Gender-bending in the distant future with Prophet

I've been enjoying Prophet. It's a much-buzzed-about relaunch of the 90s Image series, now under the pen of Indie comics sensation Brandon Graham, with the blessing of series creator Rob Liefeld. It’s come a long way:


Set in the distant, distant future, Prophet follows the otherworldly adventures of "Johns" - cloned soldiers seeded in hibernation pods across the universe by the once-powerful Earth Empire. The empire now lies in ruin, and the handful of Johns who have survived hibernation wake to find an unrecognizable landscape full of gruesome monsters out to get them.


The John clones all seen to be men, bred with specialized skills to allow them to survive in different environments. Some have tails. Some have fur. Some have multiple brains. John Prophet is the main protagonist who has incredible fighting skill and an arm made of symbiotic protoplasm. “Magnus” Big John is a super-strong brute. One John is agile and has a tail. The newly-inroduced John Ka, whose nervous system is bonded with a giant insect is clearly female-bodied. 

John Ka is referred to as both “her,” and "brother." There are other female characters, though no other female-identified Johns. John Ka has only been in the series for a few issues, but so far her different sex has gone unmentioned. Artist Simon Roy posted some of his concept sketches for John Ka and refers to John as "him/her".

It will be interesting to see if the genderqueer status of John Ka is addressed, or if it is simply one of the many creative, challenging parts of the Prophet landscape that we readers get to enjoy without much explanation. One of many reasons to check out this great series!

Josh's picture
on March 4, 2013

Geeks OUT founder, modHERO artist, ragamuffin philosopher, cat enthusiast.

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