A Look Back at UltraForce #5 (1995)

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 I enjoyed best about the UltraForce done by the solid creative team of Gerard Jones and George Perez is the fact that the team’s lesser known characters such as Pixx (the lone minor), Contrary, Ghoul and Topaz are richly layered, highly interesting and engaging members who really stand on their own and don’t get overshadowed by their major teammates (the Ultraverse’s premier lead heroes Hardcase, Prime and Prototype). Of course, the presentation of Pixx, Contrary, Ghoul and Topaz would not have been great had Gerard Jones failed to deliver the solid writing and managing required.

That being said, it’s time to find out more on how balanced the presentation of UltraForce members will be as the conflict with Atalon escalates further in this look back at UltraForce #5, published in 1995 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Jones and Perez.

The spoileriffic cover.

Early story

The story begins with Ghoul (still in the presence of Atalon and far away from his teammates) having a nightmarish vision of death, chaos, rioting and disasters. He recognizes a certain teammate included in the vision. His personal concern for his teammate grows, and king Atalon notices his distress. Atalon states he has cleared the final obstacles and what he has planned will push through. He intends to use many nuclear missiles on the world.

“When my warheads strike the raw nerve centers of your world, the surface will blossom with the fires of chaos and war,” Atalon tells Ghoul. “And the launching begins now. You see, Ghoul? Your world is dead. There’s nothing you can do. There’s no point in worry at all.”

Over at Miami, Florida, Pixx talks to her mother via the telephone and assures her that she is in good hands with UltraForce with a role to give her teammates the youth point-of-view. After the phone talk, Pixx personally struggles with the stress of being with the team which itself has gotten involved not only with the global conflict with Atalon but also with the concerned world leaders and the ever demanding public.

Prime approaches her and, because she noticed her looking troubled, he asked her if she could handle the situation they are in. Pixx answers back and does some posturing that she is strong and capable. Prime, who is really teenager Kevin inside, feels he screwed-up and knows well that Pixx is older than him.

The UltraForce then meet on the top of the building…

Quality

Dynamic action drawn by the legendary George Perez supported by inkers and colorists!

Strong writing – check. Great visuals with high detail – check. The high quality and strong creative energy of the Jones-Perez team continued to shine brightly in this comic book. Definitely a very well-made comic book that also continued to deliver the great stuff like strong character engagement and development, dynamic action (hey, this is George Perez’s art!) and the like.

While issue #4 featured Atalon’s background story and some references about the history of his people, this comic book has its spotlight on the teenage member Pixx. Her dialogue and character development are very well crafted and as the story goes on, you will start to care about her.

The conflict with Atalon here shows the stakes raised high once more as the said leader of the creatures from deep below the surface acquired mankind’s nuclear weapons and really starts to control them. I should also state that this comic book is another spectator-filled pay-off story that succeeded issue #4 which was mainly a build-up type of story.

If there is anything wrong with the comic book, it is the cover as it truly is a major spoiler. Too bad that the art showed Pixx in the presence of a nuclear warhead because the imagery alone took out some of the power behind her story in the big conflict of the comic book.  

Conclusion

This art by Perez looks great and worthy of the cover!

UltraForce #5 is another solid read thanks again to its creators. I should also state that even though the cover art was a spoiler, at least the ending was intriguing and powerful to see.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of UltraForce #5 (1995), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy costs $16.

Overall, UltraForce #5 (1995) 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 UltraForce #4 (1995)

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.

I just love reading stories of UltraForce, the superhero team that involved three major Ultraverse characters – Prime, Hardcase and Prototype – supported by secondary characters from varied parts of the said universe such as Topaz (identified with Mantra), Ghoul (The Exiles), Contrary (Freex) and Pixx. Of course, UltraForce stories would not have been strong without the combined creative forces of Gerard Jones and George Perez who in turn crafted the said team, established a really strong villain in Atalon and making Atalon’s arrival a major international crisis that is epic in scale. The first three issues (plus issue #0) all showed the series’ greatness!

