants to kill us all… but the other two sides of the Holy Trinity say otherwise. Is it good?
Clive Barker’s Next Testament #11 (BOOM! Studios)
For a twelve-part series this has been one wonky storyline. The first two thirds or so was all about Wycke, the god resurrected in the first issue, checking out humanity and being at once disgusted and impressed.
He couldn’t believe how far we’ve advanced, but was disappointed with our inability to get carnal. That led to plenty of horrific things Wycke has been up to and plenty of random irrational behavior. Namely, he’s scary as hell. Then the last issue hit and it’s revealed he’s part of a trinity and the other two gods have been invoked to stop him. Talk about Deus Ex Machina.
Put some clothes on. There are children present!
This issue is very light on the dialogue and very heavy on the god powers. We see Wycke turn the Capitol building in Washington D.C. into a giant fist, create giant tsunamis and shift the Earth so it splits apart. All to keep the other two trinity gods at bay. Meanwhile, the other gods spend all their time mum either reacting to his attacks or standing around. At the same time our heroes do the same. There are no answers, nor is there much development aside from the threat of Earth itself being annihilated, but that threat has been hovering for 3 issues now.
What we get from writers Clive Barker and Mark Miller is tons of spectacle and nothing more. In a sense it’s a payoff for waiting around, but there’s no horror in any of it due to it being so grand in scale. Issues prior had Wycke exploding bodies which was gross and horrific. And really, the horror of this series is tied more to the very idea that God is an asshole and does whatever he wants and doesn’t care one iota for pomp or rules. Unfortunately that aspect is absent from this issue. It also doesn’t help that these other gods show up, do much of nothing, and have no explanation backing them up.
Artist Haemi Jang continues to do good work, although I found this issue used darkness and shadow too much. There are some epic panels, but there’s not much scale or stakes being raised when you get an object sitting or floating in nothingness. It’s as if the void itself is consuming the panels, which is an interesting effect, but when it is used throughout the issue the scope is lost.
In case you didn’t know who they were…
Is It Good?
In the grand scheme of this series this issue makes sense as it shows us the limitless power of our villain, but the story suffers. There is no horror in his powers because there is no human loss be it scale or character.