PRIME

Before reading, please read Prime #5.

Prime: A New Twist #6
August, 1998

"Nightmare Over Canoga Park!"

Written by James Pedrick
Edited by Mike Aragona
Based on plot for Prime Vol. 1 #5
Created by Gerald Jones and Len Strazewski
Property of Malibu Comics

"DIE, LITTLE ONE!" The massive cartoon character stood before Kevin and Kelly.

Running up behind Maxi-Man was a young boy, only seven years old. His name was Billy Stephens. He “dreamed” Maxi-Man to live. But that dream turned into a living nightmare. "Stop! Maxi-Man! Stop!"

The monster turned around and looked the kid in the eyes. "Are you telling me what to do?! That's exactly why I came here to begin with!" Then he wrapped his hands around his iron club and slammed it down on the ground. The ground shook and sent the kid sprawling to the ground. "NOBODY ORDERS ME AROUND!"

"Kelly, this can't be! He's just a cartoon!" He was an exact replica of the cartoon with a big difference: hatred in his eyes and voice.

Kevin tried to move forward to help the kid, but Kelly pulled him away. "No, Kevin! RUN! It's some kind of monster!"

The two darted away from the monster, but he followed. "HAHAHAHA! You cannot flee from Maxi-Man!" He jumped in the air and landed on the ground before them, smashing it and sending them both plummeting to the ground.

Kevin quickly got to his feet and ran away. But then he looked back and noticed Maxi-Man had grabbed hold of Kelly!

"Kelly! RUN!! GET AWAY FROM HIM!!!"

"Ah!!! HELP! PRIME!" Fear raced through Kelly's body as Maxi-Man wrapped his hand around her waist and lifted her into the air. All she could do was hope that Prime would save her.

"HA-HA-HA-HA! NO ONE CAN SAVE YOU NOW!!! YOU SHALL PAY FOR THE INJUSTICE BROUGHT ON ME!!!" Then a giant, slimy blue tongue sprung out of the immense creature's mouth and draped itself around Kelly's face. It was the most disgusting thing Kelly ever felt. "MmMmM... I LOVE the taste of MORTAL FLESH!" Kelly had a sick feeling in her stomach, the same feeling she had when Coach Meyers touched her in the wrong way.

Meanwhile, Kevin watched, repulsed at what Maxi-Man was doing to Kelly. "Oh no. It hasn't been long since I last primed... I don't think I could survive against Maxi-Man... but I have to! I have to focus... I have to save Kelly... she's counting on me... on Prime!"

Kevin ran behind a bush. He attempted to push Prime out of him... like before. "Come on, Prime! Come on, you big... stupid... HERO!" The struggle sent pain throughout his body, but he could feel it working. Kevin fell forward, until the transformation occurred. Goop flowed out of his chest and took over his body, taking form as Prime.

Prime rose up from the ground and charged toward Maxi-Man. "So, you like messing with little girls? Let's see how you take this!!!" Prime pounded Maxi-Man to the ground.

As Maxi-Man fell back, Kelly fell out of his grasp and Prime caught her. "Don't worry, Kelly. No one will hurt you now. PRIME HAS ARRIVED!"

Kelly looked up and stared. "You're really here!" She was infatuated with him. All of her fears were gone when she was around him. She didn't know what it was, but she felt like he would always be there. She had faith he would arrive, and he did.

But the fight was not over. Maxi-Man raised from the ground. "So, you think you can handle MAXI-MAN?!"

Prime gently placed Kelly on the ground. "You better get out of the way, Kelly. This could get messy."

"YOU BET!" Maxi-Man bolted forward and slammed his iron club into Prime, but he blocked it with his hand and pulled the club away from him.

"Not so fast!" With his ‘PRIME' strength, he broke the club in two. "I'm what you're supposed to be! I'm a hero!" Then Prime pointed toward Maxi-Man, "I grew up on your cartoons! I learned about heroism from you! About fighting for what's right!"

Kelly watched from the side. "How could Prime GROW up watching his cartoon?!" she muttered to himself. She knew Maxi-Man didn't appear on TV until SHE was growing up!