Will the great stuff of the UltraForce creative team continue? We will find out right now in this look back at UltraForce #4, published in 1995 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Gerard Jones and drawn by George Perez.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with UltraForce member Ghoul being held helplessly by King Atalon. He tells Ghoul that he has no intention of destroying the people of Earth for at least one more day. Some time later, the two arrived at the remains of an old civilization very deep in the cavern. Atalon tells Ghoul: Invoke all the deities you wish, young man. Here we are beyond their reach. The temple city of Zenalla. Once it was the heart and soul of the fire people.

As it turns out, Atalon reveals that he tore through a hundred miles of fallen stone to reopen Zenalla and expressed that he will not event let his own people see it. After some more talk and travel, Atalon kneels and bows to specific monuments of his ancestors who are also the founder of cities and the fathers of the fire people. He tells Ghoul that he will bring them to speak to him.

Elsewhere, the mainstream media magnified the powerful blast that happened off Cuba which contributed to the panic and fear of the public. With people agitated, the UltraForce faces the media in an attempt to provide clarity and calm.

Hardcase (with Prototype, Prime, Topaz, Contrary and Pixx standing with him) tells the world: Activity continues on the island-we have to assume that Atalon planned that blast and survived it! And that was just one bomb-out of dozens he’s threatening to launch against mankind! As long as he has the gravity power to launch those nukes, we can’t afford a replay of our last assault!

Quality

I just love the interactions between the members of Ultraforce.

To make things clear, issue #2 was mainly a build-up story which was followed by a huge, spectacle-filled pay-off in issue #3. Backed with still very solid writing, this comic book is another build-up type of story and its most compelling feature is the origin of Atalon which was very well told by Jones and Perez. Atalon’s background story is definitely one of the finest origin stories of the Ultraverse ever told that focused more on an anti-hero instead of a hero. Through his past, you will realize that Atalon is not your typical big, muscular, raging antagonist but rather a leader who went through a lot of struggles when he was young (and had no power) and was compelled to lead his people as a result of key events that happened.

I really enjoyed discovering also the history of Atalon’s people who existed entirely deep underground and were told by the supposedly wise elders that the surface of the Earth was not an air-world and that they should only remain under it. As for how Atalon gained power, that one was strongly told and, more importantly, was believable in its presentation.

More on the build-up and character development, the members of UltraForce unsurprisingly got a good chunk of the spotlight in favor of characterization. The interaction between Hardcase and Topaz was not only very engaging but also symbolized the conflicts between their respective cultures (with Topaz coming from a society of women). And then there was Contrary with her very distinctive way of interacting with others with a sense of manipulation.

Conclusion

The lost city!

UltraForce #4 (1995) is another great comic book thanks to the Jones-Perez team. The interactions between the UltraForce is top-notch, the origin of Atalon is fantastic, and the theme about society reacting to an existing superhero team that supposed to help them in a time of crisis is very believable. As with the first four issues (including issue #0), the way this comic book’s story was written showed that the creators made preparations. This one is not only a whole lot of fun to read but also very engaging from start to finish.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of UltraForce #4 (1995), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the comic book costs $16.

Overall, UltraForce #4 (1995) 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 UltraForce #3 (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.

After going through the engaging build-up of UltraForce #2, it is only natural to expect a pay-off filled with spectacle and some intrigue to happen in the following issue. Specifically, within the Ultraverse, Prime, Hardcase, Prototype and the other members of UltraForce made their case already with US President Bill Clinton and other top officials in relation to the growing threat from Atalon and his army from deep underground. Also at stake was the global perception towards the world’s people with superpowers publicly referred to as the Ultras.

So what exactly will happen next with UltraForce? Will they be able to get over individual differences and be able to organize themselves to help protect the world from disaster? Will we see Hardcase, Prototype and rest finally face off with Atalon? We will all find out in this look back at UltraForce #3, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Gerard Jones and drawn by the legendary George Perez!

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Atalon breaking out from the sea with the intention to transform the whole world and starts by raising an island! He recalls his people’s history of building cities to the light and mentions the time when people living on the surfaces of the Earth drove him and his people into the Earth.

