A Look Back at Prime #15 (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.

Hey Ultraverse fans and superhero comic book geeks! For those of you who read several comic book of Prime, do you enjoy his struggles on setting things right? That is a theme that will be explored in this new Prime retro comic book review.

The good news here is that the legendary George Perez is involved. Now that the details have been set, here is a look back at Prime #15, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Len Strazewski and Gerard Jones, and art done by George Perez with ink work by Dennis Jensen.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Prime’s arrival at a creepy, old looking residence somewhere in Hollywood. He learned that inside the place is the secret headquarters of a drug trafficking operation that allegedly affected half of Los Angeles.

Previously, he beat up a man in front of several abandoned youth and left him bloody. Under intense pain, the man revealed to him where to find the drug trafficking operation leader as well as the parents of the youth. The boss was described as Papa Verite. The man told Prime he can find Papa Verite but cannot touch him.

As he walks towards the front door, Prime thought to himself: Maybe he thought I didn’t have the guts to hurt this “Papa.” Maybe he thinks Prime’s a nice boy, like he used to be! Maybe I should’ve hurt him worse to show him I’ve changed! I’m not just a freaked-out 13-year-old with an ultra-powered body anymore! I’m not just a helpless kid named Kevin whose dad ran out on him! I’m Prime! I can handle anything!

After breaking through the front door, what Prime discovers inside is very disturbing…

Quality

A rather disturbing scene since Prime is truly a teenage boy inside all that muscle.

Let me be clear from the start that, once again, the writing by Strazewski and Jones is very strong. To start with, the story has a theme about doing the right things (including helping others by means of getting rid of someone who made victims out of them) without consulting or informing the local authorities. In a way, Prime moved and acted like a vigilante facing criminal elements related to illegal drugs. There were also elements of military conspiracy, molestation and indecent relationship.

When it comes to characterization, it comes to no surprise that Prime (who really is a teenager inside his body) is pushed to the limits of his emotions with his ability to withstand pressure really tested by the presence of certain people from his past who haunted him. Prime is convincing when he is shown with the impulse and arrogance of a teenager who would not stop when he wants to set things right.

The art by George Perez, unsurprisingly, is great to look at. You won’t just see Prime and familiar characters drawn in high detail with the distinct art style of Perez here. What you will see is how creative the famous illustrator proved he is with the visual presentation complete with very expressive facial expressions. More on the characters, Perez also implemented horror elements to his drawings and he really succeeded in making some scary images here and there.

Conclusion

Striking art by George Perez.

This is a very solid read. Prime #15 (1994) is actually a horror themed tale laced with crime elements and drama all molded into a superhero story. There is an element of good-versus-evil here but in my view, it’s a dramatization of Prime being pushed to the limits of his emotions and his sanity. In a way, it is a stress test for the overly muscular major Ultraverse hero that happens to be quite engaging to read.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Prime #15 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the comic book costs $8.

Overall, Prime #15 (1994) is recommended.

+++++

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