From J. Caleb Mozzocco of Columbus Alive, a rather kickin alternative newspaper in Ohio.
New New Testament
By J. Caleb Mozzocco
If enough people beyond the usual comics audience get
around to reading it, I have a feeling that controversial
thinker and author Douglas Rushkoff’s new monthly series,
Testament (DC/Vertigo), could ignite a real firestorm.
In other words, it makes for a pretty potent read. Not only
is it well-written and even better illustrated (by artist
Liam Sharp), it manages to tell a dramatic story that’s
relevant to the religions, politics and societies of our
world while presenting a story that’s uniquely a comic book
Rushkoff is new to comics, but not to the subject matter.
In a sort of afterword to the series that’s on the last
page of the first issue, he claims that, from a media
theorist’s point of view, the Bible was probably written in
the wrong medium (given all the options we have today, like
comics, TV and computers), and that it tells a story that’s
still unfolding, one that involves “incantations, incest
[and] inter-dimensional travel.”
As for the comic, it opens with a retelling of the Abraham
and Isaac story, then flashes forward to a (very) near
future America, in which another father and son are in a
Our protagonist is Jake, a college student on the eve of
having a radio frequency identification chip installed in
his arm (not science-fiction, by the way; they’re already
out there, just not in our bodies—yet), which the U.S.
government is using to enforce a newly reinstated military
Jake and his scientist father must decide whether to obey
the will of the government, while Jake flirts with joining
a rebel group of young media hackers and magician
anarchists in defying the draft in the name of revolution.
The story runs parallel to the Biblical one, with Moloch
and other godlings serving as a Greek chorus to the events
of both. Calling to mind the more outré works of comics
demigods (and Rushkoff fans) Alan Moore and Grant Morrison,
Testament is a great comic book, but, more significantly,
it’s an important one.