Not only does he have his loyal, armed soldiers with him, Atalon levitates several man-made weapons of mass destruction in the form of missiles. As a result of what he did, disaster strikes with tremendous forces of sea water overwhelming a boatload of Haitian refugees, the release of magma from the seabed, and boats and passenger ships getting overwhelmed.

From his secret place, Rex Mundi watches the disaster as well as images of Atalon. Mundi never expected to be troubled again by his past with the people of Atalon. Mundi, who personally hates Ultras, hopes that the said superbeing will deal with the disaster for him. Meanwhile, the impact of Atalon’s rise from the sea is felt around the world from Cuba and behind the walls of their special headquarters, Hardcase issues the command for their team to take action. They start their trip towards the zone of Cuba…

Quality

UltraForce in action against Atalon!

I can confirm to all of you reading this that this comic book indeed comes with a lot of spectacle in the forms of action and dynamic looking visuals which really provided the anticipated payoff to the tension building and exposition that dominated UltraForce #2. What is also very notable is that the spectacle all look great thanks to the return of the legendary George Perez as the penciller here. It comes to no surprise that all the action scenes, all the crazy moments and hard-hitting stunts here all look great! This is a visual treat and George Perez’s take on the characters are easily among the best in the Ultraverse!

Of course, the spectacle and the payoff would have been hollow had the writing not been strong. The good news here is the script provided for this comic book is very solid and maintains the high quality that started with issue #1. The story progression from issue #2 is very strongly felt through the plotting, dialogue and the narrative. For each page in this comic book, there really is a strong presence of high tension. You can really feel the stakes have been raised high since the previous issue.

Even though there is a lot of stuff, there was still some creative space left to develop the personalities of Contrary (Mantra’s rival) and Pixx. I found the cultural background and history flashback of Contrary’s people really efficiently told and yet compelling in presentation. As for Contrary, her dialogue is greatly written and you can feel how uneasy she is being on Earth while obsessing with getting Mantra. Apart from the expected interactions (and bickering) between UltraForce members, the narrative includes the respective views of the United States, Cuba and England related to the superhero team and the crisis caused by Atalon. This was efficiently done.

As for the presentation of the team, you will really see how compelling the interactions between the members are especially when they are struggling during the missions…outside the safety of their floating ship that is. Hardcase being the field leader is memorable and his reliance on his teammates is quite something to follow.

Conclusion

Atalon proved he is a clear and present danger!

No doubt about it. UltraForce #3 is a great comic book to read and it sure is worth repeating for superhero enjoyment! Unlike the previous three issues (including issue #0), this issue really marks the confrontation between UltraForce and Atalon. Considering the wide scope and impact of the Atalon’s invasion of the surface, I often wondered how the plot fits in within the respective monthly series of Hardcase (I reviewed the 14 issues already), Hardcase (the first 12 issues reviewed already) and Prime.  

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of UltraForce #3 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the comic book costs $8.

Overall, UltraForce #3 (1994) 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 UltraForce #2 (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.

Some time ago, I wrote and explored what would happen had superheroes been real and got involved with government leaders and the corporate media. Considering what has been going on for some time now, I hope that more readers would read the article and realize the conspiracy between political parties and corporate media is real and even dangerous. Did you even notice that in America, the Left-leaning media outlets have been distorting the facts about the riots involving the Marxist movement Black Lives Matter and the violent Antifa group? Also, did you notice that the liberal media distorted the meaning of the words peaceful protesters? Being a former local community print media publication journalist myself, I know why media outlets (whose owners and managers willingly get involved with those who wield power) would distort the news and insult the public’s intelligence. Really, the truth is that objective, truthful, responsible and professional journalism is shrinking.

Enough with the sickening news wave of negativity magnified by corporate media. It’s time to examine the superhero-government-media conspiracy followed by a fantastic conflict within the Ultraverse in this look back at UltraForce #2, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Gerard Jones and art by George Perez (breakdowns) and John Statema (finished pencils).  

The cover of the limited edition.

Early story

The story begins with UltraForce member Ghoul visiting a place within the woods. He stops at a huge grave site of the Exiles and tries to communicate with his former teammates but to no avail. He only got glimmers from them. After expressing himself to nobody, he walks away.

