All posts by symbifan777

Catch Ya On The Flipside!

807512-flipsideWhat’s that? Where’s the next part in my spectacular look back at Prophet? It’s called an intermission, guys. Geez! (Kids today!) In all seriousness, I had planned on writing Part 4 of my Prophet series, but I thought you “Loyal Minions of the Unspoken” might enjoy a break. (God knows I would! Talk about burned out! Ugh!) But never fear, Part 4 will be along soon enough. For right now though, sit back in your reclining chairs, grab your fav snacks (I suggest Funyuns for truly hardcore snackers!), and revel in the story of Marvel’s Flipside!

RCO003_1469634253-1Our story begins as a lone figure, the unsavory type, stares down at something strange lying on a medical table. He speaks to himself as he tinkers around with it, commenting on his attempts to get it online and results he promised to someone called Packrat. He reveals that this is some sort of mechanical being called Junior. As the man talks, Junior scans him. It seems to be analyzing detailed files on great superheroes of the Earth’s past. Eventually it comes to the conclusion that the looming man is of no great importance and powers itself down. Annoyed, the man gives up and leaves the room.  (Wow! You know you’re a nobody when a machine would rather switch off than pay attention to you! I’d need intense therapy after that diss!)

RCO008_1469634253-1Elsewhere, Miguel O’Hara, (No relation to Scarlett O’Hara. Thank God for that kindness! Otherwise, this story would be way too long and completely overrated! Am I right?) the Spider-Man of the year 2099, is discovered, buried in wreckage, protected from the blast radius of a large bomb only by his powerful webbing. Unfortunately for Spidey, his “savior” is the aforementioned Packrat, also the leader of a group of scavengers called the Foragers. And Packrat isn’t in the least bit concerned with the hero’s personal well-being! This is illustrated by the fact that his unconscious form is secured to the front bumper of the vehicle as they return to their headquarters, content with their injured prize!

RCO013_1469634253-1Upon their arrival, Spider-Man is brutally awakened by Packrat, bellowing in his ear! Shocked to action, Spidey leaps through the air, landing some distance from his abductor! Our hero takes in his strange surroundings. He spies what he is told is an old television program, “Mr. Ed,” playing on every monitor. A minion approaches and offers the captive a Pop-Tart. He mutters about the collective insanity of these men. (A talking horse AND Pop-Tarts?! That’s what I call a par-tay! Whoo! Too bad these guys are fictional! They’re a stoner’s dream come true!)

Needless to say, Spidey wants to leave. He thanks the madmen and turns to take his leave but is halted by the expected drawn weapons and the fact that he’s quickly surrounded. (Awww! I take back my earlier compliment. Stoners are rarely prone to violence. I’m so embarrassed.)  He is given two choices in order to leave: Fight his way to the exit, or repair Junior! Confused, Spider-Man looks to the nearby robot. But as this exchange has been going on, Junior has been scanning our hero! The computerized brain of the mechanical man decides this strangely-garbed being in front of him could only be two heroes from the past: either Spider-Man or Venom! It then makes the strange decision to mimic the combination of both!

RCO018_1469634253-1The android changes its appearance! As it finishes, a sinister grin forms on the creatures new face! Suddenly, it launches itself into the air, straight at Spidey! But instead of attacking, it lands in the superhero’s arms and caresses his masked face! It proclaims that its name is now Flipside. And that he and Spider-Man are going to be the best of friends….or it’ll murder him! (You’ve gotta respect love at first sight. Makes you tear up….*sob.*)

RCO003_1469634600-1Anyway, on to the next thrilling issue! We rejoin our hero as he fights for breath, being the victim of a deadly bear hug from Flipside! Spidey finally manages to overpower the android, throwing him across the room. Flipside remarks that he’s beginning to suspect that Spider-Man doesn’t particularly like him. He covers his masked face. Strangely enough, sounds of sobbing are heard. With what seems like genuine concern, one of the Foragers checks on the saddened robot. His attempts to comfort Flipside are met with a clawed slash to the throat! Flipside roars that he didn’t ask for help! It then questions if anyone else has a problem, including Spidey! As he asks, he points at the hero, growing a fanged mouth with long, forked tongue! (You’ve just gotta love this guy! I think he’s even crazier than me if I’m off my meds! Well, I did wear a fanny pack once. I win.)

