Welcome back to Strange Times & Places, where I’m stopping the presses to give you my take on a comic that allegedly hit Target store shelves two weeks ago but didn’t hit the metro area until this week! That’s right, this week we’re checking out the DC Primal Age 100-Page Giant!
How’s It Different?
It is an Imaginary Story, setting the Justice League and their foes in a world of swords & sorcery. It ties into a DC/Funko collaboration toyline that apes the style of Masters of Universe (or Remco’s DC-based Lost World of Warlord figures, if you prefer), something Funko has done with movie slashers and Mortal Kombat…and every franchise mentioned so far has crossed over with at least one other at some point. Weird.
What’s The Story?
There are six tales contained within, sorted best and worst below.
Best of Differences
- Ice & Fire is a story that gives us the Primal Age origin of Mr. Freeze: he is a mage and a minor royal who attempted to show off for his new bride Nora by using ice magic to build her a comfortable palace in his desert kingdom. It…didn’t go as planned, and now he sits alone in his ice palace fighting off all comers and trying to find a cure. Best tale of the bunch.
- Darkest Knight sees Batman, orphan prince turned self-made avenger of the night, meet Lucius Fox. Fox has a peculiar gift, in that he cannot perform spells but instead enchant objects. He offers his aid to Prince Bruce by enchanting his costume, armor, and weapons to better battle dark mages. This story manages to keep some of Batman’s gadget-using charm without sacrificing the wider concept, and does so very well.
- Born on a Monday sees Wonder Woman take a detour whilst on a diplomatic mission to return a child to their parents. She instead finds a whole community of disabled waifs living in Slaughter Swamp, where their parents left them to die, under the care of Solomon Grundy. The story ends with her riding off to the kids’ hometown to give its people a piece of her mind. It captured the essence of Wonder Woman while telling a story that, with minor alterations, could star any of comics’ barbarian warrior women.
- Not a Bird… furthers the Batman/Superman relationship of the Primal Age by pitting the two of them against Bizarro. Not a strong closer, but pretty good.
Worst of Differences
- The Joker’s Wild sees The Joker and his Hyena barbarians sack a town. It implies The Joker has a code of honor that isn’t evident in the headlining tale and, even in barbaric times, it’s hard to imagine a town deserving the Joker Gas treatment.
- The Primal Age, the headlining tale of the book, is only just OK. It’s jam-packed with characters, leaving little time to establish any of them or their world. With mostly dialogue edits, it could be a mildly gritty Super Friends story.
- Not a Bird… features Superman and Bizarro quite off-model, looking basically like their Pre-Crisis selves with furry modesty trunks and a flail for a hand.
Come Back Next Week for More Heisei Godzilla with Tokusatsu Gesundheit!