All posts by symbifan777

“And So It Was Written….” Part 5

prophet-4-variant-nm-5-1-1The filthy, inhuman creature crawls from its dark, dank hole. Squinting its eyes, it tries to adjust to the sudden bright light, wasting little time as it knows that the light is fleeting. It quickly bathes, takes in nourishment, and performs any other duties that require proper eyesight. It then attempts the final test. Breathing slowly, it flips the switch to its tablet…success! Internet connection has been established! So now I’m writing my newest article! Yes, fellow Unspoken-ites, your dear Symbifan resides in Iowa and was without power for over a week. This was due to a horrible storm that struck here called a “derecho.” (Insert Dora the Explorer saying, “Can you say ‘derecho’?” here.)

But now I’ve returned, refreshed and ready to continue with my series of articles pertaining to the first volume of Image Comics’ Prophet! So, without even further delay, let’s jump right back into the story…

RCO003_1583525712-1The man, known as Jonathan Taylor Prophet, is always at his best when he’s in the midst of a bloodbath. Deep down, he wants to be a man of God. But men of God don’t kill with such grim satisfaction. Do they? He ponders this as he battles. The combatant’s name is Bloodstrike, and first blood was spilled quite some time ago. Both men are bleeding profusely and are injured beyond mortal standards. Yet they continue. The battleground seems to be a filthy sewer, but the rush of water hardly slows either warrior down. Prophet strikes suddenly with a blade. He is met with a kick that connects under his jaw. Never slowing, Prophet hurls the weapon as he’s in motion. It hits home, impaling his enemy in the chest! When Bloodstrike recovers enough, he sees that Prophet is gone. However, he has left a rather easy blood trail to follow. The search begins. (Daaaaaaamn! I haven’t ever seen a battle this bloody in a comic before! And I’ve even read issues where Archie cheated on Betty! Sheesh!)

RCO009_1583525712-1Bloodstrike nurses his many wounds as he follows the trail of his enemy’s blood. He enters another tunnel and immediately spies his prey. Wasting no time, he springs at the seemingly unconscious warrior. Prophet moves with lightning speed, thrusting upward with a long spear! He impales Bloodstrike through his abdomen, hardly slowing the enraged man down. He grabs Prophet and rams the other end of the spear through his chest! Both combatants are now face to face. All that separates them is the weapon that is jammed through both of their broken bodies! (Holy crap! Someone call a damn medic! These guys are real men! I sob and seek comfort when I break a fingernail!)

Shockingly enough, both continue! That is until both are blasted with a stun rifle by an unseen man. He orders others to load them up. (Now, why were these two so intent on murdering one another? Why are they being loaded up for transport by a mystery man? If you really need to know, you’ll have to read the comics these events crossed into. For the purpose of this narrative, I’ll only be covering the Prophet title and the events contained therein. Plus, I’m feeling especially lazy. It’s the late nights and my advanced age I fear. *sob* Goodbye, teenage years. I remember thee fondly.)

RCO006_1583668647-1The next issue, Prophet stands upon a mighty cliff side. Garbed in a flowing red cloak, he surveys the land around him. Without warning, a mechanical transport hovers overhead. Enemies leap from it, intent on the warriors blood! He expects them to be disciples, but they are demons! Unfazed, Prophet draws his weapons. He slays the creatures with little effort, advancing on their ship. He leaps aboard. Slowly rising to his feet, he sees a figure looming over him wearing a cloak similar to his own. The man slowly reveals his face. Prophet expects to see his own face, as his visions usually end this way. Instead it is the hooded face of Crypt. Prophet jolts awake, crying to the heavens! (I love these vision scenes! So cool! The most “vision-like” experience I’ve ever had while asleep was the time I saw myself peeing and awoke to a wet bed. Not sure why I just shared that with you….)

