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Review: Primer #1

Primer #1 cover
Cover uncredited

Primer #1
Published by Comico and © the respective creators below, October 1982

Title: “Slaughterman”
Synopsis: When Mrs. Slaughterman is captured by the Denwald the Destroyer, Bolta’s greatest hero races to the rescue.

Writer: Gerry Giovinco
Artist: Giovinco

Review: Much like the earliest titles from fellow indie publishers PC and AC, Comico’s Primer is more fanzine than professional publication. The company would quickly move onto bigger and better things, but this debut issue is really rough. Still, Slaughterman does have some primitive charm and a glimpse of potential.

•••

Title: “Sword of Mankind”
Synopsis: A young hero on a quest to save his sister enlists the aid of the alien Az.

Writer: Phil Lasorda
Artist: Lasorda

Review: Again, neither story nor art pass for professional. Where Slaughterman had hints of potential, Az is a confusing, depressing slog.

•••

Title: “Mister Justice”
Synopsis: Passing a tough initiation, former CIA agent Doug Direct joins the International Security Network and becomes Mister Justice.

Writer: Vince Argondezzi
Artist: Argondezzi

Review: This Kirby-inspired tale is almost ready for prime time. (And the character based on the King is fun!)

•••

Title: “Munchkin Murders!”
Synopsis: Something about a skull-headed creature, a stunt woman in a movie and a murderous renegade from Oz.

Writer: Bill Cucinotta
Artist: Cucinotta

Review: This Skrog story is an acquired taste. Or a confusing mess. Regardless, it’s hard to follow.

Grade (for the entire issue): D+

Second opinion: “Essentially a fan publication.” – The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003

Cool factor: The debut comic from the company that would soon publish Grendel, Mage and the Elementals.
Not-so-cool factor: This issue is a long way off those lofty editorial standards.

Notable: Includes a one-page preview for Andrew Murphy’s Victor and an uncredited one-pager about Primer’s editorial mission. … First appearance of Az, Mister Justice, Skrog, Slaughterman and Victor.

Character quotable: “This is life and death, friend. You can’t get more dramatic than that!!” – Jack Pizzano, head honcho (or is that King) of an International Security Network Intersect outpost

Editor’s note: This review was written Sept. 5, 2021.

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