I was intrigued by Testament #1. That issue presented an intriguing mix of a dystopian future that was frighteningly close to our world, and a strange take on Biblical prophecy. The story seemed to imply an interesting sort of depth to its world, as well as a slightly satirical look at Bush’s America.
The problem with things being intriguing is that sometimes the thing that intrigues you becomes uninteresting when you learn more about it. That was the case for me in reading this second issue.
It’s a bit hard to explain all that happens in this issue since it’s so odd. One half of the comic presents the familiar story of Sodom and Gomorrah and the parable of Lot’s wife turning to salt. However, some odd mystic undertones to the story make it uncomfortably strange. In the modern day, we seem to get a bit of a parallel to that story, where the evil town seems to be a college campus set afire with anger over the government placing ID tags into the wrists of all young people. But there really is no parallel in the stories, at least not one that seems clear to me. I don’t understand who the rebellious kids in the modern day are supposed to represent, and who is the strange bearded man who seems to be able to control electricity. Who are the mystic characters controlling dreams, and why is a 15-year-old girl shown as the object of a sexual fantasy? It’s all oddly upsetting, which may be part of the point of the story. However, all the upsetting elements seems to disparate and unconnected that they just don’t coalesce into anything other than an odd feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Liam Sharp’s art is rather grungy and unappealing. Perhaps that’s also part of the point of this comic, but the combination of the upsetting story and unappealing art doesn’t make me want to revisit this world again. It’s a shame that what once seemed intriguing has ended up being just kind of annoying.