RCO007_1583668647-1Kirby bursts into the room, concerned for his friend’s welfare. Prophet quickly describes the vision to Kirby. He tells him that this was a sign. A sign that he must confront the monstrous Crypt. Kirby scoffs. They’re being hunted by agents of Ragnarok and the U.S. military alike! They should be laying low, not hunting a beast like Crypt all because of a dream! But finally, the small man gives in and the two hit the open road. (Can you imagine having a pal like Kirby? I mean, say you dream about Twinkies and wake up and tell your friend that you’ve had a vision. You are destined to devour these sweet little cakes. And your friend agrees?! That’s a true friend right there. Or he has the munchies too. Either way, though…)

RCO009_1583668647-1We then change our focus to Ragnarok HQ. Deep within the bowels of this sinister complex, Omen has given the order to pack up everything for immediate relocation. Too many know of this “secret” base now, and measures must be taken. As the soldiers follow their orders, Omen descends to a small subbasement. He muses to himself  about how his disciple units will take over the world and he will rule it as a messiah. To do this, he will need a general. A loyal soldier to aid in accomplishing his dark dream. Within the tube floats a growing piece of flesh! (Cue the spooky music! Why do these supervillains always want to take over the world anyway? Talk about stress! Ugh! Your blood pressure would be through the roof in days! Guaranteed!)

Meanwhile, our heroes find themselves being pursued by armored soldiers within a heavily-armed vehicle! The reprogrammed disciple unit and Prophet return fire, but the enemy seems to have the advantage of numbers on their side. Kirby suddenly conceives a dangerous plan. He enters the tunnel at high speed. The soldiers are delighted. Their prey is trapped! When the soldiers enter the tunnel themselves, they’re met with a grisly surprise. The disciple self-destructs! Kirby and Prophet race to freedom through the opposite end.

RCO021_1583668647Later, the heroes take refuge in a church. As Kirby chats with the priest, an old friend of his, Prophet kneels before a large crucifix, secured on the wall behind the altar. There he thinks of his father, a man of the cloth that was murdered by Nazis long ago. Prophet remembers that he once swore to be a just man like his father, a man of God. He then realizes that perhaps that isn’t his path after all. He is a warrior, a killer. Lost in thought, he barely notices the sound of flapping metallic wings overhead. Judas strikes! (Man, seems kinda wrong to attack a man mid-prayer. And in a church no less! Oh well. She has great legs, so we’ll allow it. But just this once.)

As the two battle, Judas reveals that she is from a grim future where the disciples rule. When she was only five years old, Prophet liberated her from a camp. She learned hope that day. He raised her, loved her like a daughter. But sadly this was not to last. She was retaken by the disciples and reimprisoned. For a long time she held out hope that he would come, like a knight on a white steed, and free her once again. He never came. Her hope turned to hatred for him in time. She became a willing servant of her mechanical masters in the hopes of getting her revenge. Now, in this era, she would have it! (Um. Never mind what I said earlier. Chick is loco! I can’t believe she attacked him in a church! The nerve…)

RCO022_1583668647-1Just when it seems that Judas’ dream of vengeance will be realized, Prophets now badly-damaged, reprogrammed disciple makes its presence known! It grabs onto Judas and counts down! Prophet and the others run as their cybernetic savior explodes behind them! Far away, Crypt remarks with disgust how Judas has failed him. It seems that if you want something done right, you must do it yourself.

To be concluded!

RCO027_1583668647-1This article is dedicated to my son, James Christian Miller. His birthday was this month and I promised him I’d dedicate my next article to him. Here it is, buddy. I hope you like it. This article hardly covers the amount of love and pride I feel when you’re around me. Nothing can. This is my best try. Love, Dad.

“And So It Was Written….” Part 4

prophet-4-variant-nm-5-1-1Aaaand….I’m back! Yes. I have traveled back from the mystical far-off Land of Marvel and returned to the space-age World of Image. It was a long and costly journey, wrought with peril and danger! I lost many of my traveling companions along the way, victims of “The Mouse” and his army of killer princesses! *Sob*…they…they sang while they slaughtered them! Who does that?! Monsters! Sigh…oh well. I must proceed. (They would have wanted that.)

RCO006_1583429966-1-1-1When we last left John Prophet he was on the run from Ragnarok, and by his only ally, Kirby! Very little time has passed since then. A transport of sorts comes to a halt in the frozen wilderness of Colorado. Out steps three of Ragnarok’s cybernetic warriors called Disciples. The last to step forward is a much smaller man. By the familiar half-smoked cigar between his lips and his distinctive white hair, we know this to be Kirby himself. Their arrival does not go unnoticed. Their prey watches them from a snowy bank, fuming with rage at the sight of his “friend” allied with the enemy! (Greetings, fight fans! Boy, do we have a slobber-knocker lined up for you tonight! In one corner, the traitor stands. Yes, we know he’s an old fart and the size of a kindergartner, but he must still be tough, right? In the other corner, the warrior hero with luxurious hair and muscles to spare…John Prophet! -Applause!- Let’s get ready to rumble!)

