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Testament #8 Review

I have been enjoying Testament a lot more with the last few issues than with the first five issues or so.

This issue focuses on the story of Joseph and his multicolored coat. What I was especially impressed by was how writer Douglas Rushkoff made the actual story interesting in and of itself, where usually the interesting part of these stories is how Rushkoff ties the Bible story to the main story in the issue. Here, though, his particular take on Joseph was quite engaging.

When we go to the modern parallel story, it is interesting how the "Joseph" character is positioned in an ANTagonist position, rather than as a PROtagonist. I thought that that was particularly clever on Rushkoff's part, in a way to really keep the whole "parallel story" idea fresh, which can be quite difficult at times. There is a clever idea presented in the modern story, which is the question, "If everyone was praising you for the perfect crime, and you wouldn't be punished for it, would you take the 'blame' even if you knew it was not you?" Very clever scenario.

Also, it provided one of the best lines in comics this week, as the dumbfounded student protests to his arrest with, "I wouldn't do it...I'm rich!"

Liam Sharp's artwork works best when it is over-the-top, which is perfect for Testament, which is about as over-the-top as you can get.

Meanwhile, Rushkoff is not forgetting the plot from the first five issues, as all that "tracking people"/"controlling currency" stuff continues, but really, I'm not that into that. So I'm pleased to see it downplayed. There are some nice scenes with Jake's dog (in whom Jake's father implanted the tracking chip meant for Jake) leading the bad guys on a wild goose chase, but at the same time, my credulity is being strained a bit. One, that they don't catch the dog and realize the dog has the tracker and two, that Jake's father hasn't been found out yet. It seems so obvious.

All in all, this was a very nice use of parallel storytelling. I would recommend it with the reservation that, if you're just picking up the book, you'll be able to follow the Bible/Modern story, and even pick up on the plot with Jake's dog, but for the rest of the characters? You will be completely LOST. I don't think knowing them is all THAT important, but it is still quite odd how Rushkoff writes this book so that you pretty much HAVE to have read the first five issues to understand some of these characters.

Weird.

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