Of all the ‘DC You’ titles to come out this year, Prez by far was the one that took me most by surprise. With its cynical, but smart and clever take on the future of America and its politics (which sadly seems like a possibility despite the absurdity of it), it provides great laughs and also some rather harsh, heavy moments. The conclusion to the first arc is here. Is it good?
Prez #6 (DC Comics)
The cat flu epidemic has gotten even further out of control and has become the worst health crisis America has ever seen. President Beth Ross tries meeting with the heads of some of the industries that could create a vaccine for this outbreak, but the costs that Boss Smiley and his cronies ask for may be too much. How will our young leader solve this situation before things are too late?
There were some rumors leading up to this that Prez would be ending with this issue and it wouldn’t be coming back next year like suggested (the sales on the comic are rather low). However, the writer has confirmed it will be coming back in March, so there isn’t anything to worry about. Though, even if this issue was to be the end like rumored, it wouldn’t have been too bad of an ending. Prez #6 is a wonderful conclusion to the first half of this series (or end to this first of two mini-series). While it leaves off on a cliffhanger and a few things are still up in the air (the situation with the drones, military issues, a cure for the flu, and Boss Smiley more than certainly wanting payback for the humiliation at the end of the issue, the comic does bring some good resolution. Beth really feels like she is coming into her own as a president and making some big sacrifices, the cat flu situation has been contained for now, Tina the Robot has found the role in life she wants, and things in general seem to be looking up for the moment. It brought in a lot of the elements that have been building up throughout these first six issues, brought into play here in pretty neat and fun ways. It gave enough to leave you satisfied, but still left plenty of things on the table to make you want to come back for more.
I always knew sentient company mascots would be the end of us. Damn the Wal-Mart logo!
Overall, Mark Russell’s writing on the comic was fantastic. The characterization and development are great, making Beth Ross one of the best female characters in comics this year (in my personal opinion of course). While naive and still working out how the political game works, she is still very smart and crafty. She makes hard decisions that will make her unpopular and may make enemies, but she knows they are the right decisions and works with other people to help make things work in the country. The storytelling and structure feel stronger than ever—where in previous issues, the comic was a bit all over the place in its satire of politics and American culture, this one kept the focus on the story and the big characters of the comic. It smoothed the comic out and kept it focused, making this very engaging to read. The humor and satire though is still fantastic and there are plenty of great lines, visual gags, and jokes throughout the comic that just capture the insanity of this and our own world perfectly (like the Church of Wormology). The dialogue is great as well and there’s just never a weak point in the entire ride.
The same thing can be said about Ben Cadwell’s artwork. Outside of one odd transition in the comic between scenes and some odd, featureless voids for backgrounds, the artwork was on fire. The characters are still drawn very well and very expressive, selling a lot of the emotion and humor in the scenes (especially the DNN news anchor whose hairstyle is constantly shifting and changing in every scene she is in). The layouts are easy to follow and the comedy, expecially its timing and how it’s portrayed, looks great. The scenes and angles are nice and laid out, and brief bits of action don’t look too bad. Just a really good looking comic.
Now, is that finding with or without the help of supermarket employees?
Any nays there may be with this comic are miniscule at best and do not detract from enjoyment and quality of the comic at all.
Is It Good?
Prez #6 is an absolutely fantastic finale to the first half of this series. It brings a lot of things that have been building up through these past six issues to a head here, making for a great conclusion with strong artwork and even stronger writing. This is quite possibly one of the best comics DC or even any company has put out this entire year. It’s coming back in March and even if it wasn’t, it would be a terrible shame to miss out on one of the best comics of 2015.