A Look Back at Prime #2

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

As seen many times in the history of American comic book publishing, there is the ever-present male superhero with the clean short hair, a muscular build, a tight body suit and a cape. Such a superhero has the so-called classic ability to fly and as well having superhuman strength. To put things in perspective, this is the so-called Superman influence on superhero comics. Superman is undoubtedly an icon of not just American pop culture but also of the United States culture in general.

Considering Superman’s iconic status, it is no surprise that many other publishers imitated the character to add some zest into their own superhero comic book franchise. For the Ultraverse of Malibu Comics, their own parallel to DC Comics’ Superman is none other than Prime (who is also inspired somewhat by Shazam/Captain Marvel).

Cover
A great looking cover by the late Norm Breyfogle.

For this retro comic book review, we’ll take a close look at Prime #2, the Ultraverse comic book published by Malibu Comics in 1993 with a story co-written by Gerard Jones and Len Strazewski, and art by the late Norm Breyfogle. Previously, I reviewed Prime #1 which you can right here.

Early story

The story begins with teenager Kevin Green struggling heading home in the suburb at night completely naked. After Kevin falls down just outside the front door, his mother opens it and was shocked to see him naked (with some traces of green slim on his skin). Kevin could not recall what happened to him.

2
Imagine yourself being naked walking home in the middle of the night within the local community.

Shortly after, Kevin is in the hospital with his parents. The doctor could not figure out what’s wrong with Kevin and only stated that his failure to remember could be the result of psychological trauma. Alone in the room, Kevin watches TV news footage of Prime (himself under disguise) and his parents arrive. His mother tells him that he will be okay.

Meanwhile in a discreet location, two men are analyzing the recent appearance of Prime in Somalia. One of them orders the release of Organism 8….

Quality

Prime #2 is clearly a strong follow-up to the launch issue. Co-writers Gerard Jones and Len Strazewski crafted a story that took its time to flesh out Kevin Green/Prime while simultaneously building up suspense and details regarding a sinister force that has links with the government, and they won’t stop until they get their target Prime.

On character development, this comic book takes a deeper look at the private life of Kevin (who only appeared as himself at the end of issue #1) especially at his high school. Here, the school is still recovering from the damage Prime caused (including hurting the school’s coach).

The highlight in this comic book is the exploration of the friendship between Kevin and Kelly. As such, the suspense related to the two really started to build up given the fact that in issue #1, Kevin appeared in front of her not as himself but as his superhero form as Prime. Kelly found it cool that Prime talked to her although she’s disturbed to see him seriously injure their coach. Kevin himself is struggling with the weight of not only keeping his superhero identity secret but also with the consequences of the violence he caused as Prime. Even worse, many students in his school find him a freak but Kelly remains sympathetic to him.

5
At school…

Visually, this is still a very good looking comic book. Norm Breyfogle’s art is very lively whether he draws out the local community that Kevin belongs to, draws the action scenes, draws the monstrous Organism 8, and emphasizing more of Prime. I also love the way Breyfogle drew the facial expressions. For the newcomers reading this, Breyfogle’s style has a cartoonish look but never backs down with comic book-style spectacle.

The spectacle of this comic book, unsurprisingly, looks very good. The action scenes show a lot of power and seeing Prime and Organism 8 hit each other is no less brutal.

Conclusion

10
Norm Breyfogle’s great visuals on Kevin Green becoming Prime!

While Prime #1 was a tremendous creative kick-off for its superhero and its own series, Prime #2 is a very solid progression. This comic book marked the beginning of the build-up of suspense as well as the friendship between Kevin and Kelly, and ultimately it was a fun and compelling reading experience.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Prime #2, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $4 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $8.

Overall, Prime #2 is highly recommended.


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