The 90’s was not a good time for comic books. Sure more comic books probably have been sold in that decade compared to any other and it started the indy comic book boom but most 90’s comics haven’t aged well. They were cheesey, over the top and cringe- worthy in more ways than I can count. Yet there is at least one 90’s comic book series I liked.
Prime is kind of a guilty pleasure for me. It shares a lot of flaws of the 90’s comics. Let’s look at the random page of Prime #23.
Ridiculous over the top superheros and villains? Check. Cheesey, cringe-worthy dialogue? Check. Questionable female characters (to put it in a nice way)? Check. But the beauty of it all is that the 90’s style actually worked with Prime. Prime is just a kid (Kevin) who can use liquid flesh to create Prime and the whole gist of the series is Kevin/ Prime is put into a lot of adult situations which he is not mature enough to handle yet since no one knows is true identity including his mom. The teenage years can be awkward and cringe-worthy time so the flaws of 90’s writing is actually a strength (in fact most 90’s characters talk like they were eight years old despite them being some of the most powerful adults in the universe). Also the 90’s is known for the super muscular, total ridiculous superhero look (made most famous of course by Rob Liefeld) but Prime is a product of Kevin’s sub-conscience/ imagination so a kid would imagine himself to be the biggest, the baddest, the strongest superhero possible, defying anatomy and physics.
Looking back, Prime is a fun read and a rare comic that made the 90’s style comics work. The premise is a good one and I actually think if Prime was written today, during the comic book movie boom, it would be made into a movie. Unfortunately it is now an obscure comic book character that Marvel now owns but probably will never use.