Prez #1, 1995, DC Comics, Cover by John Eder.
The POP Retro Cover Of The Week continues its examination and celebration of great comic covers from the 1960s through the 2000s, this week returning to the Nineties, a decade when DC’s Vertigo imprint was at its creative peak. One of its titles featured a revival of a quirky, cult classic book from the 1970s about a teenage President of the United States.
When the 26th Amendment lowering the voting age to 18 passed in 1971, Joe Simon was inspired to create PREZ, a series about an imaginary America where Prez Rickard becomes the first teenage President. Prez’ adventures only lasted four issues, but the concept was edgy and popular enough for other writers to use it or reboot it many times through the decades since, including a 1995 Vertigo Visions one-shot titled Prez: Smells Like Teen President...
The tale was an ode to Generation X, as well as an overtly political commentary by author Ed Brubaker, and his opinion that the presidencies of Reagan and Bush spawned a cancer that was eating away at the collective soul of the nation.
Cover artist John Eder gives a nod to the book title reference, by including a Nirvana sticker on the back of Prez’ appropriately ‘70s model car, along with other 1990s bands. Eder’s illustration is moody, gritty, and gives hints to the patriotic battles Prez will fight against TERROR and POVERTY and POLLUTION in the story. Eder's choice to depict Prez’ face in shadow is a curious one, but adds to the mystery and suspense. A figure stands on the roof of the car, flashing the famous / infamous Nixon twin peace signs. Is the image an homage to Prez, echoing his 1973 PREZ #1 cover corner pose and his inaugural parade? Or does the figure represent the hopeful American public, on the road toward peace, with this teenage President leading the way in the distance?
Either way, it’s an evocative vision for an apt Election Week Edition of POP Retro Cover Of The Week!
Now GET OUT AND VOTE!
Next week: A cover from the 2000s!