RCO004_1469634600-1-1Packrat kneels over his fallen comrade, his anger growing. Spider-Man uses this time to look over the computer files on this mechanical menace. Flipside, however, figures out that Spider-Man is attempting to shut him down! Enraged, he smashes his fist through the screen. He then propels himself towards Spidey, ready to gut him for this bitter betrayal! As he attempts to kill our hero, he yells that he will murder him again and again until he begs for him to stop!  (Okay. Flipside has officially gone loco! Everyone knows that you can only murder a person two, maybe three times, max! Duh!)

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The two bust through a metal door in the scuffle, finding all of the angry Foragers within the next room. They all open fire on the crazed robot at once! When the smoke clears, a bullet-ridden Flipside laughs! He then begins using his deadly claws to shred his way through the scavenger troupe, making his way to their terrified leader! Packrat opens fire with a powerful handgun and the blast creates a large hole in the center of Flipside’s abdomen! It doesn’t even slow him down! (That’s tenacity, folks! The kind of can-do attitude that made this once-proud country great!)

RCO011_1469634600-1But, before the android can perform the killing blow, Spider-Man stops him with a strong hand on Flipside’s wrist! When questioned why he’d stop this, Spidey remarks that he doesn’t particularly care about the bad guys, or himself for that matter! Convinced that the superhero is suicidal, Flipside decides he’ll help out his “pal.” The creature plunges Spidey’s head into the gaping hole in his own body as the damage heals around the hero’s throat! (I’m so sorry! I wasn’t aware that this comic involved penetration! Wasn’t this approved by the Comic’s Code?! Well, might as well finish my article at this point. Again, apologies.)

RCO012_1469634600-1Spider-Man spends the next few moments being tossed around like a ragdoll, being bashed into wall after wall, all the while without air! For the briefest of moments, he considers giving up, and succumbing to the welcoming darkness! Finally, he finds his inner strength! He wants to live! Using his superior strength, he pulls his head out of the robots’ innards, taking an important-looking cable with him on the way out! Flipside is stunned, but only for a moment! He lunges at the hero, attempting to retrieve the cable! Using the android’s momentum against him, Spidey ties it around Flipside’s throat as he dodges and rips his head clean off! In the same motion, he throws the body into a computer console! It sparks as Flipside’s body jolts! The threat seems ended.  (Noooooo! Whyyyyyy! Excuse me. I’ve never been very good with death. This one time, my goldfish….never mind. Another time. I miss you, Bubbles.)

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Packrat and the other scavengers pull their weapons, intent on stopping our hero’s departure. He simply tells them to move. Surprisingly, they obey. When Spider-Man is out of earshot, Packrat turns. He’s horrified to see Flipside sitting upon a pile of his men’s shredded corpses! Flipside lives again! Pointing a bloodied, clawed finger at the man, Flipside says, “Start running.”

The last thing that is heard is Packrat’s anguished screams!

End.

clean-1-1I would like to dedicate this article to my daughter, Jade Leigh Miller, for her 18th birthday. (Damn, I feel old!) You are a woman now. It’s time for me to now move aside and let you make your mark upon this world. Give em’ hell! I couldn’t be more proud of the adult that you’ve become. I love you.   -Dad

 

 

 

“And So It Was Written….” part 3

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Well, here we are again. You. Me. And….him. You know, in writing my third article about the man, John Prophet, I believe I’m beginning to feel a type of kinship with the character. Yes. That’s it. I feel that I’m inside his head. So much so, that I believe that I too am on a holy mission. A mission to bring you, the loyal Unspoken fans, my musings on the subject. And who knows, maybe (in the far-off future) someone will discover these words and take them as a type of scripture. Becoming a warrior for what’s right, inspired by my words.

(Yeah. And maybe Batman fans will stop using “prep time” as an excuse…)

When we last left Prophet, he and Kirby had been battling the super-powered soldiers of Bloodstrike, but the fighting came to a screeching halt when Prophet saw his long-lost love Mary.

