A Look Back at Prime #5 (1993)

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.

Hey everyone! If you are looking for something new with my retro reviews of Ultraverse comic books, then you will get it now as I’ve decided to go back to the Prime monthly series for the first time in over thirty days since my last Prime review.

That being said, here is my look back at Prime #5, published in 1993 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Len Strazewski and Gerard Jones, and drawn by the late Norm Breyfogle.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins with an unbelievable yet living cartoon character called Maxi-Man about to strike a young and helpless Kevin (Prime actually) claiming to be doing it for the majesty of Boneyard (a villain of Mantra’s). Fortunately, Kevin got saved by Kelly who pulled him away from Maxi-Man’s deadly strike.

With the local community already in chaos due to Maxi-Man’s rampage, Kevin and Kelly ran to the nearby city park only to be stopped by the him. With her ankle hurt, Kelly could not move from her downed position and tells Kevin to run.

Kevin struggles with the tension building up as Maxi-Man makes his way to Kelly…

Quality

Heavily action-packed, smart, intriguing and engaging this comic book truly is! Let me start with the storytelling here. Len Strazewski and Gerard Jones crafted a great story that not only followed Prime’s exploits but also fleshed out his personality a lot with an emphasis on his civilian life as teenager Kevin who happens to be dealing with the pressure of living a double-life (as an unstable superhero and as a high school student). He pursues to be with Kelly but suddenly finds themselves in trouble with the unexpected presence of Maxi-Man, an in-story cartoon character Kevin admired so much as a child. This not only added to Kevin’s struggle with stress but also complicates his mind. By focusing closely on Kevin, you will feel his struggle a lot.

When it comes to the spectacle, Norm Breyfogle perfectly brought the script to life and ramped up the excitement a whole lot with his illustrations. The visual highlight is the big battle between Prime and Maxi-Man, and even though the fighting is extensive, it never feels dumb nor brainless due to the smart dialogue provided by the writers (note: observe closely the exchange of words Prime and Maxi-Man had with each other). Breyfogle clearly paced the action sequences smoothly and he chose the right moments to draw the action dynamically.

Speaking of dialogue, I love the following line Prime said during the fight with Maxi-Man…

“I’m what you’re supposed to be! I’m a hero! I grew up on your cartoons! I learned about heroism from you! About fighting for what’s right! I don’t know how you got to be real, or why you’re trying to kill us—but I’m gonna show you what you taught me!”

Back to the writing, there is a sub-plot that took place during the big battle. That one added a good amount of mystery and intrigue not only into the story but also to the Ultraverse itself.

Conclusion

2
Kevin (Prime), Kelly and Maxi-Man.

What can I say? Prime #5 is a great read! Personally, when it comes to Prime’s encounters, I found this one to be much more engaging, more fun and more intriguing than even Prime’s encounter with Prototype in the previous issue (which is supposed to be an essential encounter between the Ultraverse’s main superheroes). The way I look at this comic book’s quality, the creators actually over-did themselves to deliver superhero greatness.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Prime #5 (1993), 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 #5 (1993) is highly recommended!


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