Category Archives: 90s Comics

And so it was written….part 6

Finally! We’ve reached the end of the road! It’s certainly been an adventure too, hasn’t it, Unspokenites? As we’ve joined John Prophet on his quest to stop an apocalyptic Earth from ever coming into being, we have all been dealing with the very real and frightening world that now surrounds us in 2020. Though it isn’t a machine-ruled Hell-on-Earth, it is scary. And you know what? We’ve survived. In our own way, we’re warriors, not unlike Prophet. And though we don’t have his power or his sophisticated weaponry, in many ways, we’re stronger. Stronger because we keep on living our lives, despite our fear. (Well, now. That was an actually heartfelt paragraph! Where’s the action? Where’s the lame jokes? Fear not. For the time is nigh!)

We begin our final chapter with Prophet and Kirby sifting through the rubble of Youngblood’s headquarters. What happened, you ask? Crypt happened. Kirby senses something alive beneath a downed pillar. Using his enhanced strength, Prophet lifts it free, revealing the battered and broken forms of the members of Youngblood! The two men leap to action, carefully removing the heroes from the debris. While Prophet continues this, Kirby discovers a bloody shuriken. He hands it to Prophet and comments how he himself fashioned his throwing star long ago. But then how does Crypt have it in his arsenal? (Curious. Not how Crypt had the weapon in his possession, rather how Kirby could tell it was of his creation! Did he leave his damn initials on a throwing star? Who does that?)

Moving on. This moment is interrupted as the hollow corpse of a hero drops from the ceiling, suspended by a long chain! At the other end of the chain, holding the body up, stands the messenger, Crypt himself! (No, I don’t know who the hero is! I’m normally a DC and Marvel guy! Gimme a break!) Prophet turns and stares at his monstrous adversary. As their eyes lock, Crypt uses a type of telepathy. He shows Prophet a glimpse of all of the horrors he’s committed in his long lifetime. When this fades away, a sense of revelation suddenly hits the hero. He bellows, “I know who you are!”

Prophet prepares to attack his enemy but Kirby stops him. The old man reveals that he’s with the warrior for the long haul and that he considers him not as just a friend, but his son. (Sorry. I had to pause here. There was something in my eye. I’m not crying! It was dust, I swear! Can’t a guy have allergies? Geez!) Prophet gives his heartfelt thanks and the two heroes rush off to battle! Sadly, the fight only lasts minutes. Crypt aims a powerful, energy gun at Kirby and pulls the trigger! All that is left is ash! (Damn, more dust!)

Shock quickly becomes rage and Prophet roars like a mighty lion, striking at his nemesis! The two men savagely beat one another to bloody pulps, neither gaining the distinct advantage! Finally, Prophet manages to knock Crypt down and pins the beast to the ground! He knocks the bloodied battleaxe out of reach and tears the hood from his enemy’s face, revealing his own face beneath! Though the hero knew the truth in his heart, seeing the truth face to face shocked him nonetheless. (Didn’t see that coming, huh? Kinda like when Vader was revealed to be Luke’s father! What’s that? You saw this coming a mile away? Umm. So did I. Way too simple to figure out really….damn kids today….)

Crypt uses this moment to kick Prophet far from him. He then leaps, weapon raised for a killing strike! Prophet finds the battleaxe from earlier. When Crypt gets near, he strikes, beheading the monstrous copy! The threat has ended. Prophet turns away from the quickly disintegrating corpse. No sense of relief envelops him. This is just the beginning. Now John Prophet must live every waking moment of the rest of his life in fear. Fear of what he may become one day. (Deep huh? Poor guy. He needs a hug. I mean, I wouldn’t personally want to do it. Dude’s covered in gore and has to smell of B.O.! Nah. I’m good.)

Meanwhile, Philip Omen enters a secret chamber beneath his heavily-fortified complex. He seals the door behind him and turns. Within a tube of fluid floats a cloned body! The body of Jonathan Taylor Prophet! Omen whispers to the body that until the time is right, this copy will have to slumber. Slumber within his building’s CRYPT! (Cue the maniacal laughter and climactic music!)

Well, that’s it. The end of my six part look back at the first volume of Image Comics’ Prophet. I have to admit, this was a royal pain in the ass! But, overall I’m glad I did it. I feel a sense of completion and finality. It’s a good feeling and I have you, the fans who wanted more, to thank for all of it. This is dedicated to all of you! Until next we meet, take care. Much love. -Symbifan

“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…..

RCO017_1583428076-1

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!