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Over a year ago, I reviewed Prototype #1 and published other Ultraverse comic book reviews that had the armored superhero involved. In recent times, I reviewed Prototype #5 since that comic book was the first of a 2-part crossover between Prototype and The Strangers. Since I already reviewed Prototype #0 to get a good look at the origin of the armored superhero (composed of two different pilots or users working for a corporation), it’s time to go back to one of the early issues of Prototype to discover more of the ultra-hero.
This is my look back at Prototype #2, published in 1993 by Malibu Comics with a story co-written by Len Strazewski and Tom Mason, and drawn by David Ammerman.
The story begins with Prototype (piloted by Jim Ruiz) battling with mechanized opponents as he tries to achieve something. It turns out, the entire encounter was a virtual reality training mission which ended after Jim overloaded his armor’s circuits during the heat of training.
While taking off his armor, Jim discusses some matters with his assistant. He recalls his hard battle with an over-sized, muscular opponent whom he noticed to be communicating with someone. The opponent died which gave the public the false impression that Prototype killed him.
Meanwhile over the headquarters of Ultratech, Marjorie listens to Stanley ranting about the negative press their company got recently. As soon as Stanley calms down, Marjorie noticed that Jim was in trouble according to tech read-outs. They analyzed the risk they are taking with Jim being the Prototype pilot as they make sure nobody would learn that there is more than one active Prototype in their company. Marjorie states that she has taken the initiative and assigned someone to take care of Bob Campbell (the other Prototype pilot)…
In terms of storytelling, this comic book is quite gripping as it deals with elements of corporate politics, heroism and even horror. Without spoiling too much, I should say that the battle near the end of the story brought back memories of the 1984 movie The Terminator which itself combined elements of horror, film noir and sci-fi. There was not much room for character development but that was no problem considering the strong storytelling. For his part, David Ammerman’s drawings were nice and detailed to look at, especially when the story focused more on Bob Campbell.
No doubt about it. Prototype #2 is a very good and entertaining comic book to read. It successfully told two tales (one on Jim and the other on Bob) and cleverly mixed genre elements to deliver solid storytelling. Not only that, this comic book marks one of the early connections between Prototype and Prime as the story took place after the events told in Prime #4.
If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Prototype #2, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy costs $4.
Overall, Prototype #2 (1993) is recommended.
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