This Was Then: Prime #1

Like most of the comics I have been discussing, Prime #1 is no different, in that I was too young to remember the impact it had on the comic industry. I only remember the characters and stories themselves. Strangely, I do not remember how I came across Prime #1.

I cannot imagine that I would just buy the comicbook out of the blue, not knowing anything about the character first. I do recall watching Ultraforce on TV and buying the Prime, Hardcase, and Prototype action figures. I doubt that I would have bought the first issue of this series before all of that. But regardless of the reason, Prime #1 did find its way into my collection.

The first thing worth mentioning is the cover. While not flashy, it is very iconic; a textbook superhero pose. This cover is forever cemented in my mind, because of its simplicity. In this instance, less is more. And artist Norm Breyfogle realized that. The interiors are crisp. This artwork does not feel dated whatsoever. I especially like the military battle scene, where panel breaks are completely ignored, giving way to a beautiful full page of Prime attacking the enemy terrorists. Finally, Prime’s transformation at the end of the issue is displayed in expertise, showing the transition fluidly.

The story itself is also very well done. The writing team of Len Strazewski and Gerard Jones were 2/3 of the creative team responsible for giving birth to Prime. Their writing here gets the job done. Nothing stands out as far as pacing or dialogue are concerned, but sometimes no news is good news. If nothing sticks out, then hopefully that means nothing went terribly wrong. The only problem I have with this issue is the self-promoting of other Ultraverse titles (Hardcase and Prototype) by briefly mentioning their stories through on air news programs.

In an earlier This Was Then, I noted that Spawn #1 asked too many questions, while providing very few answers. Also, I was put off by the shallowness of the main character. Prime #1 is completely different. Prime is set in a very familiar world for comic book readers, where superheroes run rampant. Also, readers see the extent of Prime’s powers as he attacks a high school teacher, destroys a crack house, and rips through a battalion of armed terrorists. However, the ending is unpredictable, keeping interest peaked. While Spawn was a miserable trip down memory lane, Prime is most enjoyable. This first issue is the only one from this series I personally own, but that will soon change. This issue has rekindled my love for this hero, and as the first page says, it is ‘Prime time!’.