Who's Brother Power, the Geek?

Who's This? A rag doll.

The facts: Created by Joe Simon and going straight to series, Brother Power (originally meant to be the FREAK, but that had drug connotations) was a hippy-dippy take on Frankenstein's Monster. It lasted all of two issues in 1968, allegedly cancelled at anti-hippie editor Mort Weisinger's request, with the art for the third issue ready to go. Simon never released plot details or any of the art for it. The character was briefly revived by Neil Gaiman in Swamp Thing Annual #5 (1989) and then again by Rachel Pollack and Mike Allred in the Vertigo Visions - The Geek special (1993). These later stories make Brother Power a "doll elemental". But mostly, it's a lot of cameos.
How you could have heard of him: His most recent appearance of note was in The Brave and the Bold vol.3 #29, a JMS story where he teams up with Batman. That was in 2010. There was an appearance in Scooby-Doo Team-Up (#67-68) in 2013. You might have caught a glimpse of him in the recent Inferior Five mini-series.
Example story: Brother Power, the Geek #1 (September-October 1968) by Joe Simon and and uncredited Al Bare
Going back to the original story, you know from page 1 that this is gonna be a trip trying to be hip.

A philosophical poem is one thing, but casting fictional actors as the characters is next level. Are we to think Brother Power is a movie produced in the DCU? Here's some evidence from Legends #2:

Anyway, this "movie" is about peace-loving and totally drug-free no matter what Weisinger thinks flower children getting abused by Neo-Nazi bikers who drive right into them (how as this comic become more relevant today than it was then?!). Will a hero rise to help them?! Cut to a hip tailor shop where a young man washes out the blood and dresses a soft dummy to dry his clothes over a radiator.
Alchemy in action! It's alive! IT'S ALIVE! And when the bikers ride into the building, they find they can't hurt this boneless protector, but the creature has uncanny strength!
"That's power!" exclaims one of the hippies. "BROTHER Power!" (They call call each other "brother" like they're a church group.) "It doesn't talk... is it evil? Good? Or just a GEEK!" He'll learn to talk in due course, but for now, the lazy life of hippies isn't for him. Flopping across town like a cross between Spider-Man and my Saints' Row avatar in the rag doll mini-game IS:
Well, in chapter 2, he's back with them, so I don't know. They teach him to speak and to play guitar. They send him to school, but his hippie blood makes him want to drop out.
He finds a passion in chemistry. He checks his X-ray and it's all springs. He's still got enough electricity in him to make a light bulb bright. And he soon gets captured by the Psychedelic Circus for its freak show. Hippies to the rescue!
I can't see them needing a freak as mundane as "Pow", but there it is. After he's escaped (and been sewn back together), he twitches to the idea of becoming President! While I'm enjoying the weird stream of consciousness approach, there's quite a bit of jumping around. Maybe Simon was trying to make the story LIKE the protagonist, kinda shapeless, I don't know.
Simon would return to this idea with Prez in the early 70s. But the Geek's run for Congress is interrupted by the Circus pressing charges, and Pow being chased by the police, the National Guard, the Circus fascists, the bikers and the media. Finding himself trapped on the Golden Gate Bridge, Brother Power sees only one way out!
And we're off on another series of disjointed adventures, presumably!

In the late 60s, there was an attempt to make comics for the counter-culture, or perhaps in reaction to it (not quite clear where the script wants to position itself), which gave rise to "pacifist" heroes like Brother Power and Dove of Hawk and Dove. These projects usually proved unworkable because physical violence is a necessary component of superhero comics. As long as old men were writing these comics, they were never going to speak to the counter-culture efficiently, and no surprise that those readers turned to indie comics like Crumb et al. instead.

Who's Next? A guy who likes insects.



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