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Sunday, 25 June 2017

Prez 2 - Prez plays chess

Simon and Grandenetti try a satire of the Bobby Fischer chess match in Prez 2 (Oct/Nov 73).

The story opens with Prez on a world tour spreading his message of Peace in our Time. It's a strange sequence, as there is violence everywhere he goes, which Prez seems oblivious to. And the phrase itself is Chamberlain's infamous appeasement of Hitler.

Then Prez returns to the White House and we meet the Vice President, a woman named Martha. I think this is meant to be Martha Mitchell, the wife of the Attorney General under Nixon, who was known for calling reporters and revealing too much information. I might be wrong about that, though. She is playing chess against Chessking, the American champion, who is about to have a match against his Russian opponent, Queen Errant.

Chess is a bit more dramatic in Prez's world. I perhaps should also mention that, in 1972, there was a major world chess championship between an American and a Russian, which this plays off of.

Like Bobby Fischer in the real match, Chessking's behaviour is erratic. He makes strange claims of mental attacks by the Russians and storms out, forfeiting the game.

The a series of bombings take place in Washington, by robotic pawns. Prez hunts down Eagle Free, who has decided not to work out of the FBI building, but instead set up a tepee where he can be close to animals.

Together they stake out some sights and fight some of the robot pawns. They trace the electrical energy controlling the robots to the Russians embassy.

And, to no one's surprise, the Russians are behind everything, including Chessking's loss in the match. Queen Errant is about to kill Prez and Eagle Free, but the FBI chief calls in some birds who fly into Queen Errant's face, and she drops her gun. Yes, this is really that bad.

The epilogue of the story gets far more serious. Prez is trying to pass a gun control law, but of course this is the US so there is no chance of that ever happening. Then someone shoots into the White House. Oh no!

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