In honor of it being Liefeld week here and since I already reviewed the new Prophet series it’s time we go back to the original. We’ll take a look at the first 7 issues of his inaugural series from 1993-1994. Why only 7? Because I actually own these issues. That’s right; I paid money to buy these when I was 10. The only thing I regret about it is that Liefeld is only on writing duty for this series and the occasional cover. Without further adieu, let’s jump right into this.
Behold Evil Geeks, the strange and wondrous vision that is LIEFELD WEEK!!! That’s right, starting immediately we’re kicking off a week long tribute to the man who was a god in our youths and is now a pariah as we’ve grown older. Whether you’re willing to admit it or not at one point in your comic loving life, you probably idolized the guy, now we’ll be forever immortalizing him with a tribute so spectacular that it’s going to take a week to get it done. Arthur Harkness, Biff Tannen, Big Evil, C-Mart and Martian Luthor Kang are no more (at least for this week anyway)! In their stead, Darkhyr Harknex, Blitz Tannyn, Extreme Evil, Psy-Mart, and BloodKang are getting us started with a special Rob Liefeld themed podcast! Make sure to check back all week for Liefeldian goodness!
John Prophet. Poster child of Early 90’s Image Comics excess. Brainchild of Rob Liefeld. I tried to think of an eloquent way to describe him but I think Wikipedia does a fine job with the facts:
“John Prophet, a poor and homeless man living in the World War II era, volunteered to participate in the medical experiments of Dr. Horatio Wells, a time-traveling scientist from the future who used DNA-enhancing methods to transform Prophet into a supersoldier. He was engineered to serve the evil Phillip Omen and programmed with murderous instincts. Wells had a change of heart though and changed Prophet’s programming from evil to a strong belief in God. Wells planned for Prophet to be placed into stasis for many years and then re-emerge in the future to help Wells’ people fight the evil Disciples”
That’s for real. So what we have here is some kind of bible thumping Captain America killing machine. He debuts early in Liefeld’s flagship Image title, Youngblood and as the Wiki entry notes was originally destined for X-Force before the artist jumped ship. A young Biff Tannen was obsessed.
Yes, retrospectively this seems like the definition of steaming hot garbage, but at the time elementary school me didn’t care. It was everything I wanted, plus he looked BADASS. Now that I can look back at it with adult eyes it seems the reason this connected with me was because the creator (barely an adult himself) had the same interests as my 8 year old self. Who can blame him?