A Look Back at Freex #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.

Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1990s arts and culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the wild 1990s and explore a part of Malibu Comics’ Ultraverse through a tale of Freex.  

Since after facing off with Contrary (who eventually became part of UltraForce) and her so-called school and students, Freex had been traveling far and long (refer to my previous Freex reviews here, here and here) and gained Old Man as a useful companion. Along the way, they encountered the unknown deep underground and even saw a powerful being. They even got to the city of Denver temporarily. As they went on, they found the path that led them back to civilization.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Freex #15, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Gerard Jones and drawn by Scott Kolins. This is a flip-side comic book with Ultraverse Premiere #9 (1994) on the other side.  

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Freex – composed of Plug, Sweet-Face, Pressure, Anything and new member Cayman – have been traveling for some time deep underground with Old Man. They find themselves back in San Francisco, the one city that brought them together. While still a long distance away from the city proper and there are no locals who could see them, the team cautiously move to a high communications tower. Michael/Plug uses his special ability to transform himself into electronic matter and makes his way through the communications network of the city to do something very important. Cayman meanwhile becomes the object of discussion between Pressure and Sweet-Face as he has yet to share with them details about himself.

As Cayman himself was part of Contrary’s academy and joined Freex recently, he has trouble gaining the trust of the others. After wearing new clothes that Lewis found, a guy suddenly appears to them. He introduces himself to them as Evan…  

Quality

The very evil Rafferty monitoring Freex secretly and enjoying his advantage over them.

Considering what happened in the previous issues, this story feels like a breath of fresh air not only because of the new location the team got into but also because of strong twists that happened. Instead of going through fantastical encounters, Freex found themselves in situations that are more grounded with reality (within Ultraverse standards specifically) and more notably, the story emphasized crossover as Freex and Old Man encountered Firearm. The said crossover, quite cleverly, sets up Freex into a collision course with the serial killer Rafferty (who encountered The Strangers elsewhere within the Ultraverse). For the newcomers reading this, Rafferty is one of the most evil characters of the Ultraverse who has murdered a lot of people – including his own parents – and has developed tremendous hatred of Ultras.

The inclusion of Rafferty here also sheds light on the Freex’s past connection with the Night Man (click here and here). More notably, the said serial killer turned out to be so resourceful and totally obsessed with murdering people with special abilities, he became a formidable force towards Freex. This leads to a pretty powerful and twisting conclusion that must be seen.  

Conclusion

The gang by the tower.

With a good amount of intrigue, characterization spectacle, strong dialogue and the element of crossover, Freex #15 (1994) is a pretty engaging comic book to read. The biggest feature here is having Freex in a conflict with a very obsessed killer who not only hates Ultras but also has an extensive record of murdering many people over a long period of time. In my view, the Freex-Rafferty conflict was nicely structured and it added depth to the plot. What happened in the end of this comic book should resonate with dedicated fans of Freex.

Overall, Freex #15 (1994) is highly recommended.

+++++

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