Prime
Cover to Prime # 1. Art by Norm Breyfogle, 1993.
Publication information
PublisherMalibu Comics
Marvel Comics
First appearancePrime #1 (June 1993)
Created byGerard Jones
Len Strazewski
Norm Breyfogle
In-story information
Alter egoKevin Green
Team affiliationsUltraforce
AbilitiesPrime: Superhuman strength, stamina, and durability
Flight
Ability to concentrate and release energy as a concussive blast
Kevin Green: Able to create Prime bodies around himself

Prime is a superhero character created by Bob Jacob, Gerard Jones, Len Strazewski, Norm Breyfogle, and Bret Blevins. The character debuted in Prime #1 under Malibu Comics' Ultraverse imprint, and was one of the publisher's flagship characters, and a member of its superhero team Ultraforce.[1] The character is a thirteen-year-old boy named Kevin Green with the power to transform into the physical form of a super-powered adult, but with his adolescent mind unchanged. This is a source of conflict for the character, as he is frequently placed in situations he may not be mature enough to deal with.

Publication history

The character first appeared in Prime #1, dated June 1993, written by Gerard Jones and Len Strazewski and illustrated by Norm Breyfogle. The series ran until August 1995, with a total of 26 issues. Breyfogle departed as regular artist after issue 12, with subsequent artists including George Pérez, Darick Robertson, and John Statema.

As part of the Ultraverse imprint, the comic was set within the company's shared universe of super-powered beings commonly referred to as "Ultras". Writers Jones and Strazewski used the book to explore a number of themes, such as the place of role models in establishing personal definitions of heroism.

After Marvel Comics purchased Malibu in 1994, the publisher began crossing characters between the two universes, culminating in 1995, with an event known as "Black September", which incorporated the Malibu Ultraverse characters into the Marvel Universe. A second volume of the series ran from September 1995 to December 1996, with a total of 16 issues.

Character history

Rise as Ultrahero

Prime began his heroic activities attacking a gym teacher that was molesting Kelly, a classmate Kevin has a crush on. Next he attacked a drug dealer and terrorist from Somalia.[2] A scientist name Dr. Gross began the search of Prime and captured him with help of his minion Duey.[3] Dr. Gross reveals to Prime that he intervened in his creation, when he modified some babies years before as part of a government program. Prime become enraged by the revelation and fled.[4] Full of doubts, Prime tried to meet his idol Hardcase, and went to Hollywood to search for him. However he ended meeting Prototype, an ultra that acted as spokesperson for Ultratech. The two young heroes didn't get along and fought. Prime proved stronger but caused a fire and fled.[5] Later, Prime fought a demon that took the form of a cartoon character,[6] and was recruited by the U.S. government for a special mission in the Moon. He meet Colonel Samuels, that tried to use Prime as a weapon. He experimented in Prime's body, transforming it in a space resistant version.[7]

Break-Thru

Prime was ordered to travel to the moon and when he arrive he saw figures of his parents and his crush Kelly trying to control him and was finally convinced to protect the mysterious entity of the moon.[8] Various ultras (Hardcase, Choice, Mantra (comics), Prototype, The Strangers and The Solution arrived to the moon in the search of the entity. Minions of the villain Rex Mundi arrived too and fought Prime. Prime almost lost conscience in middle of the battle, but was rescued by Mantra. All the Ultraheroes discovered the source of the "Jumpstart Effect" which has been granting people powers all across Earth. Alongside other ultraheroes, Prime protected the Entity, a crashed alien starship that was causing the Jumpstart Effect, from attack from Mundi's minions. It is soon allowed to return home.[9]

Prime returned to Earth followed by Prototype.[10] In Earth, Prime confronted Dr. Gross again, and was help by the sorcerer Mantra (comics) in the battle. He was recaptured by Colonel Samuels.[11] Worrying about his son, Russell Green, hired the Private Detective Alec Swan, alias Firearm, who infiltrated the army base of Sammuels and rescued Kevin.[12] Prime, impressed by Swan, decided to create a new form of his Prime body, similar to Swan, with a scare in the face, calling himself Rogue Prime. Defeated, Sammuels took his life.[13]

Ultraforce

Later Prime formed part of Ultraforce and fought the subterrain warlord Attalon. Prime had the idea of forming the team, after listening to a remark from Hardcase and begin recruiting members. He ended fighting Prototype again. In the aftermath of the invasion of Attalon, Prime joined other heroes, an presented to the President of United States in the White House.[14] When Hardcase was being defeated by N.M.E., Prime arrived to save the hero and destroyed the mechanic menace. Shortly after, Prime was attacked by the serial killer Rafferty. Prime and some friends went to the Godwheel.

Black September

Prime and Prototype met the Marvel hero Black Knight when he arrived to the Ultraverse. Prime and Prototype battled the hero, but they overcame the misunderstanding, listening the story of the visitor.[15] In the crossover with the Avengers, Prime battled Thor (comics). He also meet the Hulk and Captain America. Kevin was lost in the Marvel Universe and befriended Spiderman. He transformed briefly in a spider-theme Prime called Spider-Prime. Prime had his last solo fight against Lord Pumpkin in Brasil. Afterwards, he joined Ultraforce in the final assault against Demonseed.

