Tag Archives: Rob Liefeld

“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!

“And So It Was Written….” part 3

prophet-4-variant-nm-5-1-1

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