Shortly after, UltraForce composed of Hardcase, Prime, Prototype, Ghoul, Pixx, Contrary and Topaz meet with US President Bill Clinton, US Senator Bob Dole, UN’s secretary general Boutros-Ghali and Blackrock of the press in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC. As they discuss important matters together, Atalon makes his move against the civilized world…

Quality

The interactions between the members of UltraForce are richly written.

To start with, this comic book is a build-up type of story containing lots dialogue, exposition and explanatory pieces with not too much spectacle. That’s not to say this is a boring issue, in fact it still remained quite engaging to read. The very wordy script for this comic book was written with care and there were efforts made to keep the story cohesive even as it grapples with all the details for explaining. What the writer presented not only explained what is happening and why the world is being threatened by Atalon and his forces from underneath, the script also took its time in presenting the characters struggling with each other’s views while providing key moments that add some development to the personality of some of the characters (example: Prime’s interest in Chelsea Clinton reflected not only his teenage self but also his first encounter with her during the Prime monthly series). As far as storytelling goes, it succeeded in helping me understand the huge event transpiring and justified why UltraForce as a team is needed. When you think about it, Prime, Hardcase and Prototype already have major affairs of their own (especially when you read their respective monthly series) but Atalon is a major threat that requires the three to work together (along with Pixx, Ghoul, Topaz and the ever scheming Contrary).

More on the conspiracy between the superheroes, the government leaders and the corporate press, this comic book is more relevant than ever today even though superheroes do not even exist in real life. I like the moments when Contrary wanted access to government files which drew a strong reaction from Bill Clinton who in turn is being watched carefully by opposition leader Bob Dole. For his part, Hardcase expressed that his team does not want any power struggle between ultras and the government. And then Bob Dole stressed to Prototype that he works for Ultratech and said: I take it that you are a defender of the rights of the private sector?

Of course, the highlight of the writing is the dynamic interactions between the UltraForce members when they are on their own and struggle to work together due to their respective differences. The dialogue is very rich.

When it comes to visuals, this one is rather unique because it has breakdowns by the legendary George Perez with finished pencil work by John Statema. It’s not a pure Perez art work which is obvious but still I recognized the characters and there is still a high level of visual detail all throughout. Still a solid looking comic book!

Conclusion

This is a clever way of doing exposition…Bill Clinton learns more about Topaz and Ghoul but only the readers get a visual presentation.

Never mind the fact that it lacked spectacle, UltraForce #2 is still compelling to read mainly due to its strong writing, the memorable interactions between the characters and emphasis of the crisis that justifies the presence of the team complete with impact on the world. Not only that, this comic book event went the extra mile to emphasize crossing-over within the Ultraverse by including The Strangers (check out The Strangers #4 and Hardcase #4 for reference).

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of UltraForce #2 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $8 while the near-mint copy of the limited edition costs $12.

Overall, UltraForce #2 (1994) 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 Prime #6 (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.

Hey everyone! Let me ask you…when you were a teenager, was there ever a time when you wished you could instantly transform yourself into a muscular man who can fly and use super strength to make a difference in local society? To be a standout with the public is one thing, but to deal with external forces who focus on you as a result of being super is another.

That being said, let’s take a look back at Prime #6, published in 1993 by Malibu Comics with a story co-written by Len Strazewski and Gerard Jones with art done by the late Norm Breyfogle.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Prime in an encounter with a large, meat-eating dinosaur. It’s a Tyrannosaurus Rex which puzzles the caped, muscular hero. The dinosaur traps him in its jaws and tries to eat him, but Prime manages to resist and finds a way to make it lose its balance.

As it turns out, the whole encounter was nothing more than a virtual reality sequence with Prime literally a captive. Behind the scenes are several people managing the secret operation with a high-ranking military officer in charge. The VR sequence ends and Prime calms down.

As the personnel work to aid Prime, the officer states that he needs him functional as he has o rove that his unit does not need the paranoid conspirators at Aladdin. As Prime wakes up, he quickly gets back on his feet putting the personnel off-balance and grabbing the military officer by the neck….