"I don't know how you got to be REAL or why you are trying to kill us, but I’m gonna teach you what it means to be a HERO!"

Maxi-Man laughed. He jumped in the air and kicked Prime, sending him to the ground.

Prime lifted himself from the ground. "You CAN'T be Maxi-Man! You're a PHONEY!"

"PHONEY?! I'm not the phoney! That cartoon you watched... that's the phoney! I'm the REAL Maxi-Man... AND YOU ARE GOING TO SUFFER!" Maxi-Man flew up and struck Prime on the head.

Prime fell back to the ground. "That was worse than Prototype! And I don't feel as strong as I did when I fought him!!"

Meanwhile, Kelly saw the young boy, who Maxi-Man attacked, get up. She was so caught up in the commotion, she forgot all about him.

"Are you okay?" She helped him up from the ground.

"Yeah... I think so." Billy looked up to view his surroundings. He saw Maxi-Man grabbing a light pole. "Is Maxi-Man okay?"

"Is he okay?! He's out there killing people and you want to know if he is okay?!"

"I didn't mean for him to kill people! I just wanted to meet him!! Wanted him to be real... in real life!!!"

Kelly was baffled. What was this kid talking about? He must have been gotten a pretty hard hit to the head.

Meanwhile, Maxi-Man was using the light pole to bash Prime to the ground.

Prime was having a hard time matching up against Maxi-Man. He knew he couldn't take much more of this.


Elsewhere, Mr. Green returned home early from work. He had to take some time off, figure things out, and come up with a plan. When he opened the door to his house, he was welcomed by a surprise visitor.

All the lights were off, but he could feel someone's presence. He moved into the living room and saw a man, sitting on a chair, casually smoking a cigar. Russell couldn't see his face. "What?! Who's there?!"

"You should know, Green, you called me."

Russell turned on the lights. "COLONEL SAMUELS!!"

"Sorry I couldn't respond last night. I'm on a new... assignment now and no one is supposed to be able to reach me. Luckily, there are still people at Comcap who remembered the PROJECT... and knew what you were hinting at."

Colonel Samuels was wearing his army uniform. He was in his fifties and a little husky. "Now what is this all about. I was told you sounded quite concerned last night."

Russell sat down at a chair across from Samuels', "Uh... my son, the one you... remember... fourteen years ago."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah." Colonel Samuels was not a patient man.

"You remember they said nothing would HAPPEN. Well, it HAS. He's... changed... He's Prime, the new ULTRA-HUMAN!"

Colonel Samuels leaned in closer, "Now you have my attention." Samuels paused and took a puff of his cigar. "How do you know?

"I... I saw him! Kevin has been out real late recently... one day we found him at our doorstep... NAKED, and then last night, Prime came down from the sky. His body was melting and Kevin was INSIDE the body!"

"Who else knows?"

"Nobody. Not yet."

"What do you mean ‘yet?'"

"See, he's been disappearing and ,well, I've told my wife, Martha, that he's going through a teenage phase, but she thinks it's drugs or gangs!"

"Listen, Green! I don't really care about any of your family problems! You keep this confidential! This is government business now!" Colonel Samuels got up and walked up toward the door.

"WHAT DO YOU MEAN GOVERNMENT BUSINESS?!" Russell started to think he made a mistake by calling Samuels.

But Colonel Samuels just ignored him. He pulled out his phone. "Listen. I want all data on the whereabouts of PRIME. Transmit to... He is? Well, well... I'll be right down."

"What is it?

"Looks like your worries may be over soon, Green. Prime's tearing up a neighborhood just a couple of miles away. I suggest you come along. Colonel Samuels opened the front door and left.
                               
Russell followed behind him, furious and scared of what would happen to his son. "What are you going to do? Are you going to cure him? It's your fault you know! Your fault my son is a freak!"

Samuels turned around and looked Russell in the eyes. "Green... Try to remember who has the real POWER here."


Downtown, Prime and Maxi-Man continued their slugfest, unaware of how Prime’s life was about to change.

