Prime #1/2 (Malibu Comics/Wizard, April 1994).

§ March 31st, 2014 § Filed under from the vast Mikester comic archives § 8 Comments

So for a while there, price guide/news/interview mag Wizard would offer special issues of various ongoing comic series, usually numbered as “# 1/2” (and there may have been a “#500” in there once or twice, too) that you could send for by mail using the special certificate ‘n’ envelope enclosed. And also by sending that check or money order, too…hey, Wizard ain’t runnin’ a charity, here. The comics themselves generally contained a new short story unavailable anywhere else, plus some sketchbook work or similar backmatter rounding out the publication.

I only availed myself of that particular scheme a handful of times…I sent away for the Sin City #1/2 and Daredevil #1/2 and probably a couple of others I’m forgetting.

And, of course, the comic pictured above: Prime #1/2, by Len Strazewski, Gerard Jones and Norm Breyfogle. Prime, for those of you too young to remember or have just generally driven the ’90s comic market out of your memory, was a modern spin on Captain Marvel, in which a kid gains the ability to transform into a seemingly adult-aged superhero. In this case, the kid, I don’t know, exuded some kind of fleshy substance to, in effect, grow his superhero body around his actual body, and I think I probably need to take a look at these comics again and remind myself that was what was actually happening.

At any rate, it’s my memory that this was one of the better titles that came out of the Ultraverse superhero line published by Malibu, even though it’s been a couple of decades since I’ve read these and that semi-recollection of our hero’s abilities the paragraph previous is about as much as I can recall at this time. Even flipping through this #1/2, now that I have it out of the box, it all looks brand new to me. And I did read the series, at least for 18 issues of its initial run.

I always say “I should pull these out and reread these” when I’m reminded of some comic I know I read and enjoyed a long time ago and haven’t looked at since. But, there’s only so many hours in the day, and sometimes it’s just going to have to be enough to know that I did enjoy them at one time, even if the specific details have faded away.

Oh, and back to the whole Wizard #1/2 thing…these special issues usually came with one of these “Certificates of Authenticity,” to ensure you weren’t receiving one of those cheap knock-off bootleg #1/2s that were flooding comic markets all across the world:

Thank goodness, this comic is an authentic! It’s the authentic-est!

8 Responses to “Prime #1/2 (Malibu Comics/Wizard, April 1994).”

  • Mike Loughlin says:

    For awhile, my local comic book shop ordered a few copies and sold them on the racks. The good news is I got copies of several 1/2 issues of comics I read (including The Maxx, Daredevil, Kabuki, Red Star, Iron Man, Midnight Nation, and Ultimate Spider-Man). The better news is I didn’t have to buy Wizard to get them.

  • Eric L says:

    I liked Wizard for a while. It provided a nice overview of the mainstream comics scene, but then it just became an awful magazine on every level.

  • Bully says:

    Yep, there was a #500: Witchblade #500, which suggested that this was exactly what was going to happen when the comic book reached that numbering milestone. I may have (DEEPLY ASHAMED) sent away for that one.

  • Dave Ziegler says:

    Prime was good, but it wasn’t nearly as good as Firearm, the James Robinson-penned Ultraverse series. Now THAT was some good comics…

  • Snark Shark says:

    ” this was one of the better titles that came out of the Ultraverse superhero line published by Malibu”

    Yup! Esp. the 1st years worth of issues.

  • Bill D. says:

    I never ordered any of these, but I’ve picked a few up out of the back issue bins through the years. Mage: The Hero Defined #1/2 was a decent story about how Kevin met Joe Phat, but it didn’t feel like completely necessary reading for the series as a whole. I liked X-Men #1/2, but mostly because it was Mike Wieringo drawing the X-Men in a Dungeons & Dragons style, making it a cool precursor for Tellos. Astro City #1/2 was definitely the best of the ones I’ve read, but I never had the Wizard version at all, but instead the reprint that WildStorm put out a little while later.

    As for the Ultraverse, I always meant to get around to Prime but never did. I agree with the opinion on Firearm, though. Didn’t read it as it came out, but picked them up after discovering Robinson through The Golden Age, Starman, and Leave it to Chance. Great read.

  • kid nicky says:

    You have to check out the theme song for Prime on youtube. He’s primed for justice!

  • CG says:

    I vaguely remember Usenet (remember Usenet?) throwing a massive hissy fit at Kurt Busiek over the Astro City 1/2 issue.