Monday, August 31, 2015

Prez: A Review

Prez is a new offering from DC Comics' Vertigo imprint.  The premise is very simple: in the year 2036, a teenager named Beth Ross is elected President of the United States.  Hijinx ensue.
Or, I suppose they are meant to ensue.
So far, Prez has been neither funny nor entertaining.
In the first issue we are given a vision of future America where corporations run the country through corrupt politicians.
Is this meant to be shocking?
It isn't.
There is nothing shocking or amusing about the world that Mark Russell has created.  It's pretty much the world right outside your window.  Politicians trade favors all the time. They get bought and traded like hookers at a sleazy bachelor party today.  We all know this.
So, what about the protagonist? What about Beth Ross?
Three issues in and she is about as interesting as unbuttered toast.  She got elected President via an Internet campaign organized by future-Anonymous after appearing in a supposedly embarrassing internet video.  As a representation of apathy and angst, she does okay.  As a protagonist and/or everyman character, I think she falls far of the mark.
I don't care about this character. I don't care about this world.
This title is meant, I think, to be a kind of satire on our current world.  But even there, it fails.  Satire is meant to have bite.
This?  This doesn't have bite. This doesn't have teeth.  This title is trying to gum us to death, and it's failing at that, too.  At best, it's covering our faces with warm saliva.
Prez is meant to be a 12-issue miniseries.  After three issues, I'm wondering if it'll last even that long.
Maybe Russell is holding his funny stuff in reserve?  Maybe future issues will have bite.
If they do, good for them.
I, alas, will not be there to witness the hijinx.
After three issues of blandness, I am ditching this title.
Maybe I'll pick it up as a trade, if DC released it as such.
But I wouldn't bet a Presidential election on it.

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