RCO003_1583780159-1Now Prophet awakens in anguish. He finds himself nailed through the wrists and ankles to a mighty tree, a large chain holding him in place! He struggles but it’s all in vain. That’s when he spies the robed men approaching him. Peering closer, he sees that these aren’t men at all! No, they appear to be demons! Before he can react, one of the human-looking demons pulls a long spear. He wastes little time as he pierces our hero through the heart!

Prophet truly awakens from his nightmare. (That’s what this guy has nightmares about? Damn! And I thought my dream about having a Big Mac for a head was scary!) The first word on his lips is: “Mary.” As his vision clears, he sees that only Kirby stands over him and that his surroundings have changed drastically. When he questions his partner, Kirby replies that they are now within a titanium-laced prison cell, held by the U.S. government! This bit of news doesn’t seem to bother the big man at all. Instead, he questions Kirby about Mary. Kirby doesn’t have much to add to the conversation before the two are interrupted.

RCO008_1583780159-1The cell doors open, and among several highly-armored, gigantic guards stands “Mary” and… (Note to self: Pausing for dramatic effect is a fantastic stalling mechanism when pretending to pass yourself off as a professional writer) the man who stabbed him through the chest in his nightmare!

The man introduces himself as Philip Omen, director of a government-funded research and development program called Ragnarok. He also introduces “Mary” as a Ms. McCormick of the FBI. Kirby and Omen then get into a verbal battle about their rights (or lack thereof) as prisoners. While this is occurring, Prophet keeps his eyes fixed upon the woman. Omen finally finishes by remarking that the two heroes should get comfy and that they gave up their rights when they attacked a government installation. He leaves the cell with a smirk. “Mary” is then left to question the two. John wastes no time in asking if she is in fact his Mary. (Way to beat around the bush, John! Geez! You know what? That’s cool. I was tired of typing her name in quotations anyway.)

The woman admits that her name is in fact Mary (thank God!), but she has no idea who he is. She then goes on with her questions. After she seems satisfied and turns to leave. Kirby decides to get a bit mouthy with her, but she verbally puts the small man in his place and exits. As the cell doors lock in place and they are alone once again, Prophet tells Kirby that Omen is Doombringer, the very one that he was created to stop and who is prophesied to usher in the end of all things! (Wow! Talk about a cool nickname! But does the moniker “Doombringer” really fit a guy with that haircut though? Look at the picture above for the answer.)

RCO016_1583780159-1Meanwhile in Washington, D.C., a strange woman stops her trek through a filthy alleyway. She places a canister-like object on the ground and opens it. Bladed projectiles shoot from the device’s innards forming strange, metallic wings on the woman’s back! She declares that she is called Judas and that John Prophet’s days are numbered! She then soars away, like an angel of death!  (Wonder how I knew her name was Judas? She talked to herself literally the whole page! I know that comics aren’t supposed to be very realistic, but, the whole page? Get some therapy, lady!)

RCO020_1583780159-1The board of directors for Ragnarok meet to discuss the possibility for creating more advanced soldiers, like Jonathan Prophet. Omen, however, has other plans. He declares that he would rather move forward with his pet project. This would entail androids with sophisticated A.I. to pose as humans, to get close to their targets, and to assassinate them with perfect efficiency. (So, basically he plans on creating Terminators? Real original idea there. Wait! How about taking it a step further and creating cybernetic police officers? We’ll call them Robocops!) To illustrate his point, Omen rips the flesh from his face, revealing a robotic skull underneath! The real Philip Omen then enters the room, confident he has made his point.

Later, the prisoners are are approached once again. They are told that they will now serve Ragnarok as they see fit. Kirby replies that they’ll do it, but it will be on their terms. The deal is cemented with an ominous handshake.

RCO023_1583780159-1We begin the next issue with Prophet attached to a futuristic-looking device. He watches them like a hawk from his restraints as they take samples and put him through test after test. (Think Clockwork Orange on steroids! I mean, look at the picture below! He looks more pissed than afraid. Hell, I’m nervous to have a filling fixed!)

