Artist and creator Rob Liefeld took to social media to reveal the return of one of his oldest characters - Prophet. In a Facebook post, Liefeld explained the character will return in a special 50th issue “loaded with goodies.” Liefeld was also enthusiastic about the character’s appearance outside of comic books, having read the outline for the Prophet’s upcoming feature film debut.

John Prophet first appeared in Youngblood #2 in 1992. Liefeld originally intended for the character to appear in X-Force while he was still working for Marvel Comics, but ultimately decided against it. A homeless man in World War II, Prophet is given superhuman powers as well as bloodthirsty instincts as a result of experiments from a time-traveling scientist. He is then discovered by the Youngblood team in the present day. His appearance in Youngblood ultimately led to the character receiving his own series.

Prophet’s first series ran for about eleven issues, followed by a second series by Chuck Dixon that ran for eight issues. The character was also the subject of a one-shot from Awesome Comics in 2000. It wasn’t until 2012 that Prophet was revived for a new series by Brandon Graham and Simon Roy for a futuristic storyline set thousands of years in the future. The series received critical acclaim over the course of a forty-five issue run followed by a sixth-issue mini-series and two-issue mini-series.

This isn’t the first time one of Rob Liefeld’s creator-owned characters has come close to the big screen. The character was first optioned by TriStar for a film way back in 1996, with Rob Liefeld serving as a producer. Unfortunately, the project fell into limbo during pre-production. In 2018, the rights to the character were acquired by Studio 8 films. That same year, Liefeld also announced a seven-figure offer with Netflix for several of his Extreme titles, but the deal ultimately fell apart.

Prophet’s return couldn’t have come at a better time for Liefeld. Nostalgia for the 90’s is at an all-time high, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that Liefeld has proven he can draw feet. The nostalgia craze, combined with Liefeld’s self-deprecating social media presence, has led to a re-evaluation of Liefeld’s art and a new generation of fans. Still, there’s a lot of unanswered questions about Prophet’s return, including most importantly the creative team involved. While Graham and Roy’s previous run was certainly well-received in 2012, fans will definitely want Liefeld in the driving seat this time. Just what shape Prophet #50 will take remains to be seen, but 2020 certainly looks to be a banner year for Rob Liefeld.

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