Heroes & Villains: ‘Prez’, ‘The Flash’ And The Coronavirus

Welcome to yet another installment of “General Comics Nonsense.” I had made a pitch for this column to be renamed that but it was rightfully shot down. I have a few comics-related odds and ends bouncing around my head today so this seems like the best place to get it out. Yesterday, I was trying to explain DC’s upcoming Three Jokers and the recently completed Doomsday Clock to a friend who isn’t an avid comics reader and I think I came away sounding like an insane person…so that’s what we’re using as a departure point today.

The Hot New Virus Everyone Is Talking About

As I’ve mentioned in previous columns, C2E2 was a generally positive experience for me. A lot of that had to do with following my standard convention protocols of daily vitamin cocktails, excessive hand washing, staying hydrated, and getting a reasonable amount of sleep. I managed to make it out okay but my friend who attended with me contracted what is generally referred to as the “Con Crud.” The “Crud” is a strain of the common cold that exists only at comics conventions and if you’ve attended any larger con for more than a day you’ve probably had it at least once. Some say it sprung forth from dollar bins of 90’s comics but its true origins are shrouded in mystery.

However, the “Crud” ain’t got shit on the new hotness known as COVID-19, the virus that was the talk of the town even though it was only mentioned in hushed tones and/or as a punchline during my time at C2E2. I saw a lot of surgical masks during my time at the con and at least one person cosplaying AS the virus so the general tone in some areas was right on the precipice of hysteria.

All this is worth noting because the week after C2E2 it was announced that the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle was cancelled. One has to wonder what this means long term for other conventions like E3 or even SDCC that are coming later in the year. I’m glad I was able to get to a larger con while the getting was good before promptly returning home to begin hoarding toilet paper and bottled water.

Primary Directive

I’m writing this between waiting for my new books and having just gone to vote in the Michigan Primary. Notable because I went with my parents to our town’s polling station to rock the vote. My father, who has been fairly apolitical for as long as I can remember, had me help him register to vote a couple months back AND had me show him a sample ballot a couple days ago. I’m counting that as a win no matter who comes out on top when the results come in.

Bringing it back around to comics, at some point today I began to think of DC’s criminally overlooked political satire book Prez from 2015. The book was absolutely brilliant and told the tale of the first teenage president who gets elected to the highest office in the land…by Twitter in the year 2036. The book only lasted for 6 out of a planned 12 issues plus a 12-page wrap-up story that was included in a…wait for it…Catwoman Election Night Special.

The near-future setting and the shape of the political landscape in which it takes place is just ridiculous enough to be totally believe given the current state of things. Also, Prez has to deal with an epidemic of Cat Flu that’s sweeping the nation. I’ve been thinking a lot about the Cat Flu these days.

The book by Mark Russell and Ben Caldwell is absolutely worth checking out and the miniseries is available in trade paperback. You’ll probably have to work a bit to find the wrap-up story because I don’t believe it appears in any form other than which it was initially published in. I’d love to see the Young Animal imprint bring Prez back for a second term to provide us with the leadership this country so desperately needs right now.

The Flash #750

Last week saw the publication of The Flash #750 which follows in the footsteps of DC’s Superman #1000 and Detective Comics #1000. It’s a nice premium format salute the character and, as a lifelong fan of the character, I thought it was great and well worth the eight-dollar cover price.

A portion of the book is dedicated to setting up the next major story arc for the title and the rest of the page count is filled with a variety of Flash stories inspired by the character’s historic…run. There’s something for everyone here, Jay Garrick, Wally West, and Barry Allen fans all get something they can enjoy. Admittedly, I’m a little nervous about what’s going to become of the first Wally West after the events of the Flash Forward miniseries. It’s been a rough road for West over the last decade or so from getting erased from existence during Flashpoint, getting brought back in Rebirth, and ultimately kind of committing negligent homicide in Heroes In Crisis (can’t lie, that last one stung a bit).

If you’ve even a casual Flash fan #750 a great issue to check out AND #751 is in shops TODAY!

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