Prez (comics)

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Prez
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Prez: First Teen President #1 (August-September 1973)
Created by Joe Simon, Jerry Grandenetti
In-story information
Alter ego Prez Rickard
Team affiliations U.S. Government
Notable aliases First Teen President
Abilities Executive authority, power of veto; superior unarmed hand-to-hand combatant

Prez: First Teen President was a four-issue comic series by writer Joe Simon (the creator of Captain America) and artist Jerry Grandenetti,[1] released by DC Comics in 1973 and 1974.[2] It followed the adventures of Prez Rickard, the first teenage President of the United States of America, whose election had been made possible by a Constitutional amendment lowering the age of eligibility to accommodate the then-influential youth culture of the baby boom (a premise similar to that in the cult film Wild in the Streets).[3]

Fictional character biography[edit]

Martha Rickard, of Steadfast, Middle America, named her son Prez because she thought he should someday be President. Having made the clocks of Steadfast, whose towers were so out of sync that the town heard a constant chiming, run on time, he was hired as a front for shady businessman Boss Smiley to run for United States Senator after the eligibility age was lowered. An idealist, he rebelled against Smiley. With 45% of voters under 30, the youthful Congress passed an amendment lowering the eligibility age for the presidency and Senator Rickard was voted President of the United States. He appointed his mother, Martha, Vice President and made his sister his secretary.

Prez' most significant collaborator was Eagle Free, a young Native American who had a deep understanding of animals. He lived in a cave well-stocked with books about them, but got most of his knowledge firsthand. Prez appointted him director of the FBI. Eagle Free wore a headband with a feather, braids, and no shirt, and was often accompanied by a menagerie of native and non-native animals. Eagle Free trained Prez in multiple fighting techniques. This was never shown, but it was referred to when he utilized them.

Original series[edit]

Prez fought legless vampires, a right-wing militia led by the great-great-great-great-great-grandnephew of George Washington, "Boss Smiley" (a political boss with a smiley face), and evil chess players. He was attacked for his stance on gun control, and survived an assassination attempt during that controversy.

After four issues, the series was abruptly cancelled. Several years later, Issue #5 was included in Cancelled Comic Cavalcade #2, though Prez itself predated the DC Implosion.

Prez also appeared in Supergirl #10 (Sept.-Oct. 1974).[4] Although the first issue Prez specified that the series was an imaginary (non-continuity) story, this story by Cary Bates implies that Prez Rickard is similar to Earth-One of the DC Universe with its own Supergirl. In the story, Supergirl, also known as Linda Lee Danvers, saves Prez from two hoaxed assassination attempts to be entrapped into a third by a politician working with a witch who is called Hepzibah, though she looks exactly like Eve, who stabs the head of a doll of Supergirl's likeness in attempt to make her drop him. Kara is able to resist and flies Prez to the Fortress of Solitude, then drops a plastic dummy dressed as Prez into the East River so that they will leave her alone. The story played up Prez' ability with clocks to the point that they seem a predominant interest in his life, and Kara believes he has the precision of a jeweler.

Other versions[edit]

  • In 1993, Neil Gaiman featured the character in issue #54 of his Sandman series, in a story called "The Golden Boy". In it, Prez is a young man who adores not simply his country but everything for which it stands. Much of the story includes revised versions of real-life events from years that followed, and the assassination attempt on Prez' life takes the life of his fiancée, which Prez forgives when he learns that the assassin is mentally unbalanced. Eventually, he is killed, and Boss Smiley confronts him with a day of reckoning. At this point, Sandman's protagonist, Dream, intervenes and offers him passage to alternate Americas.[5]
  • Prez was the indirect subject and appears briefly in the 1995 "Vertigo Visions" one-shot Prez: Smells Like Teen President, by Ed Brubaker and Eric Shanower. In this story, a Generation X teenager seeks out the vanished former president, whom he believes to be his father. The cause of Prez' death is here reported to be brain cancer, apparently caused by a metaphorical cancer growing in the collective soul of the country during the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
  • A character based on Prez appears in Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again. Lex Luthor creates a computer program which takes on human form and assumes the role of Commander in Chief. Its name is "Rick Rickard" and it resembles a middle-aged Prez.

Television[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 156. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "Teenage President of the United States Prez Rickard didn't enjoy a long term in comics. However scripter Joe Simon and artist Jerry Grandenetti gave him plenty to tackle in four issues." 
  2. ^ Prez at the Grand Comics Database
  3. ^ Peterson, Matthew (23 May 2010). "RETRO REVIEW: Prez #1 (Aug./Sept. 1973)". Major Spoilers. Retrieved 2013-09-03. 
  4. ^ Supergirl #10 (Sept.-Oct. 1974) at the Grand Comics Database
  5. ^ Peterson, Matthew (11 August 2013). "RETRO REVIEW: Sandman #54 (October 1993)". Major Spoilers. Retrieved 2013-09-03. 

External links[edit]