RCO003_1583550316-1As the testing continues, everyone is watching with wrapped fascination. From the higher-ups at Ragnarok, down to even the soldiers. Kirby is also allowed to watch, but he grows more angry by the moment. Omen decides it’s best to now test the subjects’ mind in virtual battle scenarios. As the program begins, D.O.C.C., the orbiting satellite that powers and also keeps Prophet in check enters his mind. At first, it attempts to keep him calm and collected. But when Prophet suddenly finds himself in the winter of Nazi Germany, during World War Two, the warriors mind takes over instinctively, pushing the mechanized voice out. He is now fully reliving his bloody memories!

(Crap! Omen really screwed up big time, huh? Because it’s always wise to force a superpowered soldier to dredge up his buried wartime atrocities! Yep. This guy’s a genius on par with the old man in Jurassic Park!)

RCO007_1583550316-1-1The warrior stalks his prey, hungry for their screams and the spraying of their life’s blood! He almost pities the enemy. Almost. He strikes without hesitation or mercy! He unloads shell after shell into their bodies, still warm as they drop, in broken pieces, to the cold snow beneath their feet! And then, suddenly he finds himself in the hot jungles of Vietnam. Once again, he watches the enemy before striking. He fires automatic hellfire upon them, dropping their corpses like flaming, tattered ragdolls! (I feel so unmanly as I write this. I wasn’t even a Boy Scout! Excuse me as I weep like a wee child…)

RCO010_1583550316-1Omen is warned again and again by Kirby and the others around him, but still he pushes Prophet deeper into his own raging mind. Prophet spies a woman running from him in terror! His soldier mind takes over. She is the enemy. She must be slain. Looking closer, he sees that she is with child. Prophet battles with his conscience as she flees! But his instincts win over his humanity. He pulls the trigger! He turns. Suddenly, his father, a man of God stands before him! He exclaims his utter disgust at his son’s actions. He then tells John that only Hell awaits his soul now. He turns and disappears. Prophet roars for his father as he fires his rifles to the heavens in rage and misery! (Damn! I gots me some writing skills! I’m all goose-pimply at my descriptions! Yay, me!)

RCO019_1583550316-1That’s when the machines that are hooked to him read that he is dead! The installation instantly goes into an uproar! That’s when they discover that John’s not dead, he’s disconnected and running free! Armed with only two bladed weapons, he cuts his way through the seemingly endless groups of heavily-armed guards! Soon, he bursts free of the compound! Now acting only on animal-like instinct, he takes possession of an advanced tank. And so, just like that, Prophet was free once again!  (Whew! Action-packed, eh, folks? I know! I’m so excited, I peed myself a little! Umm. Note to self: Delete this sentence before this article goes to print.) We end this tale with Omen trying frantically to come up with a plan. That’s when the small man, Kirby, pipes up. He’ll take Prophet down himself!

To be continued….

This article is dedicated to my son, James Miller. Without his constant scolding and attempts at teaching, I would never be as good as I am at “first person shooter” games as I am today.  (A solid 0.5 out of 10 in skill level now!) Prophet would be so proud! Thanks for the fun and nerve-wracking times, Boy!

 

“And So It Was Written….” part 2

prophet-4-variant-nm-5-1-1I awaken. The small spark of life grows within my nerdy, fanboy heart as I gain my strength. Sarcasm levels are suddenly off the charts! I clench my fist and shatter my cryogenic sleep chamber! Wiping off my glasses, I place them over my eyes. I then roar to the heavens, “Superman revealed his secret identity?! Who wrote that piece of crap?!”

And, just like that, comic book news brought your Symbifan back to you from many months of slumber, ready to grace you, my loyal fans, with the second installment of my look at Image Comics’ Prophet! But, since I was gone so very long, I’m going to reward you with not one issue review…but two! (Aren’t you special? I really do spoil you.)

I will make you wait no longer. Let the review begin.

RCO005_1583737760-1When we last left Prophet and Kirby, they were attempting to break into an installation that, once within, would hopefully reestablish Prophet’s link to the satellite, D.O.C.C., therefore bringing the warrior back to full power. What they hadn’t counted on, was the sheer number of robotic soldiers that would resist their entry! (Seriously! You’d think that with the high number of high-tech automatons present, the government had money to literally throw away! Ah, America!)

