Review: Prez #1

I was really eager to read the new Prez series. I have a very fond place in my heart for Joe Simon’s original Prez series which only ran for four issues. I’m a little disappointed that this is only going for twelve issues this time, but if the comic is good, I’ll take whatever comes from it.

I didn’t know what to make of the new series, but was hopeful after DC’s sneak preview, which takes place later in the series. Because of the elements of the story, this review could be considered to have spoilers in it. That being said, let’s see about this new Prez series.

Prez (2015-) 001-000PREZ #1

Art and cover by BEN CALDWELL
1:25 Variant cover by BRET BLEVINS
On sale JUNE 17 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 12, $2.99 US • RATED T

Meet Beth Ross, the first teenaged President of the United States. In a nation where corporations can run for office, the poor are used as human billboards, and tacos are delivered by drone, our only hope is this nineteen-year-old Twitter sensation. But the real question isn’t whether she’s ready for politics – it’s whether politics is ready for her. Don’t miss the start of this new, 12-issue miniseries!

The world that Beth Ross inhabits is very clearly defined and is obvious at how different  from ours, yet satirically similar. The original Prez series featured a world almost identical, except for the removal of the minimum age required for holding public office. The difference there is that Prez’s election was part of a movement, and he actively ran for President, whereas this Prez is the equivalent of a write-in candidate. We also see a bit more time devoted to establishing Beth’s complete focus in taking care of her father and trying to save his life, to the point of signing up to compete on a brutal reality show that promises to make winners billionaires.

Prez (2015-) 001-019The other candidates and the way one of them is chosen is clearly established in this version and compared with the final two pages that feature this version’s Boss Smiley, establish that the political process of this United States is so corrupted that it’s in desperate need of a Prez, and I only hope that she is as successful as the original Prez was in changing his United States.

The artwork is excellent, with the absurd elements like clothing the poor with brand logos depicted in a way that make them real in a way that prose would not. Ben Caldwell is showing just what comics is good at, depicting the visual in a way that words can just not convey. The 21st century media technology makes this even more possible. The media is presented wonderfully, thanks in large part to colorist Jeremy Lawson. Caldwell and Lawson work well together, and I hope this level keeps up throughout the mini-series.

We’ve got another series with a young, female protagonist that is not defined by her appearance, but by her motives. Those motives are admirable and directed towards helping. With her social station, that help is focused on those close to her, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens when she has the capability to help millions of people.

Wow, DC, it looks like you can do it right sometimes.