Quality

As expected, the writing and visuals were done with the usual high level of quality. What is clearly the main selling point of this comic book is its story which greatly emphasizes Prime’s place in the Ultraverse. To be specific, this is a tale about Prime (who is really a teenager inside) realizing his involvement with the United States government and its secret operations unit that involves the military and scientists. At the same time, this comic book digs deeper into the Prime’s origin not as a superhero but rather as a person (in the identity of Kevin Green) who was born with certain forms of manipulation done to him by someone who is linked with the government. The good news here is that the story is pretty cohesive and intriguing to read. At the same time, Prime’s personality got developed further and you will see how getting involved with his nation’s government impacts him.

More on the events within the Ultraverse, this comic book showed an early sign of the Prime series getting connected with elements of the respective series of The Strangers and Mantra.  

Conclusion

The money shot!

On face value, Prime #6 looked like it was just filler-loaded comic book serving only as a build-up for the Break-Thru crossover event of 1993. In actuality, this one is another well-told story about Prime and even though there is no battle with any villain, it succeeded in telling a standalone story focused on the hero getting involved with his nation’s government. I should also state that this is a nice change of pace following two really big battles of Prime with Prototype and Maxi-Man.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Prime #6 (1993), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $4 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs #10.

Overall, Prime #6 (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 UltraForce #0 (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 everyone! I bet you heard the sad news about the layoffs over at DC Comics which is the result of a corporate restructuring on the part of AT&T. With the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, restructuring in the private sector is inevitable with the intention of keeping business surviving. Already I noticed some people are divided over the DC Comics layoffs – some people condemned the corporate hierarchy for laying off DC’s employees while some believe it is necessary to keep long-time comic book publisher alive. As for the socialist and Communist-minded critics, I wonder if they prefer the State Government of California (led by a tyrant governor) to fully take over DC Comics just to prevent layoffs and still be able to provide financial assistance (including taxpayers’ money) to illegal immigrants.

Wow. Just about any news development can get politicized. Regardless, the Political Left clearly support criminals, embrace corruption, move to destroy capitalism and move to betray their fellow citizens. Anyway, enough with the current events. If you want some escapism from the harshness of reality, then join me on my look back at UltraForce #0, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story by Gerard Jones and illustrated by the legendary George Perez.

Great cover by George Perez.

Early story

The story begins at a cemetery where Ghoul rises from the grave and disturbs a man and a woman who planned to have a good time together that evening. The next morning on the streets of Hollywood, police officers struggle to separate the people who condemned ultras apart from those who believe in the ultras. Ghoul, now wearing a trench coat, is in the middle of the crowd and it turns out he is looking for his friends…the Exiles. Suddenly, Hardcase comes in and easily catches the attention of the aggressive news media who asked questions such as:

“As the most visible ultra, do you feel ultras should be feared or worshipped?”

“What about the accountability of corporate-sponsored ultras like Prototype?”

“How do we contain an out-of-control vigilante like Prime?”

Given his experience as a celebrity, Hardcase carefully explains that even though most ultras try to do the right thing, they are not accountable for each other. Elsewhere, young Kevin Green watches the live feed of Hardcase on TV. In response to what he saw and heard about having ultras held accountable, Kevin becomes fascinated with the idea of a team of ultras who are united and cannot be beaten by the government.

Suddenly Kevin’s chest begins to hurt and moves out of the house leaving his mother. After hiding himself behind the bush, he transforms into Prime and flies away to show the world what ultras can do when he leads them…

Quality

Premier rivals Prime and Prototype meet again!

I’ll cut to the chase. While UltraForce #1 showed how very notable superheroes of the Ultraverse banded together, this story cleverly explained what happened just a short time prior to that story. The very good news here is that the script written by Jones is very detailed and told a really cohesive story of its which was greatly brought to life visually by George Perez (which should not be a surprise at all). In fact, UltraForce #0 (which had some of its content previewed in the pages of Wizard Magazine) and #1 form one single narrative which was made with really high quality writing and visuals. It also showcases amazing production values by the creative teams at Malibu Comics.