Prime rose from the ground and slugged Maxi-Man in the chest, "It's time for you to go back to... whatever the hell you cam from!"

Maxi-Man fell back slightly, but quickly charged back toward Prime. "AHAHAHAHA! You are no match for me! I am MAXI-MAN, STRONGEST of them all!"

"You're not the strongest! I am the strongest! I am the strongest ultrahuman of them all! Even Hardcase!"

"ULTRAHUMAN?!? What's that?"

"It's... uhn... THE BEST! AND I'M THE BEST OF THE BEST!"

"HAHAHAHA! Let's test your strength!"

"FINE!" Prime charged toward Maxi-Man, but Maxi-Man grabbed each of Prime's fists with his. The two pushed against each other in their test of strength.

Meanwhile, Colonel Samuels arrived with a fleet of armed vehicles. Colonel Samuels, accompanied by Russell Green, stepped out of one of the vehicles. "That your boy, Green?" asked Samuels, pointing at Prime.

"Yes... we HAVE to help him!"

Prime and Maxi-Man were still locked in their power struggle. Prime gained the upper hand when he used his knee to bunt Maxi-Man off of him.

"Hang on, Green! Looks like Prime is gaining the advantage." Samuels pulled Russell back from running toward Prime. "I don't think it will be necessary to... intervene."

"You don't understand! He doesn't really know how to fight!"

"Looks pretty good to me!"

Prime charged toward Maxi-Man, but Maxi-Man managed to grab him. Using all of his force, he wrapped his arms around Prime and squeezed him. Struggling to breathe, Prime managed to ask, "You can't be Maxi-Man... he's not real... who are you? Why are you
doing this?"

"Don't you get it?" Maxi-Man squeezed harder. "I am Maxi-Man! And I am repaying the torture you payed to me... with your life! No longer will I be forced to do your will!"

Prime couldn't figure it out... no way could he be Maxi-Man. Maxi-Man wasn't real. Unknown to both of them was the truth. This monster was just a thought, a wish, a dream gone mad. This monster was just a dream of a young boy named Billy Stephens.

Prime was furious. "I don't care what you are! Maybe you are the real Maxi-Man, but NO ONE THREATENS my GIRLFRIEND!"

Watching from several feet away, Kelly heard Prime's voice. "His girlfriend??" Feelings of excitement and dismay caught at Kelly's heart. Prime DID like her... and she wasn't exactly sure how she felt.

With all his power, Prime broke free from Max-Man's grasp, sending the villain flying. Then Prime raced over to Maxi-Man and blasted him with a barrage of punches. Maxi-Man finally began to weaken.

From the side, Colonel Samuels watched with excitement. He vowed to have Prime's impressive power under his control.

Maxi-Man could no longer withstand the attack. His mind grew fuzzy as he lost his concentration and his own identity became unclear. Maxi-Man began to fade. He was vanishing from existence, just as he appeared from nowhere. And then, he was no more. Once again he was a thought, a fictional character who never really existed.

Prime slumped on the ground. His body frail, he could not savor his victory. He fell to his knees, as his ultra-body began to dissipate.

"Are you okay?" Kelly came over to see how Prime was, but he could not answer. His body melting away.

Russell Green tried to run to save his son, but Samuels and his men held him back. "Interesting. Hid body begins to lose its integrity."

"Samuels! Get your people over there! He's hurt!"

Prime fell backward on to the ground. "Oh my God!!! What's wrong with you,” yelled Kelly. She pressed her hands against his face. "Get up! Are you..." But when she lifted her hands, she realized that Prime was liquefying. "OH MY GOD!!! Prime is MELTING!!!"
Kelly couldn't believe it, she couldn't describe it. Prime was dissolving.

"Jim! Kowalski! Get the girl out of there!" Samuels ordered.

Two men, dressed in military outfits, ran toward Kelly and dragged her away.

"STOP!!! WHO ARE YOU?!? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH PRIME?!?"

While Kelly was being dragged away, two other men took Prime's crippled body into a military ambulance.

