♦ Tripwire’s contributing writer Scott Braden gives us his latest in his series of features on comic stories or series that never happened. This week it’s the turn of Rob Liefeld’s X-Force – The Prophet Connection …
Rob Liefeld’s X-Force – The Prophet Connection
Love them or hate them, these popular four-color characters and their books by comic book prodigy Rob Liefeld turned up fun to the extreme in comicdom for more than three decades. As Scottish comics writer extraordinaire Mark Millar aptly pointed out in his introduction to Liefeld’s 2008 Youngblood hardcover (a collection putting a spit and polish on the first quintet of issues of the millions-selling series), the superstar creator’s “pages are like catnip to the kids and there’s no surprise that he remains the biggest selling artist of his generation.”
Now that’s saying something.
One of Liefeld’s other iconic characters who found his way from the storyteller’s vivid imagination to the four-color page is the heroic super-soldier, Prophet. Introduced in the pages of Youngblood, Jonathan Taylor Prophet was a warrior without a war and a survivor of a doomed experiment. Now a hero for the ages, he fights the villainous Crypt in a battle that transcends time.
Although that is the premise for Prophet that Liefeld finally decided on, the creator’s original designs for the character were very different – as Liefeld described it in the back-matter of the first issue of Maximum Press’ top-selling Prophet/Cable mini-series, which came out in 1997.
“ …Prophet was originally to be featured in an X-Force story arc that found [our hero] assuming the role of a future cop from Cable’s timeline. He was to have been dispatched to the 20th Century with orders to capture Cable and return him to the timelord named Kang the Conqueror. By the time I was to begin telling that story, though, Image Comics had exploded onto the scene and my attention was drawn away from Cable and company.
“I took Prophet with me and spent the last five years far away from Cable, X-Force, and Marvel Comics.”
Although the mini-series was not the original story that Liefeld had in mind for his stint on X-Force, he was still granted permission to tell an iteration of that story within the pages of the comic book company crossover entitled Prophet/Cable. And that is something kids of all ages can enjoy anytime, anywhere. In fact, dig for yourself!
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