A Look Back at Prototype #12 (1994)

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.

Apart from the in-depth storytelling, spectacle and solid characterization consistently delivered by writers Tom Mason and Len Strazewski for the Prototype monthly series of the Ultraverse, I also enjoyed their implementation of corporate intrigue. In fact, the storytelling in issues #7, #8, #9, #10 and #11 also showed corporate intrigue gradually building up leading to something. Without spoiling the story too much, what happened in issue #11 showed a clear change of direction involving Prototype pilots Jimmy Ruiz and Bob Campbell complete with something brewing at Ultratech.

Will the payoff of the corporate intrigue build-up be realized in the next Prototype issue? We can all find out together in this look back at Prototype #12, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Tom Mason and Len Strazewski, and drawn by Roger Robinson.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins at the Ultratech tower in New York City. At the lobby, Felicia Campbell gently knocks the guard out with an injection and takes control of the security desk to allow Bob Campbell/Ranger and Jimmy Ruiz/Prototype (wearing a “goofy” outfit) to come in and, together, they move to the basement for a certain need (of Jimmy) – the Prototype armor.

Suddenly Ultratech’s newest hire Prototype Mark III fires a blast at Ranger’s back pushing him down and surprising both Jimmy and Dr. Campbell. The dark-armored Prototype Mark III introduces himself to Jimmy as his replacement and states: Ultratech has somebody man enough to do what it takes!

With Bob Campbell beside him, Jimmy recalls that Prototype Mark III was one of the trainees that his boss Leland often flaunted in front of him. What Jimmy finds hard to believe is that one of the trainees was actually placed into an actual Prototype suit…

Quality

Once again, the creative team delivered the great stuff with storytelling, twists, spectacle and suspense all with a high level of quality. This comic book suggests that careful planning on plotting, characterization and intrigue were done by Tom Mason and Len Strazewski with a good amount of care and timing. As for what I mentioned earlier, I do confirm that the payoff for the corporate intrigue build-up has been realized big time and I should state that this comic book’s ending is very powerful (and also enticing for reading the next issue). This one is a smash hit!

This is only a few of the many action scenes that worked nicely with the in-depth story.

Conclusion

Prototype #12 is indeed great, worthy of serving as the anniversary issue (the two words stated on the cover) and as the climax of the first year of its series. For the most part, the series told events of not one but two Prototype pilots (the current one Jimmy Ruiz and the past one Bob Campbell) who eventually got together just as the series’ direction took a solid turn reflecting the changing interests of Ultratech. This one is definitely one of the best Ultraverse comics published in 1994 and it surely proved that the storytellers were not afraid to take risks or move against conventional storytelling (as far as armored superheroes go). Lastly, this comic book encouraged me to look back at issues #0 and #1.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Prototype #12 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the comic book costs $8.

Overall, Prototype #12 (1994) is highly recommended!

+++++

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