A Look Back at Prime #18 (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, comic book collectors and fans of the Ultraverse! In this return to the Ultraverse, we will examine another mid-1990s issue of Prime who became a resident of the City of New York as a result of Kevin Green and his mother relocating there.

Last time around, a huge monster (clearly inspired by Godzilla) arrived in New York and Kevin had no choice but to change into Prime to save people. While his heroic act saved lives and spared the city from further damage, Prime still was not spared from the growing speculation that he molested children in California (which by today’s standards is a ravaged state as a result of unrestrained influence of the Left as well as economic complications).

So what will happen next to Kevin/Prime the more time he spends in New York? We can find out more in this look back at Prime #18, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Len Strazewski and Gerard Jones, and drawn by Kirk Jarvinen and Keith Conroy.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Prime (standing behind a podium with a crowd in front of him) and the people getting surprised when Turbo Charge (note: his debut in issue #17 was overshadowed by the events of that comic book) suddenly arrived on stage holding civilian clothes and declaring he is Prime’s new partner.

Turbo Charge whispers to Prime that he arrived to help him by pretending that the clothes are his (note: the clothes actually belong to Kevin). He then speaks out to the audience stating distorted details. Just as members of the news media start asking Turbo Charge questions, Prime grabs him and flies away to leave the crowd behind.

As they got far enough, Prime tells the Turbo Charge he has no intention to accept him as a partner…

Quality

Prime’s private life as Kevin remains hard as ever.

As mentioned already, Turbo Charge’s debut in issue #17 was overshadowed by what happened in that comic book. That being said, the story here made up for it not only by investing more pages to emphasize Turbo Charge but also dramatize his personality which was done in a pretty satisfying fashion. Like Prime, Turbo Charge’s life has gotten complicated as a result of his ability of super speed and his personal desire to do good even though he is a teenager with so much to learn.

What I find delightfully surprising in this comic book is the presence of Manhattan Project, a powerful character whose dedication to protect New York’s people from ultras (which he wants to neutralize) leads him to a big fight with Prime which alone has to be seen. It is quite enjoyable.

As for Prime himself, there is a good amount of pages dedicated to his alter ego as Kevin still struggling to adjust to life in New York. It should be noted that key elements from issue #17’s story impacted her perception of Prime (a secret Kevin still keeps successfully). The characterization here for the protagonist is really good.

Conclusion

The fight between Prime and Manhattan Project is a must-see.

Prime #18 (1994) is a really good read. It has a fine balance of storytelling, characterization and spectacle from start to finish. I should also state that the New York setting is looking good as far as telling Prime’s story goes.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Prime #18 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of this comic book costs $10.

Prime #18 (1994) is recommended.

+++++

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A Look Back at Prototype #0

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.

If you are looking for a great origin story set within the Ultraverse, you can’t go wrong with Prototype #0. Before we explore the said comic book, let me remind you that during my review of Prototype #1, I stated that it was great and it had a nice balance between spectacle, storytelling and characterization. There were also references to some threads to the past with regards to Bob Campbell (the original Prototype pilot) who could not help but witness his replacement Jimmy Ruiz have the spotlight being the new Prototype.

That being said, we can take a trip to the events that happened in the past with this look back at Prototype #0, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Tom Mason and Len Strazewski with illustrations done by Gordon Purcell and Keith Conroy.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins some time in the past with an interview with top executive Stanley Leland who recalls how Bob Campbell got involved with his corporation Ultratech. As it turned out, Campbell was working in Hollywood as a stunt performer in science fiction films. Campbell fit in nicely with Hollywood job having previously served as a member of the United States Army’s special forces and has been experienced with tactical weapons and hand-to-hand combat.

The advertising agency of Leland’s company hired Campbell to wear a multipurpose exoskeleton prototype armor for the filming of a promotional project meant for the military. Campbell used what turned out to be the original Prototype armor which was very bulky and had a dome-style metallic head (that reminds of Marvel’s Mysterio). Even though it was bulky, the armor was still loaded with weapons and enhanced the pilot’s physical strength by twenty times complete with artificial intelligence (AI) assisting with the operation.

21
Taking care of Bob Campbell, the original Prototype pilot.

Even though there was a hitch (something went offline) during the filming, Bob Campbell still managed to make great use of the armor and delivered results so spectacular, Leland hired him with a high-paying contract to work officially as Prototype.

Ultratech benefited nicely in terms of sales with Prototype as their key figure and Campbell had that Rambo style which impressed the military. Shortly after, the success started entering Campbell’s head resulting more costs for Ultratech…

Quality

7
The original Prototype saved a pretty lady!

This is one great and very cleverly crafted superhero origin story! When it comes to the presentation, the exploration of past events by means of recollections and memories of different people interviewed is excellent! Having worked before as a reporter for a local community newspaper, I myself interviewed a lot of people to dig for information about the past and as such, this comic book’s approach is something I personally strongly relate with.

Through the words of Leland, Campbell’s ex-wife, Marjorie Fredericks and Hastings the caretaker, the details of what happened with Bob Campbell as the original Prototype are clearly defined. The same goes with the nature of Ultratech as a corporation and owner/developer of the powered suits of armor, not to mention how they affect the public’s perception and how they treat their employees. The last chapter focused on Jimmy Ruiz and how he became the present-day Prototype was handled in a more conventional way.

Along the way, the dialogue is very well written and the characters are nicely defined which is no surprise considering the combined high talents of Tom Mason and Len Strazewski. The art provided Gordon Purcelli and Keith Conroy is very good. Apart from the in-depth writing, the dynamic action and strong visuals, I should say that this comic book is a lot of fun to read and it perfect connects with issue #1.

Conclusion

5
Bob Campbell hired full-time as Prototype pilot.

Prototype #0 is undoubtedly a great comic book to read and easily one of the very best Ultraverse stories I read (apart from being one of the best superhero origin stories of the UV) so far. I was really engaged from start to finish, and I should state that Bob Campbell’s importance is real even as he became the has-been character in the later Prototype issues. This comic book successfully achieved its purpose on telling the origin of Prototype and made sense out of what Roland Mann said: the race has only just started!

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Prototype #0, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the comic book costs $4.

Overall, Prototype #0 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