For the newcomers reading this, this comic book sheds light on the impact ultras have on society and why people get divided when it comes to living knowing that someone much more powerful than them could suddenly impact their way of life. To put it short, this comic book’s social concept will keep you thinking and speculating. More on the writing, like the 1st issue, the storytelling here is certainly unpredictable (but still manages to tell a cohesive tale) and will keep you guessing what would happen next. Definitely this is not typical superhero story about someone saving the day and restoring the peace. Finally, I do confirm that this comic book is very loaded with spectacle and the pace of the story moves quite fast. By the end of this comic book, you will not only anticipate the following events (in issue #1) but also get to know Prime and the others better and be entertained a lot.

Contrary and Pixx inside their secret ship.

Conclusion

Hardcase comes in as Ghoul struggles with all the attention.

I’ll say it out loud – UltraForce #0 is a great comic book (as great as issue #1) and it truly is one of the best Ultraverse comic books as well as one of the finest works done by Malibu Comics! As a superhero team concept, UltraForce is clearly the most symbolic team of the Ultraverse not just because it has major players like Prime, Hardcase and Prototype together but also with the way they were defined literally and visually. For more on the concept of UltraForce, check out the words of then Ultraverse editor Chris Ulm.

“UltraForce is the unluckiest group in the Ultraverse. Each one has their own conception of the what mission of UltraForce is. Each fancies themselves the leader. But somehow, they are able to forge a new kind of team that is greater than the sum of its parts,” wrote Ulm in the comic book.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of UltraForce #0 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $4.

Overall, UltraForce #0 (1994) 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 Prime #5 (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.

Hey everyone! If you are looking for something new with my retro reviews of Ultraverse comic books, then you will get it now as I’ve decided to go back to the Prime monthly series for the first time in over thirty days since my last Prime review.

That being said, here is my look back at Prime #5, published in 1993 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Len Strazewski and Gerard Jones, and drawn by the late Norm Breyfogle.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins with an unbelievable yet living cartoon character called Maxi-Man about to strike a young and helpless Kevin (Prime actually) claiming to be doing it for the majesty of Boneyard (a villain of Mantra’s). Fortunately, Kevin got saved by Kelly who pulled him away from Maxi-Man’s deadly strike.

With the local community already in chaos due to Maxi-Man’s rampage, Kevin and Kelly ran to the nearby city park only to be stopped by the him. With her ankle hurt, Kelly could not move from her downed position and tells Kevin to run.

Kevin struggles with the tension building up as Maxi-Man makes his way to Kelly…

Quality

Heavily action-packed, smart, intriguing and engaging this comic book truly is! Let me start with the storytelling here. Len Strazewski and Gerard Jones crafted a great story that not only followed Prime’s exploits but also fleshed out his personality a lot with an emphasis on his civilian life as teenager Kevin who happens to be dealing with the pressure of living a double-life (as an unstable superhero and as a high school student). He pursues to be with Kelly but suddenly finds themselves in trouble with the unexpected presence of Maxi-Man, an in-story cartoon character Kevin admired so much as a child. This not only added to Kevin’s struggle with stress but also complicates his mind. By focusing closely on Kevin, you will feel his struggle a lot.

When it comes to the spectacle, Norm Breyfogle perfectly brought the script to life and ramped up the excitement a whole lot with his illustrations. The visual highlight is the big battle between Prime and Maxi-Man, and even though the fighting is extensive, it never feels dumb nor brainless due to the smart dialogue provided by the writers (note: observe closely the exchange of words Prime and Maxi-Man had with each other). Breyfogle clearly paced the action sequences smoothly and he chose the right moments to draw the action dynamically.

Speaking of dialogue, I love the following line Prime said during the fight with Maxi-Man…

“I’m what you’re supposed to be! I’m a hero! I grew up on your cartoons! I learned about heroism from you! About fighting for what’s right! I don’t know how you got to be real, or why you’re trying to kill us—but I’m gonna show you what you taught me!”

Back to the writing, there is a sub-plot that took place during the big battle. That one added a good amount of mystery and intrigue not only into the story but also to the Ultraverse itself.

