A Look Back at Prototype #4 (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.

One of the things that I like most about the Prototype monthly series of the Ultraverse is that it follows the respective exploits of not one but two men who got involved as pilots of Ultratech’s powered suits of armors. Bob Campbell is the older Prototype pilot from the past who got succeeded by Jimmy Ruiz, a much younger guy doing the corporation’s wishes.

So far, the dual-narrative approach to storytelling worked well for me and it is one of the more defining elements of the Prototype series. We can find out more with this look back at Prototype #4, published in 1993 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Tom Mason and Len Strazewski and drawn by David Ammerman.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins in New York City where Jimmy Ruiz looks down at the streets from the balcony of a tower. He remembered the old days when he used to live down there and spend time with his amigos. A pretty lady is on his bed with the blanket covering her naked body. After some talk, they make love with each other.

Over at the headquarters of Ultratech, a lady searches for Jimmy claiming she knows he’s living right there. The security guard tells her that Jimmy is not listed in the residential directory, and asked her to call the company in the morning. She leaves and passes by a man with a coat.

The coated guy approaches the security guard and asked for the name and contact number of their building manager. He claims to be look to sublet some office space….

Quality

15
Solidly fun action!

This is another well-written story by Tom Mason and Len Strazewski. In here, the new antagonist named Wrath was introduced and he certainly is not another generic bad guy opposite the superhero. During the heat of battle between him and Prototype (Jimmy Ruiz), you will learn nice details about Wrath through the banter. For one thing, Wrath works for a superior (like Prototype) and even though it is normal for him to use violence as a means of survival or winning, he makes it a point not to hurt civilians. The same conflict also paved the way for further development of the personality of Jimmy who is not only struggling with his job as Prototype pilot but also living with things that his employer physically implanted into his body that’s supposed to link him with the armor.

On the other hand, there is a short segment following former Prototype pilot Bob Campbell which served as a strong ending for the comic book. You really have to read it.

Conclusion

11
And the battle begins…

I really like this comic book. It’s got all the fun and compelling stuff any reader can enjoy. The introduction of Wrath alone is worth the cover price.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Prototype #4 (1993), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $4.

Overall, Prototype #4 (1993) is highly recommended!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Prototype #3 (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.

Are you geeks and comic readers ready for another trip back to the good old days in the 1990s when the Ultraverse line of comic books was published by Malibu Comics in competition with the superhero offerings of Marvel, DC and Valiant Comics?

Here is a look back at Prototype #3, published in 1993 by Malibu Comics with a story by Tom Mason, Len Strazewski and drawn by David Ammerman.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Jimmy Ruiz (current Prototype user) in a private jet with his corporate companion Hastings. He’s feeling restless over the delay at the airport.

On a large commercial airplane, a gang of armed, masked men suddenly enter stating they claim the plane in the name of Terrordyne, Inc. Passengers naturally got frightened.

From a distance, Jimmy noticed the trouble happening and told Hastings to call security.

Meanwhile in Chicago, an armed lady talks to someone over the phone. In New York, men start to do some work on the body of Glare, a huge green-skinned figure. He is being prepared for Aladdin…

Quality

11
The money shot of this comic book.

Unsurprisingly, stories of heroic struggles (told through Jim and Bob respectively), corporate intrigue and fighting the bad (in this issue: new villain Heater) were the most defining elements of this comic book. The good news here is that there is still a cohesive story told by Tom Mason and Len Strazewski. One of the more notable parts of the story was Bob Campbell’s reuniting with Felicia which for me made a lot of sense since I already read Prototype #0. Once again, David Ammerman did a good job visualizing the script.

Conclusion

5
Glare in the possession of a group.

Prototype #3 is another fun read that has a careful mix of spectacle, character development and corporate culture exposition. While it does not have the horror element of issue #2, its focus on the corporate side and secret operations made this comic book deep. At the same time, this comic book solidly established Jimmy and Bob as the protagonists of the series.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Prototype #3 (1993), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $4. The near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $13.

Overall, Prototype #3 (1993) is recommended.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Prototype #2 (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.

Over a year ago, I reviewed Prototype #1 and published other Ultraverse comic book reviews that had the armored superhero involved. In recent times, I reviewed Prototype #5 since that comic book was the first of a 2-part crossover between Prototype and The Strangers. Since I already reviewed Prototype #0 to get a good look at the origin of the armored superhero (composed of two different pilots or users working for a corporation), it’s time to go back to one of the early issues of Prototype to discover more of the ultra-hero.

This is my look back at Prototype #2, published in 1993 by Malibu Comics with a story co-written by Len Strazewski and Tom Mason, and drawn by David Ammerman.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

 

The story begins with Prototype (piloted by Jim Ruiz) battling with mechanized opponents as he tries to achieve something. It turns out, the entire encounter was a virtual reality training mission which ended after Jim overloaded his armor’s circuits during the heat of training.

