Image Comics, 1993
The character of John Prophet first appeared in Youngblood #2 which was released (or probably the best term is escaped) form Image Comics in 1992, and apparently the character was supposed to be part of Marvel’s X-Force series, during the time Liefeld was working on it.
Since Youngblood was a rip-off of Teen Titans and X-Men anyway, and the character of Prophet is his own creation, why not give him his own series after introducing him.
Just look at the character design, one can easily see that Prophet's look was 'borrowed' from early 1990s Sabertooth, as one just has to change the hair color from black to blond, had some fur to the costume, and change the purple to an orange or dark tannish brown.
The Story: Prophet stands on a cliff, thinking of scripture as he’s attacked by robots that he easily dispatches, he catches rope ladder, climbs up to a blimp to face the leader of his foes, a cloaked figure who has a woman named Mary beside him, the cloaked figure reveals his face which is that of our ‘hero’ and Prophet wakes up from a nightmare by ‘Kirby’ who knows all about Prophet’s reoccurring nightmare and is some weird homage to the legendary Jack Kirby for reasons I was unable to discover.We are given Prophet’s backstory, his father was killed by Hitler, and in order to provide for his family Prophet ended up volunteering for a Super Human project being done from a scientist, where he met Kirby who was a lab assistant and who acts like his sidekick. Hitler discovered the project and so all tract of it was buried, and it wasn’t until recent times that Prophet was discovered and he needs to get hooked up to a computer as soon as possible and land in Alaska to get the deed done. Turns out Prophet is being pursued by the US Government to be examined for the bio-engineering techniques used to create him and the assigned agent of the FBI looking into him is Mary McCormick who is willing to call in the teams of Youngblood and Bloodstrike to bring Prophet in.
World Building: I will give Liefeld a bit of credit, as an ‘idea guy’ he knows what to rip off, as Prophet’s origins are basically that of Captain America, but he puts enough of a twist on it to make it ‘original’, while also expanding on the world established with Youngblood. We are giving a prologe page that explains who Prophet his and his intended goals, so we have an idea of where the series is going to go
The Artwork: One of the saving graces of this comic is that the pencils and inks were done by Dan Panosian… the problem is he’s following the layouts done by Rob Liefeld, and the results are all over the place. There are three instances of two page spreads that you have to turn the comic to view vertically, as well as three 3 splash pages, 4 if one counts the prolog. The style is pure early 90s image with Prophet being largely overly proportioned and questionable lining and shading all over the place, but it’s not that bad to look at.
Overall: This pains me to say…. But as an issue #1, this does about everything ‘right’, introduces key characters to readers, gives a bit of history and lay out some intrigue mainly as it relates to the dream Prophet and we are shown who Mary. It’s not a bad comic, it’s totally fine for what it is, if anything its better than what we saw with Youngblood in 1992
NEXT WEEK: Justice League / Power Rangers #1