Conclusion

2
Kevin (Prime), Kelly and Maxi-Man.

What can I say? Prime #5 is a great read! Personally, when it comes to Prime’s encounters, I found this one to be much more engaging, more fun and more intriguing than even Prime’s encounter with Prototype in the previous issue (which is supposed to be an essential encounter between the Ultraverse’s main superheroes). The way I look at this comic book’s quality, the creators actually over-did themselves to deliver superhero greatness.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Prime #5 (1993), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $4 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $8.

Overall, Prime #5 (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 Solitaire #7 (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.

Are you readers craving for another tale of crime-fighting and vigilantes set within the Ultraverse? Get ready for another bout of conflicts told through the eyes of Solitaire, one of the more unique crime-fighting superheroes to have ever existed.

As such, here is a look back at Solitaire #7, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Gerard Jones and drawn by Jeff Johnson.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins with the arrival of Double Edge, a caped swordsman who strong believes that all things in life must be balanced no matter how hard it could be. As far as he is concerned, only he can help achieve balance whenever the scales are tilted. Double Edge jumps down on a man (outside of a parked car), knocked him out and grabbed the keys from him. Another man comes out of the café and spots Double Edge with the keys, which made him think the swordsman was stealing the downed man’s car. Double Edge strikes him impulsively to balance things out but ends up leaving him down on the sidewalk with a lot of blood lost. The swordsman regrets it.

Double Edge drives the car still obsessing with balancing. Suddenly another car – driven by Solitaire – gets into his way forcing the swordsman to move his car leftwards and hit another vehicle.

Immediately, Solitaire and Double Edge jumped out of their vehicles to start a fight…

Quality

17
Really nice action between Solitaire and Double Edge by Jeff Johnson.

For a pretty wordy comic book, this one still managed to entertain with lots of action and intriguing dialogue. As far as narrative is concerned, this one is about Solitaire dealing with a fellow costumed vigilante who is obsessed with balance even thought it complicates his ways of fighting criminals.

What is easily the strongest selling point as well as the most interesting aspect of this comic book is the clash between Solitaire and Double Edge not only with armed combat but also with the very different ways they look at fighting crime and helping people in times of danger. Their exchange of words is engaging thanks to the strong dialogue.

As with the previous issues, Jeff Johnson delivered good visuals complete with a smooth flow of transition.

Conclusion

2
Double Edge jumps on someone.

Solitaire #7 is indeed entertaining and intriguing. It’s not an Ultraverse story with a high-stakes concept, but it succeeds in telling a more grounded story within the said universe through the eyes of not just one but two costumed crime fighters. This comic book was released with an “Ultraverse 1st Birthday” mark on the cover and considering what happened in the first six issues, this one really felt like a turning point in the saga of Solitaire.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Solitaire #7 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $4.

Overall, Solitaire #7 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 Solitaire #2

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.

It’s been quite some time since I reviewed Solitaire #1. What I like about the Ultraverse crime-buster is that he was designed to be a very agile combat expert with the ability to regenerate. Apart from being a very capable fighter, Solitaire is also very skilled detective and has lots of connections (with informers). Some comic geeks compared him to Batman and Wolverine but within the Ultraverse, Solitaire is unique.

Now we can take a look back at Solitaire #2, published in 1993 by Malibu Comics with a story by Gerard Jones and art by Jeff Johnson (inked by Barb Kaalberg). This particular comic book is connected with the Ultraverse crossover event Break-Thru.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins in Small Town, U.S.A., a place described to be happy with the air full of laughter, the chatter of children and music played by a band. Solitaire arrives and quickly an arrow was launched at him and missed. The place’s defenders are already aware of him.

The place turns out to be an amusement park filled with tourists who paid for rides, sights and fun. In the middle of it, Solitaire is on a mission. Another arrow was fired at him but thanks to his reflexes, he grabbed it, allowed himself to fall into the water. A lady with a bow and arrows arrives to check on him but Solitaire quickly got back at her, restraining her.

