Quarantine Prophets - Epiphany: birth of a new universe

Quarantine Prophets - Epiphany: birth of a new universe

Quarantine Prophets - Epiphany

Declining the same narrative concept in different languages ​​is a titanic effort. Cross-media, although an excellent tool for deepening a narrative universe, requires a control and a capillary perception of the setting in which multiple stories move, linked by a continuity that must contribute to the creation of a cohesive universe. It would be enough to cite the example of Star Wars, capable of expanding into various media (novels, comics, video games), which starting from The Awakening of the Force has found in the Canon a narrative guideline that brings everything back into a cohesive and coherent dimension. A feature that we hope to see also develop from the publishing project started with Quarantine Prophets - Epiphany, the first piece of a cross-media universe ready to launch in other directions.

An open nature that relies on Fabio Guaglione, co- creator of Quarantine Prophets together with Luca Speranzoni and Giovanni Timpano. Guaglione has already shown that he sees the future of his narration in cross-media, as his previous experiment in Ride, which developed on multiple media: films, comics, novels and board games, testified to us. A multiplicity that made up a structured narrative mosaic to envelop you with an adrenaline-fueled and intriguing adventure, providing different points of view and allowing the user to fully enjoy this story and or to appreciate only the individual declinations of the concept. With Quarantine Prophets - Epifania, published in volume by Panini, the feeling is that Guaglione and his associates intend to go beyond what was good seen at the time of Ride.

Quarantine Prophets: the dawn of a new universe

Humanity is facing an apparently incurable disease which is upsetting world society. Those who contract this disease, Epiphany, develop a series of incredible mental powers, which leads them to be considered a danger to the human race. Undecided between treating and exploiting these beings mutated by the disease, the government is the Clearwell Detention Center, where the sick, once identified, are taken to be treated. But not everyone sees a risk in these sick people, for some the powers they acquire are gifts, which would make them the new guides of humanity: the Prophets.

As easily understood, for the established order the The appearance of humans with incredible mental powers is not a threat to be taken lightly. Clearwell, universally presented as a health center, has been renamed the Well, indicating its true nature as an internment camp where the Prophets are studied. A world away from the world, as Rob, Hailee and Arnon soon discover, three new inmates of the center, protagonists of Quarantine Prophets - Epiphany.

These three characters and their powers are at the center of the first step of this cross-media universe. The idea of ​​developing a concept in a plurality of narrative dialectics is compelling, in line with what appears to be a modern trend. Where the first perplexities arise is in the narrative cue from which the project headed by Guaglione comes to life, which seems to be devoid of its own identity, preferring to rely on a series of ideas that are rooted in pop culture, giving life to an all too evident vein quotationist.

From the very first bars of Quarantine Prophets - Epiphany an omnipresent feeling of deja vù is created in the situations and essential features of the story. The very idea of ​​a mutant power that is activated in a slice of the population recalls a narrative concept that has been exploited several times since the appearance of the X-Men, not to mention abused. The version that Guaglione offers seems to draw inspiration from one of these innumerable iterations, namely Rising Stars by Straczinky, recently reworked by the same in Resistance. The distrust of the different, the onset of a mutation that causes powers and the latent clash between the two different fringes of humanity are part of a narrative archetype that has now certainly taken hold on the collective imagination, to the point that one wonders how much a universe narrative based on the same must struggle to evolve without being constantly overshadowed by the uncomfortable comparison with the original.

But Quarantine Prophets - Epiphany should also be granted the not inconsiderable detail of being a starting point. The first step of a narrative universe has the task of showing the user what will be the basis on which all the narrative development will be based, looking for an empathy that attracts. From this point of view, a well-known narrative concept is certainly a useful tool, as long as the narrator, or the narrators in our case, know how to seize the moment in which to free themselves from this familiarity. In the case of Quarantine Prophets - Epiphany, this need is also perceived in the narrative, which seems to be influenced by a series of stereotypes which, although subtly inserted within the temporal scan of the story, are quite evident in their origins. From the typical dynamics of the Prison Break-style prison drama to the unbridled quotationist vein that pays too much evidence to cinematic cult like Robocop or Ghostbusters, Quarantine Prophets - Epiphany leaves the feeling that you lack the courage to face a completely new road, preferring to follow, at least in the first place, safe and familiar paths.

An uncertain first step

A choice that has the advantage of transmitting a sense of solidity of world building, essentially based on a series of ideas already present in the background of the reader, but which makes it potentially complex to develop a narrative universe that knows how to show its own identity. However, Quarantine Prophets - Epiphany must be acknowledged for having introduced some contemporary traits in the characterization of the characters, such as the relevance of social networks and their dynamics (Hailee), or the emotional contrast embodied by the figure of the jailer Marc. It is these elements of rupture with an otherwise too deeply rooted narrative tradition that must be the real points on which to build the complex tapestry of this new narrative universe, which should also include the projects Carisma and Carnivalia, but which at the moment, composed of Quarantine Prophets - Epiphany and from the novel Quarantine Prophets - Uncertain future, it seems afflicted by a shyness that betrays a lack of originality, perceptible despite the too rapid pace of this first chapter of Quarantine Prophets.

Sensation that is muffled from the good work done by the two graphic interpreters of this volume, Giovanni Timpano and Daniele Rudoni. Net of some imperfections, Timpano offers convincing proof, especially in the creation and characterization of Clearwell, the main theater of the story that the designer immediately makes central, with a futuristic design that helps to make it credible in the eyes of the reader. Tympanum's mastery of the cage and of the visual narration is evident from the management of precise points of view, which help to enhance not only the action scenes, but also the more calm and emotional dialogues of the protagonists, with good portraiture of the faces and of the gestures of the characters. Rudoni completes everything with a precise coloring, particularly effective inside Clearwell, where the presence of hi-tech confinements and particular artificial lighting leads the colourist to have to study ad hoc solutions, which do not fail to delight the eye of the reader.

The volume with which Panini presents Quarantine Prophets - Epiphany is a simple hardcover, devoid of extras that could have offered a greater definition of the genesis of the work. At present, Quarantine Prophets is a project that still has a lot to prove, started with a first step that is not entirely solid that leaves more perplexity than certainty.

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