Comic Book / Prez (1973)

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Prez is a comic book series published by DC Comics. It was created by writer Joe Simon and artist Jerry Grandenetti, and debuted in 1973; it ran for four issues (and one crossover in the tenth issue of Supergirl (Vol 1)) before being cancelled.

Prez imagined a world in which the then-recent lowering of the minimum voting age results in a motivated population of youth voters who elect eighteen-year-old Prez Rickard the first teenaged President of the United States. He populates the Cabinet with his family and friends, appoints a Noble Savage to head the FBI, and combats a variety of menaces, including Boss Smiley, the corrupt political manipulator who got Prez into politics in the first place in an attempt to capture the youth vote, only for Prez to turn against him on realizing his true nature.

The premise kept the series from being regarded as part of the main DC Universe (Supergirl crossover notwithstanding), which limited Prez's chance of a return appearance, but the series got a number of nods over subsequent years. The best-known — probably more familiar to many readers than even the original series — is "The Golden Boy", one of several issues of The Sandman highlighting obscure older DC characters; it retells Prez's career, explicitly setting it in an alternate universe and providing the conclusion the series never got. The 1995 Vertigo Visions one-shot Prez: Smells Like Teen President continues "The Golden Boy" story to explore the failure of the 1970s ideals through P.J., Prez's alleged bastard son, as he travels around the country trying to find out what happened to his father.

In 2015, a new version of Prez was launched as part of the DC YOU line, set 20 Minutes into the Future and featuring Beth Ross, a teenager in a dead-end fast food job who inadvertantly gets made President on a wave of social media stardom ignited by a viral video.

Due to the attention attracted by the reboot, in 2016 DC published a trade paperback titled Prez: The First Teen President, collecting all the appearances of the original Prez.

The 1973 series provides examples of:

  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Prez.
  • Artistic License Geography: Transylvania hasn't been a country since the first World War. Currently, it is part of Romania. Also, Transylvania isn't adjacent to Moravia.
  • Braids, Beads and Buckskins: Eagle Free.
  • Cassandra Truth: Congress doesn't believe Prez about Dracula's plan.
  • Destination Defenestration: Boss Smiley pushes one of his own mooks out of a window for making a thoughtless comment. One of the remaining mooks calmly starts patching the window glass back together.
  • Evil Cripple: Dracula doesn't have any legs.
  • His Name Really Is "Barkeep":
    • Prez Rickard's first name is actually "Prez" (he explains that his mother had a premonition when he was born that he'd be President one day).
    • Boss Smiley's first name is actually "Boss" (this is not explained).
  • Misplaced Wildlife: The forest creatures Eagle Free communes with in the first issue include a monkey, an elephant and a gorilla.
  • Nature Hero: Eagle Free lives at one with nature and understands the ways of animals to the extent that he can tell them what to do. When Prez first encounters him, he's leading a group of forest animals against Boss Smiley's construction machinery.
  • Noble Savage: Eagle Free, a Native American who lives in the wild, is a Friend to All Living Things, and is the first to open Prez's eyes to the evil of Boss Smiley.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: An eighteen-year-old president that ran on a third party ticket and regularly gets into punch ups with weird threats with his FBI director.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Dracula appears in the fourth issue. He is portrayed as an extremely paled skinned Classical Movie Vampire. Dracula seems to have some degree of Super Strength (Prez says he "has the grip of a boa constrictor"). He can turn people into vampires through an unknown means. Context seems to imply he does so via biting his victim. His dialogue seems to suggest repeated stakes to the heart somehow resulted in him losing his legs. Holy symbols, including the Indian Swastika, repel him, but it is unclear if it can actually hurt him. Drowning seems to kill him.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: Prez (short for "president") becomes the Prez.
  • Surreal Symbolic Heads: Boss Smiley's head is a bald sphere with Black Bead Eyes, a tiny nose, a broad smiling mouth — basically, a flesh-toned version of the classic yellow smiley face emblem.
  • Take That!: Boss Smiley's office décor includes autographed photographs of himself with Adolf Hitler and Richard Nixon.
  • Totally Radical

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