A Spider-Prime version of the character was seen in the Spider-Verse event.

Powers and abilities

Kevin transforms into Prime by projecting an organic "liquid flesh" material from his torso. The liquid flesh then shapes itself into a tall man with exceptionally large and defined muscular development. Prime can revert to his teenage form by destabilizing the outer body into a mess of protein goo, either consciously or when his Prime-body's energy reserves run out. When this happens, Kevin must pull himself out of the body's remains or risk suffocating.

As Prime, Kevin possesses tremendous strength with unknown limits, once lifting an entire outdoor gym with relative ease. His resistance to physical injury is also exceptionally high, having survived a close proximity explosion of several nuclear warheads. Prime can also fly at mach-level of velocity. Although all of Prime's powers are modeled after traditional superhero powers, these limitations are defined mostly by Kevin's subconscious aspirations.

In fact, it is frequently suggested that the appearance of the Prime-body is formed mostly by Kevin's subconscious. Many of the features of the Prime-body are taken from Kevin's role models such as action stars and comic book superheroes. Another Ultraverse character who shares a similar origin, Elven, is a fan of Elfquest comics and creates a body for herself that is a mishmash of various Tolkienesque fantasy elements. The face of Prime also bears a striking resemblance to Kevin's own father, Russell Green.

In effect the Prime-body reflects Kevin's own attitudes towards heroism at any given moment. As such, Prime's physical appearance has changed numerous times. Common elements exist among the different Prime-bodies though, such as a stylized 'P' resting somewhere on his chest or cape and some metallic adornment such as chains or gauntlets. Some of his forms include:

Supporting cast, allies and enemies

Possibility of revival

In 2003, Steve Englehart was commissioned by Marvel to relaunch the Ultraverse with the most recognizable characters, including Prime, but the project was cancelled.[16][17] In June 2005, when asked by Newsarama whether Marvel had any plans to revive the Ultraverse, Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada replied that:

Let's just say that I wanted to bring these characters back in a very big way, but the way that the deal was initially structured, it's next to impossible to go back and publish these books. There are rumors out there that it has to do with a certain percentage of sales that has to be doled out to the creative teams. While this is a logistical nightmare because of the way the initial deal was structured, it's not the reason why we have chosen not to go near these characters, there is a bigger one, but I really don't feel like it's my place to make that dirty laundry public.[18]

Appearances in other media

Prime was a recurring character in the short-lived Ultraforce cartoon show, where Hardcase acts as his mentor (as he is the only one in the team who knows that Prime is a teenager), and he constantly bickers with Prototype, usually insulting him because his lack of super powers. Prime's team faces off with other Ultraverse villains such as Rune and Lord Pumpkin. Prime is voiced by Michael Donovan, and Prime's alter ego, Kevin Green, is voiced by Amos Crawley.

Prime was one of the action figures produced for Galoob's Ultraforce line.

Prime also starred in a Sega CD disc published by Sony Imagesoft bundled with Psygnosis' Microcosm video game. Though marketed as a video game, Ultraverse Prime is actually a multimedia CD which includes digital copies of 12 issues of the Prime comic book, video interviews with Prime's creators, some concept art, and a beat 'em up game.[19] The disc received a negative review from GamePro.[19]

A pastiche of Prime was included among the army of Supermen in Final Crisis #7.

On October 8, 2002, Marvel Studios announced movie deals for Sub-Mariner and Prime with Universal Studios while Universal had the Hulk movie in post-production with a then-expected June 6 release date.[20] In 2003 Marvel's earning report wrote that its status was "to be determined".[21] No progress was made with the adaptation of Prime and is presumably canceled.

References

  1. ^ The Superhero Book: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Comic-Book Icons and Hollywood Heroes, Gina Misiroglu (2012), p. 377.
  2. ^ Prime(1993) vol.1 # 1
  3. ^ Prime(1993) vol.1 #2
  4. ^ Prime(1993) vol.1 #3
  5. ^ Prime(1993) vol.1 #4
  6. ^ Prime(1993) vol.1 #5
  7. ^ Prime(1993) vol.1 #6
  8. ^ Prime(1993) vol.1 #7
  9. ^ Break-Thru#1-2 (1993)
  10. ^ Prototype(1993) #6
  11. ^ Prime vol.1 #8-9 (1993)
  12. ^ Firearm #6(1993)
  13. ^ Prime #10 (1993)
  14. ^ Ultraforce(1994) vol.1 #0-6
  15. ^ Ultraforce(1994) vol.1 #8
  16. ^ Cronin, Brian. (April 15, 2017) [1] CBR.com
  17. ^ Englehart Steve
  18. ^ "Joe Fridays - Week 9". Newsarama.
  19. ^ a b "ProReview: Ultraverse Prime". GamePro. IDG (79): 51. April 1995.
  20. ^ Worley, Rob (October 9, 2002). "Comics2Film: Sub-Mariner, Prime". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  21. ^ Worley, Rob (March 4, 2003). "Marvel Movies: The Next Wave". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved February 5, 2016.