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Testament #1...my review

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I finally got a hold of the first issue of Testament. Love the art and the story is good but at this point the transition from the biblical past to the future is still a little awkward. I could see the references but they don't tie in as smoothly as I think they could. Just my 2 cents. But I'm going to continue buying it in hopes that things work out. Like I said, a good story.

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Just sort of flicked through it in the shop. Surprised to see a Morrison-esque virtual reality dream sequence thing, but on the whole I was left completely numb. I don't really care about the real bible, let alone a version of it that's going to cost me about £20 a year to read.

 

Might download the issue and see if a proper read does anything for me. Doubt it, though.

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Picked it up, one of the xmas eve purchases, to mull over during the quiet time.

 

Its a bit early to decide, I like Liam Sharpes arwork, but then, I would.

 

The story is a bit odd, in the sense that I was a bit underwhelemed by the link as tenuous as it was with the bible. I felt there was a good science fiction story somehwere to be found, but this wasn't giving it to me. I liked parts of this interesting dystopian future, well seriouslly opprevisve social control at least.

 

I am undecided, its not as good as I had hoped for, and now wonder if the Bible link is going to be more hinderence than story device.

 

Dunno.

 

Jamesb

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Might download the issue and see if a proper read does anything for me. Doubt it, though.

 

et tu, James? ;)

 

 

Testament reads to me like "Ultimate Invisibles", or Invisibles-Lite... the same concept, basically, only reinterpreted in a slightly more coherent and less interesting way. Plus, the bilbe bits were a bit... dunno... forced? We'll see what comes out of this, but i ain't too blown away.

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I think it looks really interesting. I am getting it. I have an interest in unorthodox takes on the bible though, so this really appeals to me. As well as Loveless and DMZ. I am getting those as well.

 

Vertigo keep bringing out great new titles! I am going to be bankrupt the way things are going. In fact I might strenuously avoid reading previews of new comics so I don't end up spending far too much.

 

Also there seems to be less and less fantasy/horror going on at Vertigo. I am hoping Mike Carey has something good to offer in the pipeline on that front. He is one of my favourite writers and all his current things are ended or ending. I read somewhere he has a new monthy project with Vertigo in planning so I can hope...

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Having just read The Exterminators #1, I'm not hopefully about Vertigo's near-future - Testament and Exerminators haven't made the grade and Loveless is getting a trade shot on the strength of 100 Bullets.

 

DMZ is dead good so far though.

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I like "Testament" enough to give it a chance, but couldn't give a damn about any of the other new Vertigo books.

A barely coherent Western?

A story about 9/11 only not about 9/11?

Bug killers lecture us on man vs. nature?

No thanks!

 

I was pretty sure "Exterminators" was some sort of subtle comedy that I wasn't quite understanding, but the review on the X-Axis says that it's meant to be taken seriously, and that's just not good!

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With "Lucifer" wrapping up soon I think that means for the first time in Vertigo's history there won't be a "Sandman" or related spin-off. Perhpas that means Vertigo is taking more chances?

 

Personally, there isn't any other Vertigo title besides "Hellblazer" that I'm picking up at the moment. I'm glad Vertigo is moving beyond the supernatural storytelling but frankly nothing else really grabs my attention.

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What about that "American Virgin" title...? Sounds like an idea Howard Chatykin... "tossed" on a pitching session, that was later expanded by someone else.

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Testament #2-I like the story and the writing, but this whole "Biblical reference" thing isn't working! The author is taking random Bible stories and attempting to force them to fit with plots that have a neglible connection to that story.

Ruskoff would be better served to just concentrate on the dystopian story and give it Biblical overtones (hinting at the connection to "Revelations", etc.).

Sodom & Gommorah references felt much more at home in Morrison's "Kid Eternity" than they do here.

It makes me actually wonder what Rushkoff was planning, or if he just decided it would be a way to set "Testament" apart from the other 30 dystopian, Orwellian, post-9/11 futures on the market?

 

I rank the Biblical contrivance as a hinderance!

 

I might give the book more time, just based on the actual plot, but I'm thinking this shoe-horning of Biblical motifs will wear on me soon.

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Testament #2-I like the story and the writing, but this whole "Biblical reference" thing isn't working! The author is taking random Bible stories and attempting to force them to fit with plots that have a neglible connection to that story.

Ruskoff would be better served to just concentrate on the dystopian story and give it Biblical overtones (hinting at the connection to "Revelations", etc.).

Sodom & Gommorah references felt much more at home in Morrison's "Kid Eternity" than they do here.

It makes me actually wonder what Rushkoff was planning, or if he just decided it would be a way to set "Testament" apart from the other 30 dystopian, Orwellian, post-9/11 futures on the market?

 

I rank the Biblical contrivance as a hinderance!

 

I might give the book more time, just based on the actual plot, but I'm thinking this shoe-horning of Biblical motifs will wear on me soon.