RCO007_1583429966-1Suddenly, one of the Disciples spies Prophet! It reacts quickly, firing a killing shot! Prophet curses himself silently for hesitating as the shot hits him! The force propels him through the air, engulfing him in a painful energy field! He hits the frozen ground. The Disciple is quickly on him, attacking before Prophet can rise! The warrior’s instincts take over, and he strikes back reflexively and races off into the woods as the cyborg is momentarily stunned! Not to be outdone, the creature fires off one of his robotic hands!  (Yep. You read that right. He fired off his hand as an attack. Now, call me crazy, but I’d definitely be hit by this strange maneuver as I’d be screaming like a pansy at the very sight of my enemy’s rocket-propelled hand approaching my  face! Am I alone here?)  It catches up to the hero quickly and knocks him through the frozen top of a nearby lake! He plunges downward, through the unbearably icy water. The cyborg follows.

RCO011_1583429966-1The two combatants grapple as they sink. The Disciple holds Prophet in a bear hug and energizes its body, electrocuting both of them. Enraged, the hero throws the villain off of him. He then pulls a metallic bo staff weapon. It snaps to full length quickly. He then whirls it around, aiming it like a rifle. The tip fires a devastating energy burst at the shocked enemy! The Disciple floats, unmoving. The warrior emerges from the icy waters. He carries the battle-damaged cyborg on his shoulders like a macabre trophy! (I won’t even crack a joke here about the dangers of shrinkage.)

John Prophet carries the limp being for a distance from the other enemies. He then drops it into a clearing in the snow. Taking the padding from either side of his face and pulling, they unattach, revealing wiring underneath! He takes the wires from his temples and attaches the other ends to the battered Disciple’s head. It awakens with a jolt. It then speaks. It claims that it now serves Jonathan Taylor Prophet! (And here I thought those things were earmuffs or something!)

RCO003_1583428076-1-1The next issue, we find ourselves back at Ragnarok HQ. Philip Omen stands, lit cigarette in hand, surveying all around him with extreme satisfaction. (Why are supervillains in comic books always holding a goblet or glass of wine? Sorry. The cig just reminded me of it. Is it to represent that they’re just so relaxed and at peace with being evil? Nah. They’re just so evil that, even in their off time, they have to do something naughty.)

Why is this madman smiling more than usual? Because Judas, the female winged terror from the future, has come to present day with a message. She tells him that, in her time, his Disciples rule all and that he is seen as a type of messiah. She is but his servant. Her mission? To kill John Prophet before he can become a threat! After she departs on her “holy mission” Omen turns and speaks to the hologram of a red-skinned being. The being, Darkthorn, is pleased with these recent developments, but to make sure that his and Omen’s dream in fact becomes reality, he will be sending someone else to assure it. (Damn! Sexist much? Like Judas can’t get the job done because she’s a woman?! I am appalled! I believe that women are our equals! They are not just pretty faces! Plus…Judas is hoooot!)

RCO007_1583428076-1Elsewhere, back in the forests of Colorado, Kirby and the remaining Disciples search for Prophet. When they approach the frozen lake, they are met with a boobytrap! (Hehehe! I wrote the word “booby”! What? I’m getting old, but I can still find pleasure in the simpler things.) Prophet’s reprogrammed cyborg bursts through the ice! It opens fire on Kirby’s companion Disciple! Then, as if from the heavens, Prophet drops from above firing upon his once-ally! Not to be defeated, Kirby blasts Prophet’s minion and throws himself onto John’s back! Prophet throws Kirby over his head and the battle begins! The two warriors unleash  holy hell upon one another until both are covered in their own blood and the blood of their opponent! Finally, both pull twin firearms at the same time! The standoff begins.

RCO014_1583428076-1That’s when D.O.C.C. finally comes back online! The artificial intelligence calms Prophet’s rage. He lowers his weapons. Kirby sighs with relief. The two soldiers quickly make amends. They then decide it’s time to return to their shared mission. Omen and Ragnarok must be stopped!

While the heroes decide their next course of action, a portal opens not too far away. A monster of a man emerges. He is obviously the one Darkthorn spoke of. His name is Crypt and the war has now truly begun!

To be continued…..

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Dedicated to my nephew, Blade Lee Miller, for his 21st. birthday! Happy birthday and I love you! Now go forth and make the bars sorry they ever invented their “free birthday drink” policy! Mwahahahahaha!

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