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Hey Ultraverse fans and superhero comic book enthusiasts! Are you ready for another tale of Prime? What I am about to review is one of the anniversary Ultraverse issues published by Malibu Comics.
What could be new or special to justify the anniversary of the Prime monthly series? We can all find out in this look back at Prime #12, published by Malibu Comics with a story written by Len Strazweski and Gerard Jones, and drawn by the late Norm Breyfogle.
The story begins with a young guy named Kuttner who tests his deadly ability to easily cut through solid objects with his powered blades on his hands. He is driven to get revenge against Prime who broke his hand previously. Kuttner, whose career in entertainment had declined, thinks he can establish a new career for himself as a powered being and Prime is his first target.
Meanwhile at school, Kevin Green (Prime) is struggling with the stress over his parents’ separation which he is guilty of. He finds it very weird to be back in school after everything he went through such as his struggles with Colonel Samuels, the Federal Government, Break-Thru and more. After slamming his locker shut, students begin to move away from him…
To begin with, the writing by Len Strazewski and Gerard Jones is very solid as expected. That being said, the real heart of the story in this comic book is Kevin Green’s personal struggle with life not just with the difficulty of balancing himself between his personal life and being a superhero, but also his place in local society being tainted as a result of his acts as Prime. The way that the events of the previous issues affected (in negative ways) the local community’s perception of Kevin was very compelling and straight to the point.
The strong writing, unsurprisingly, worked very well with the character development. Kevin was presented to be struggling with making the right decisions and he struggles to analyze what would happen if he presents himself to others as Prime or as simply himself. As for the scene between Prime and Kelly’s mother, there was that touch of awkwardness (through Prime) that was present as the scene raised the disturbing idea of the two possibly getting involved sexually.
When it comes to the spectacle of action, there is little to be seen here but the good news is that Norm Breyfogle illustrated them to be energetic and eye-catching. The late illustrator really knew hot to ramp up the energy for the readers making the most out of what it is limited.
Prime #12 is a pretty engaging read. Was it worth the anniversary promotion? It is indeed! If you look back at Prime #1 and read all the succeeding issues leading to this one, you will notice how much Kevin Green changed as well as how his personal growth moved. In a way, Prime #12 symbolizes the growing-up pains Kevin keeps on having.
It should be stated that being 64-pages, Prime #12 is actually one of Malibu’s flip issues. The other side of this comic book is Ultraverse Premiere #3 which contains standalone short stories of Prime, War Strike and a certain villain. This comic book also has “A Primo Farewell” which is a nice tribute (by today’s standards) to Norm Breyfogle. For the newcomers reading this, Breyfogle was one of outstanding comic book artists in America and before joining Malibu Comics, he worked for other publishers like Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Eclipse Comics and First Comics. At DC Comics, his work on their icon Batman is widely remembered. Breyfogle passed away in 2018.
If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Prime #12 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the comic book costs $8.
Overall, Prime #12 (1994) is highly recommended!
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