BOOKS 2 SCREEN PICK
Prez by Mark Russell, Ben Caldwell and Mark Morales (DC Comics, 2016)
Summary: Meet Beth Ross, the first teenage 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.
A world where corporations gained person-hood (now!), Corn-dog girl Beth Ross finds herself elected president of these United States, has to appoint a cabinet, and goes on a World Apology Tour ’37. Russell, Caldwell, and Morales very slyly satirise our worst fears about politics and technology. (it’s all coming true!)
The whole time I was reading this book, I was in disbelief that it could be a DC series. Apparently Prez first appeared in the DCU in 1973. If you want an on-the-nose political satire that moves quickly, with references to contemporary issues of socio-economic disparity and global corporate corruption, get this book asap. It’s set about 20 years in the future and scarily believable, a comics version of the movie Idiocracy. It’s a brilliant, though unintended reflection of the current political climate. The books main flaw is that it was written 3 years before we knew that it wasn’t a joke, it’s not a joke, all of it’s happening. Prez is a comic about a teenage president tasked with saving a dying country in a dying world. It came to us from the goddamned future and we all missed it.