The best thing about Prophet: Brothers is that a story begins to form. The first volume was series of shorter stories focusing on clones of John Prophet waking up from a long artificial sleep and undertaking small missions. At the time the missions were rather undefined. They were comprised of reaching a specific destination or protecting something, etc. There wasn’t a whole lot of story to connect the stories together other than the alien landscapes and all of the characters being clones of Prophet. The last issue of the first volume ended with the arrival of the Alpha Prophet, “The one man the Earth Empire Fears.” Wait a minute, all the other Prophets are working for the Earth Empire? What’s going on? It was a great way to end the first volume.
Unfortunately, writer Brandon Graham and a team of artists which include Giannis Milonogiannis, Simon Roy and Farel Dalrymple aren’t ready to tell us that story just yet. I want to take the time to point out that even though Graham is the writer all of the artists contribute to the story. The overarching story is starting to form in this volume. Long ago the Empire Brain Mothers were protected by the clone army of John Prophets. They’ve since gone to sleep, I think, because they wanted to outline the threat of Old Man Prophet. The plan was to go into forced hibernation and return to glory unopposed. The problem with that plan is that Old Man Prophet also went to sleep (or survive by other means). That’s the story as far as I can surmise after reading the first two volumes.
The first volume was about Prophets waking up from their sleep and trying to find the nearest Empire Mother and protect her. The second volume is about Old Man Prophet reassembling the team he fought with against the Empire before the big sleep. In the past his team was made up Yilala, a female Scale (a bipedal reptilian species), Jaxson or another armoured robot and Diehard an android whose body becomes increasingly mechanical as time goes on. Old Man called the members of his team his brothers, brother he had earned (not brothers that were created from his cells in a laboratory). He was also aided by Hiyonhoiagn, a root-like alien with long life because of his vegetable anatomy.
Hiyonhoiagn is the first person of his team that Old Man Prophet is able to fully recruit. He began earlier with Diehard. The problem with him is that he took himself apart and left pieces of his mechanical body all over the cosmos. Rein-East is a young female Scale, acting as a replacement to Yilala, Old Man’s lover in the past. Jaxson, first seen in volume one, is back as well. Old Man Prophet is the person he was waiting for. We also get to explore the area in where he was waiting which is quite nice.
While all of this is going on, Prophets from the first volume who are still under the control of Empire Mothers are trying to bring an Empire Mother back to earth. One of them is the Prophet with a tail, Tail Prophet for a lack of a better name. His adventure has continued from his spotlight issue in the first volume. It’s quite nice to have him back.
Not all of this made sense as I was reading. I had to think about it after I finished the comic to really make sense of it. I’m not sure I would have enjoyed reading this one a monthly schedule. I imagine the pacing would feel very slow. I do like how my understanding of the first volume increases as the story progresses. I imagine the same will be true once I read the third volume. It’s impressive how the story builds on what came before while also shedding some light on the meaning of the events that took place.
The characters talk a little more. There wasn’t a whole lot of dialogue in the first volume, the story was told primarily with the art and a few narration boxes. Even in this volume there isn’t a whole lot of dialogue when compared to other comics but there is more than before because characters are starting to interact. The stories in the first volume were mostly made up on individuals doing things on their own. In the second volume Old Man is assembling a team and as they’re being assembled they’re talking to each other and interacting. It gives a whole new dimension to their characters and it’s I’d like to see more of in the next volume. This volume seems to have completed the assembling of Old Man’s team and I’m hoping the next volume gets to kick he story into high gear. That’s really the only disappointment at this point; everything so far has been build up.