"What are you going to do to him, Samuels! Are you going to heal him!" Kevin's father yelled.

Colonel Samuels waved for two men to hold Russell Green back. "Don't worry, Green, everything in under control, but I am afraid this is where we part our ways. I've got what I want."

"SAMUELS?!" Russell knew he should have never trusted him.

"I'll keep in touch, Green, but for the time being, I'd advise you to wait... quietly."

The men dropped Russell on the ground and ran into a vehicle. Then, following Colonel Samuels' commands, they were off. They never told him this would happen. They said they were going to help him. They were going to help him and his wife have a baby. They said he'd be special.

"Sir?" Kelly came over to where Russell was kneeling. "Are you okay?"

Russell looked up, tears running down his face. His face looked familiar to Kelly, as if she'd seen him before. "Who are you?"

"Um... a friend of Prime's... I guess" she responded. "Do you know where they're taking him?"

Russell looked up to the sky, "No. God forgive me. I don't."


Elsewhere... outside Canoga Park...

"Get some stabilizer on the epiderm... and some antibiotics into its fluid base... AND PUMP SOME OXYGEN INTO HIS CHEST CAVITY!" Colonel Samuels stood, giving orders to his doctor, to ensure that his new subject would survive. To his side stood Jim,
his most loyal soldier. "I don't want to lose the host.  We need his genetic structure!"

The doctors pushed an oxygen pump into what was Prime's chest, now a thick fluid, clear enough to see a boy's face inside. As Kevin was fed oxygen, his body began to take form again.

"Without this boy, my career is over. He is the key to my climb back to the top!"

"Sir, it’s working! His structure is regaining its form."

"Excellent! Cut the oxygen!"

The doctor pulled the oxygen pump out of Prime's reformed body. Kevin wasn't quite sure what was going on. He tried to get up from the emergency table.

"Sir, he's fighting us!"

"Sedate him! Get him under control quickly!"

Jim could not stand by any longer. "Colonel, sir?"

"What's that soldier?"

"What about the boy? Sir, he's trapped inside."

"The boy?!? I don't care about the boy! I want the ultra!!"


Next Issue: What is Colonel Samuels' secret plan? What will Russell Green tell his wife? What will Kelly do now? All next issue! Oh, and PRIME is in it! As Samuels takes Prime to the limit to see what all he can do!


PRIME-TIME SPECIAL - Twilight Epilogue

Three days later...

Billy Stephens stood in downtown Canoga Park with his mom. They watched as men were hard at work, repairing damage two ultras made a few days earlier. One of the ultras was Prime, quite possibly the most powerful ultra ever. The other could not be identified publicly but Billy knew who he was... or what he was. He was Maxi-Man. But Billy couldn't figure out if he had really existed or not. It all happened so fast. He had made a wish. A wish to meet Maxi-Man in real life. And that wish came true... came to life. But was it alive?

Maxi-Man had the same feelings, the same emotions that Billy thought he would have. He was tired, tired of being locked up... in a TV... forced to perform. Billy didn't know it, but Maxi-Man wasn't alive. He was simply the thoughts of a child made real. “Thoughts” which believed were Maxi-Man. “Thoughts” which were tired of being locked up performing. “Thoughts” of a seven-year-old named Billy Stephens. And one can only wonder... what other thoughts could Billy have?

Billy's mother looked down at her son, "How could these ultras cause so much damage?"

"I don't know mom."

They walked along the streets. And then Billy looked down at his teddy bear, hanging from Billy's hand.

"No more TV for you, bud!" The bear said, looking up at Billy.

"What, honey? Did you say something." his mom looked down at her son.

"Oh, no. Nothing, Mom."

Next Issue: Who the heck is Colonel Samuels?!?  Find out in Prime: A New Twisy #7.  And please send comments to jamespedrick@yahoo.com or fill out the form below.  And make sure you answer our first Prime-Time survey!

Would you like to see Billy Stephens again?

Yes, I'd love to see Billy in his own solo stories!
Yes, I'd like to see Billy guest star in this title or others again!
No, Get rid of him!


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