While taking off his armor, Jim discusses some matters with his assistant. He recalls his hard battle with an over-sized, muscular opponent whom he noticed to be communicating with someone. The opponent died which gave the public the false impression that Prototype killed him.

Meanwhile over the headquarters of Ultratech, Marjorie listens to Stanley ranting about the negative press their company got recently. As soon as Stanley calms down, Marjorie noticed that Jim was in trouble according to tech read-outs. They analyzed the risk they are taking with Jim being the Prototype pilot as they make sure nobody would learn that there is more than one active Prototype in their company. Marjorie states that she has taken the initiative and assigned someone to take care of Bob Campbell (the other Prototype pilot)…

Quality

5
Jim Ruiz is already struggling with the stress of piloting Prototype.

In terms of storytelling, this comic book is quite gripping as it deals with elements of corporate politics, heroism and even horror. Without spoiling too much, I should say that the battle near the end of the story brought back memories of the 1984 movie The Terminator which itself combined elements of horror, film noir and sci-fi. There was not much room for character development but that was no problem considering the strong storytelling. For his part, David Ammerman’s drawings were nice and detailed to look at, especially when the story focused more on Bob Campbell.

Conclusion

2
The money shot of the comic book!

No doubt about it. Prototype #2 is a very good and entertaining comic book to read. It successfully told two tales (one on Jim and the other on Bob) and cleverly mixed genre elements to deliver solid storytelling. Not only that, this comic book marks one of the early connections between Prototype and Prime as the story took place after the events told in Prime #4.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Prototype #2, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy costs $4.

Overall, Prototype #2 (1993) is recommended.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back At Prototype #1

There is nothing like witnessing a superhero use technology to fly around with high speed, blast with energy, lift heavy objects using extra strength and use whatever special features to beat the bad guys and save people from harm. I’m not talking about Marvel Comics’ Iron Man here. I’m talking about the Ultraverse parallel to him called Prototype and here is my retrospective review about the 1993 superhero comic book Prototype #1 published by Malibu Comics.

Proto1
Prototype #1 cover.

Co-written by Tom Mason and Len Strazewski with art by David Ammerman and James Pascoe, Prototype #1 is the story of the armored figure called Prototype but there is one huge thing to take note here – the armored figure is actually a high-tech project of a corporation called Ultratech and it involves more than one person piloting it.

To put things in perspective, some time in the past the Prototype armor (which was very large and bulky) was piloted by Bob Campbell until a major incident happened during an aerial exhibition that cost him his right arm. Subsequently he got replaced by a much younger man named Jimmy Ruiz. In the present, Campbell is a PWD (person with disability) who was dismissed by the company which compelled him to sue them for age discrimination.

Then he attends the stockholders’ meeting of Ultratech which was organized to be lavish and showy. It is here where Prototype (piloted by Ruiz) makes an energetic appearance sporting a leaner looking armor that closely resembles a human being.

Ruiz says “Stand back, America…it’s showtime!”

Proto2
The leaner and meaner armor of Prototype.

While showing off, Ruiz encounters some problems. He has not fully gotten used to the technology and his head feels like exploding. During the stockholders’ meeting, Bob Campbell causes some trouble prompting private security to escort him away. It turns out that Ultratech really distanced themselves from him.

Of course, the company is very happy with the Ruiz-piloted Prototype and they are confident their major financial bets will yield great results. Their executive Stanley Leland stated, “He’s not just a showpiece, he’s a corporate asset!”

Proto4
Jimmy Ruiz in the Prototype suit with the Ultratech executives.

As this is a superhero story, life is not normal. As such an incident happens that, predictably, requires Prototype to take action (and entertain readers like you and I).

Technically the story was nicely told and its pacing flowed smoothly. There is a nice balance between spectacle, storytelling and character development. Ultimately by the time I reached the 24th page, I got a grasp of the comic book’s concept, the characters (especially the two pilots) and where the series was going.

Proto3
Action for you. Really nice job done by the artists.

How does this comic book compare with Iron Man? To say the least, the concept of a large corporation owning and controlling a high-tech suit of armor piloted by their employee is not only a nice alternative but a very engaging alternative to the Iron Man concept (super rich industrialist who wears a powered suit of armor and uses his special talent on technology).

The Ultraverse was the most interesting and most entertaining superhero line of comic books I read back in the 1990s and Prototype went on to become one of the major heroes of the franchise. Prototype went on to become part of UltraForce, a superhero team that had its short-lived comic book series (with famous artist George Perez doing the art in some issues) as well as a short-lived animated series based on the said comic book series.

Had the Ultraverse lasted longer, succeeded and profited, chances are Prototype would have been a major contender among all other superheroes from the different publishers  today and there would have been more merchandise and perhaps even video games based on the character.

If you plan to visit a local comic book store to buy old comic books, I highly recommend Prototype #1.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article to be engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco.