Prez #1, the first appearance of Prez Rickard
(Aug 1973). Art by Jerry Grandenetti.
|First appearance||Prez: First Teen President #1 (August–September 1973)|
|Created by||Joe Simon, Jerry Grandenetti|
|Alter ego||Prez Rickard|
"Prez" is the name of fictional characters appearing in comics published by DC Comics. The original was Prez Rickard, the first teenage president of the United States of America, who appeared in a short-lived comic series by writer Joe Simon and artist Jerry Grandenetti in 1973 and 1974. Similar characters have appeared since then, revisiting the concept or paying homage to the original character. In 2015 DC launched a limited series under the title Prez about a teenage girl named Beth Ross who is elected president via Twitter in the year 2036.
Prez: First Teen President followed the adventures of a teenage boy 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. The nickname 'Prez' is bestowed by his mother Martha, in the hope of his election to presidency. Having synchronized the clocks of his town of Steadfast, Prez was hired as a front for shady businessman Boss Smiley (a political boss with a smiley face) to run for United States Senator; but did so in a position against that of Smiley. With 45% of voters under 30, Congress lowered the eligibility age for the presidency and Senator Rickard was elected president; whereupon he appointed his mother Vice President and made his sister his secretary. Prez was aided by Eagle Free, a young Native American amateur naturalist, whom Prez appointed director of the FBI, and who trained Prez in multiple fighting techniques (this was never shown, but cited at their use). As President, Prez fought legless vampires, a right-wing militia led by the great-great-great-great-great-grandnephew of George Washington, "Boss Smiley", 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 which prompted the production of that book). Prez also appeared in Supergirl #10 (Sept.-Oct. 1974). Although the first issue Prez specified that the series was an imaginary (non-continuity) story, this story by Cary Bates implies that Prez is the President in Earth-One of the DC Universe. In the story, Supergirl, 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 called Hepzibah (resembling Eve), who stabs the head of a doll of Supergirl's likeness to make her drop him; but Supergirl flies Prez to the Fortress of Solitude, then drops a plastic dummy dressed as Prez into the East River to trick the conspirators. In this story, Prez's repair of clocks is made a personal hobby of his.
- In 1993, Neil Gaiman featured the character in issue #54 of his Sandman series, in a story called "The Golden Boy", wherein appear revised versions of real-life events from years that followed that in which the story is set, and the assassination attempt on Prez's 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, offers him passage to alternate Americas, as a travelling philanthropist.
- 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's 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 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, acting as a satirical stand-in for George W. Bush, Jr..
- In The New 52 DC Multiverse, Prez is mentioned as having been a past president on Earth-23. Another version of Prez is also mentioned as being the current, immortal president of Earth-47. In that capacity, he funds the Love Syndicate of Dreamworld, Earth-47's core metahuman team.
- A new version of the character appears in a 12-issues series that started in June 2015, written by Mark Russell and drawn by Ben Caldwell. She is a teenage girl named Beth Ross who is elected president via Twitter in the year 2036. The original Prez, here named "Preston Rickard", becomes her Vice President to help her through the dangers of politics.
In other media
- In the Batman: Brave and the Bold episode "Triumvirate of Terror!", Prez makes a cameo appearance. He is President of the United States 50 years in the future and is shown opening a time capsule in which Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman had put a keepsake for future generations.
- In the Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated episode "Pawn of Shadows," Prez appears on a poster on the wall of H.P. Hatecraft's study.
- 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.
- Prez at the Grand Comics Database
- Peterson, Matthew (23 May 2010). "RETRO REVIEW: Prez #1 (Aug./Sept. 1973)". Major Spoilers. Retrieved 2013-09-03.
- Supergirl #10 (Sept.-Oct. 1974) at the Grand Comics Database
- Peterson, Matthew (11 August 2013). "RETRO REVIEW: Sandman #54 (October 1993)". Major Spoilers. Retrieved 2013-09-03.
- "New Books, New Creative Teams: The Complete List of New and Continuing DC Comics Titles". DC Comics. 6 February 2015. Retrieved 2015-02-11.