 

They are definately contrived, they mess with the pace of the story and it would be better without them. Some other way of referencing modern stories to biblical ones that is not so explicit would be so much better.

 

I do think the links are integral to what the writer is trying to say, I just think he is using a power drill where a toothpick would be enough. He should trust his readers a bit more.

 

I'm going to keep reading for now though. I think I will know by about issue #5 if I am going to keep reading or dispose of the issues I have so far on ebay.

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I don't think they're merely references, or putting the story in context. I think it's very clear that history is repeating itself here. This is a Biblical story in modern times, not a modern story with Biblical overtones.

 

That said, it's still not great.

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I was pretty sure "Exterminators" was some sort of subtle comedy that I wasn't quite understanding, but the review on the X-Axis says that it's meant to be taken seriously, and that's just not good!

 

 

I think its a riot.... and after reading number two its a definite sick twisted comedy... what else you going to spend 20 pounds a year on...(of course i spend it on hookers, but thats just me) issue two sold it for me... nothing like spontaneous combustion to brighten my day....

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Guest spiderlegs

I picked up the trade in the bargain bin last week. Not too keen on the art, but I kind of dig the conspiracy storyline (complete with RFID scandals and treachery). I think the premise is a good one, but the execution of the premise, as it currently stands, is hovering at about "lackluster". If someone worth their stones in...well, stones, had gotten hold of it, it would have been something akin to A Scanner Darkly by Dick.

 

Just shows you what a promising idea can turn into if put in the wrong hands--like nuclear weapons and animal porn...just something else you feel like making the discard act something more memorable than the disappointing subject matter.

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I don't think they're merely references, or putting the story in context. I think it's very clear that history is repeating itself here. This is a Biblical story in modern times, not a modern story with Biblical overtones.

 

But it's not, is it? It's a biblical story in some near-future fascistic dystopia. Putting Bible stories into a fictional context doesn't prove anything at all. All Rushkoff is doing is proving that he can copy stories that everyone in the West has already heard a hundred times before. But make them even less interesting and relevant in the process.

 

Had he applied biblical stories to actual, modern day, real-life events I would be more convinced of the worth of both the comic and Rushkoff's theory.

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But the sci-fi future elements are commentaries on current society. Rushkoff is showing us that the past and the future are all related to the present.

The gods in the comic exist outside the panels, and therefore, they exist outside of time.

Rushkoff is playing the same role as the Bible, as I understand Testament to be an attempt at modern-day prophecy.

 

And Rushkoff isn't just retelling Biblical stories. He is translating the stories as he believes they actually happened. I still agree it's not anything original, as other people have said the same things, but Rushkoff isn't just giving a literal interpretation of events as they happened in the Bible. He's using outside sources.

 

Spider-The series improves after the first Trade.

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Guest spiderlegs

Yeah, the "biblical" aspects of the story are mostly tie-ins. Like the first arc when the RFID scientist has to administer an RFID chip to his son, they compare it to when Abraham was going to sacrifice his son to Moloch.

 

It's an "end of days/armageddon-ish" tale about a resistence movement against fascism. The most appealing aspect to me is the fact that it could very easily mirror what's happening here in the US. In fact, if things don't go splendidly in November, I predict Testament will become eerily prophetic--which at this stage is rather disappointing, I wish it were TRANSMET if we're going for prophecy...

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But the sci-fi future elements are commentaries on current society. Rushkoff is showing us that the past and the future are all related to the present.

 

But it's not the past, it's a series of old stories. And it's not the future, it's a sci-fi metaphor. So combining the two doesn't prove anything at all.

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That's arguable though if the Bible details real history or just anecdotal stories.

I take it Rushkoff believes that the stories are parables about historical events, and see his comic as parables about future events.

 

I can see obvious reasons why this book doesn't appeal to Vertigo readers and why it will fail. But, it does appeal to me, and I enjoy it.

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Guest spiderlegs

The first trade ended so poorly, I have little interest in this title anymore.

 

I still maintain that it's a clever idea that was done in by a less than stellar effort. Pity...

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this is one book i really have a hard time not buying monthly. even though some of the dialogue seems forced and the pacing is a little off (rushkoff's never written a comic before), i think there is incredible potential. the main reason i support this book is because of the content. the idea of biblical events recurring through history shows the self-fulfilling prophecies of Man, and the moral implications of worshipping money as a God, just plain appeals to my new world order hating self. the rfid tags being used as weapons against political dissidents may seem sci-fi, but give it a decade. i think he may be on to something here.

 

if it were a perfect world, Rushkoff would have teamed with Morrison to pull this one off. oh yea and i love how the gods interact with the comic panels. neat effect after smoking a phattie and reading a few issues. i hope this doesnt get cancelled.

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Guest spiderlegs

I'm there with you regarding its potential, but they should take the premise and give it to another creative team.

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