After he asked where the bomb is located, she points to the moon. Suddenly another arrow is fired and hits Solitaire on his left thigh…

Quality

9
Fierce opposition towards Solitaire!

Now that the establishment of Solitaire’s origin and superhero nature has been done, this comic book’s story is pretty adventurous to read. The good news is that it is a well-made adventure that not only delivered the fun but also established Solitaire’s place in the Ultraverse (thanks to the link with the Break-Thru crossover). When it comes to developing Solitaire not only as a crime fighter but as a person, I like the use of flashbacks from his past recalling his time as a much younger visitor to the amusement park complete with his mother remaining a hole in his memory.

More on the story, it is not only adventurous but also packed with action. This time, Solitaire does not fight the stereotypical thugs but rather lady defenders of the Moon Man who are so willing to do their jobs, they attack Solitaire even if it means harming the tourists. The build-up leading to the encounter with the villain was nicely paced and was a worthy pay-off.

When it comes to the art, this is one very nice-looking comic book thanks to Jeff Johnson. The illustrator knew how to pace the story visually and when to add punch to the action scenes and stunts.

Conclusion

4
Imagine yourself touring a theme park and actually witnessing a real attack towards a trespasser.

Solitaire #2 is a fun-filled Ultraverse comic book that is worth reading again and again. What it lacked in character development, it bounced back big time with action and adventure elements.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Solitaire #2, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $4 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $8.

Overall, Solitaire #2 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 Prime #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.

When it comes to notable rivalries between superheroes within the Ultraverse, the Prime-Prototype conflict comes to mind. Granted, the two became teammates in the UltraForce monthly series that launched in 1994 but before that happened, their conflict was intriguing and intense to see.

Let’s examine the beginning of the rivalry between Prototype and Prime in Prime #4, published in 1993 by Malibu Comics with a story co-written by Len Strazewski and Gerard Jones, and drawn by the late Norm Breyfogle.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Prototype blasting Prime right on his head saying: “I’m telling you again—Hardcase ain’t here! This is Prototype turf and you are making me look bad!”

Out of impulse, Prime (who is teenager Kevin Greene inside the body) strikes back at Prototype pushing him back into the air. Prime describes himself as a real hero and called Prototype a phony of Hollywood.

As the tension increases between them, Prototype fires back at Prime who subsequently responds by punching him hard. The battle goes on.

Meanwhile at another location, Boneyard emerges from a portal carrying an unconscious Mantra with him…

Quality

19
This is compelling character development.

Strong writing and very impressive works of art in this comic book! There is no doubt about that. The writers really poured a lot of energy into the very action-packed conflict between Prime and his armored rival. The conflict is not limited to superhero violence between the two as the writers cleverly crafted a big battle of personalities between an impulsive and clueless teenager (Prime) and a corporate performer (Prototype). In order to grasp that concept, one must read at least the launch issues of the Prototype and Prime series.

Along the way, the writers still managed to conserve a good amount of creative energy to further develop Kevin Greene in his civilian life. I really enjoyed how the creators portrayed him to be a very troubled youth whose struggle with social life has gotten worse as he also struggled with keeping a superhero identity and doing what he believes are good deeds (helping people in trouble) even though he got reckless or clumsy. This is reflected nicely with the ways he tries to socialize with Kelly. Apart from that, the scenes showing Kevin with his father are very intriguing to follow.

The artwork here by Breyfogle is unsurprisingly great. As seen in the previous issues of Prime, the superhero action is dynamic to look at, Kevin and the supporting characters have very well defined looks and by this time, I find them instantly recognizable. As for his visual take on Prototype, I really like Breyfogle’s illustration in this issue.

Conclusion

2
A very dynamic shot of Prime striking Prototype away.

Prime #4 is a great Ultraverse comic book highlighted by the first conflict between Prime and Prototype which is very compelling and at the same time memorable. It’s like seeing two titans of the Ultraverse collide complete with dramatizing how other people got affected by them. As far as the Ultraverse is concerned, the rivalry between the armored ultra and the kid-in-a-man’s-body is solid gold.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Prime #4 (1993), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the unbagged regular edition, the bagged regular edition, the unbagged newsstand edition and the bagged newsstand edition costs $4, $5, $6 and $7 respectively.

Overall, Prime #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