Prophet and Kirby battle, back to back, against insurmountable odds. Prophet’s strength depletes from the excessive stress to his already-weakened body, until Kirby suddenly spots the chamber they are after! Forcing the outer door closed, he helps his comrade, arm over his shoulder, to the healing platform. (Kirby throwing Prophet’s arm over his shoulder to help him, made me giggle. I admit it! A four-foot man, dragging a man that’s reasonably around seven feet? You do the math!)

RCO017_1583737760-1-1Kirby enters a password into the computer console and wham! A beam from the now-active satellite hits John Prophet full force, bathing him in energy!

But before the two can celebrate a mission well done, a government-sponsored super-team, Bloodstrike, bursts in ready to rumble! A gift from the Prophet’s supposed ex in the government. (Remember her? With the god-awful red outfit? Yep. Her.) To be continued…..

RCO019_1583737760-1-1…..right now!

In the next issue, we start right off with a superhero showdown. Prophet and Kirby stand ready as Cabbot, field leader of Bloodstrike, orders them to stand down or expect force. Kirby leaves the decision to Prophet. And we, the readers, get what we want, a resounding no. (Now, we’re about to enter an average hero versus hero smackdown. Buckle up your seatbelts and grab your popcorn, because these are so rare in comics. You don’t believe me? Good. That shows great personal growth on your part.)

RCO005_1583838834-1While the heroes get ready to fight, a helicopter circles the base below. It is inhabited by two people. One, a military pilot. The other? Mrs. “Red Dress” herself, Mary! Meanwhile, in the base, the heroes attack! Prophet makes his way past Cabbot with a well-aimed slice of his blades but immediately finds himself attacked by the clawed member of Bloodstrike, Deadlock!(Look everybody! We found Wolverine’s long lost twin brother! Isn’t he going to be happy?)

RCO010_1583838834-1As the two battle, Deadlock tries to get under the skin of our hero by speaking ill of the Bible. This is not a smart idea! Prophet puts everything he has into one mighty punch! Say goodbye to Deadlock! But, as Prophet just won his battle, Kirby’s has just begun! The small man faces two highly-trained, super-powered women at the same time!

Using his small size and the force of the rushing women against them, Kirby ducks between Fourplay’s legs as she and Tag smash into one another! He then kicks the two into the computer consoles with enough force to take them out of the fight! (Way to go, Shorty! You won a cat fight! Snicker!) But, he then turns to see the giant, metal behemoth called Shogun ready to fight! Prophet, on the other hand, isn’t just kicking back and relaxing! Nope. Cabbot is far from being out of this scrap yet! The two men put everything they’ve got into this final showdown,  but ultimately, Prophet is just too skilled to be defeated.

RCO019_1583838834-1Good thing too. Because his partner is in need of serious aid as the mechanical monster fires countless bullets at him as it approaches! But with all of the attention on Kirby, Shogun doesn’t notice Prophet leap onto its shoulders! Too late! Prophet twists and pulls the giant metal head free of its body, ending the fight for good! (Daaaaaaamn! That’s all I can say here. Return to the narrative, already in progress….)

RCO020_1583838834-1This moment of victory is interrupted by a woman’s voice telling both men to stand down. Turning, Prophet sees the woman he loved so many decades ago, Mary! The mighty warrior is in a state of utter disbelief! She then orders their surrender! Will they do so? Find out next time, loyal Unspoken-ites! This is Symbifan, back and badder than ever, baby! (God, it feels great to write again! Oh, and don’t think Mary’s horrendous choice in dress escaped my notice!)

RCO021_1583838834-1This article is dedicated to you, the readers, for waiting month after month until I finally get these reviews out. Recently, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. This causes me to just drop off to sleep whenever and wherever it feels like it. With this going on, I have felt like I have been in a complete coma for about a year. (Hence my comical beginning to this article.) That said, know that I am now on the road to recovery and I couldn’t appreciate your patience more.

Much love,

Symbifan