Read Testament Online Summary:
This series is marked by its triple narrative—one recounting various narratives from the Hebrew Scriptures, or the Old Testament, another creating loosely parallel narratives in a not too distant dystopian future, and a third narrative set in a spiritual plane where the gods do battle by manipulating humanity for their own ends. On one side of the battle are Moloch, an ancient Ammonite god to whom human sacrifices were made; Astarte, a goddess of fertitlity, sexual love, and war, who was worshipped in ancient times in Syria, Egypt and the Phoenician colonies (she is called Ashtoreth in the Old Testament); and Atum-ra, an Egyptian god.
On the other side of the battle is Melchizedek, who was an ancient high priest and king and who some Biblical scholars suggest may have been an earlier incarnation of Jesus the Son of God; Elijah, the Old Testament prophet who was taken into heaven in a whirlwind (II Kings 2:11); and, oddly, Krishna, the Hindu god, who is often characterized by sensuality and wisdom.
The first issue begins with a brief recounting of the first half of the Abraham taking Isaac to be sacrificed on a mountain narrative. This brief introduction is given as the key to understanding the parallel narrative set in the future. In this future, everyone who is draft age is required to have a digital microchip implanted in their arms, ostensibly so the government can call up recruits more quickly and equitably in time of war if a draft is re-instituted.
Dr. Alan Stern, a research scientist at the Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials, is one of the developers of the chip. His son, Jake, has not yet been implanted, but is required by law to do so. Although Jake does not want to be implanted, he is not by nature either a risk taker or a rule breaker, and so he goes to his father’s laboratory to be implanted.
In the climactic scene, the Abraham/Isaac narrative is juxtaposed with the Alan Stern/Jake Stern narrative. As Abraham is lifting the knife to sacrifice Isaac, Alan is raising the injection device to implant Jake. Just as Abraham’s hand is stayed by a voice calling out, “Do not raise your hand against the boy,” Alan decides not to implant Jake but rather place the chip inside Jake’s dog instead. The story ends on the spiritual plane with Moloch angrily complaining about Melchizedek’s interference.
- Action/Adventure, Fantasy/Mythology, Graphic Novels, Vertigo
- Doughlas Rushkoff
- Liam Sharp