Thursday, July 28, 2016

Superman and Prime



I always thought that Prime and the rest of the Malibu Comics Ultraverse characters got a bum rap.  Even in the superhero glut of the 90's they were able to stand out in the marketplace with their fun heroes and talented creative teams and even had cartoon tie-ins and crossovers with Marvel Comics.  When Marvel acquired the rights to the Ultraverse characters, I thought that it was the beginning of bigger and better things for them, but it was just the opposite.  For some reason Marvel never really did anything with them and they are now in limbo with the rest of the 90's also-rans.  I wonder what happened there?

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is Prime from the Ultraverse, not to be confused with Ultraa from Earth Prime in the DC universe. Confused?

Christian said...

Marvel refuses to use them because the contracts still hive half ownership to the creators and theu don't want to payout royalties

Anonymous said...

I've vaguely heard of the Ultraverse. But, I never heard of Prime until just this moment! So, maybe the rap isn't so bummish.

Mr. Acer said...

@Christian
And they're cowards for not doing so.

Joe Money said...

What Christian said. Say, is there any chance of Lord Pumpkin making an appearance?

Ross said...

I'm not really that familiar with the Malibu heroes other than a few crossover with marvel and the Ultraverse Cartoon.

Cary Comic said...

I've never heard of either the comics or the cartoon. So, I'd have to agree with Anonymous. Maybe the Ultraverse didn't justifiably earn as much fame as, say, DC's Dakotaverse.

Bob Greenwade said...

My wife and I watched the cartoon when it was on, and found it to be quite interesting. I wanted to explore more about the characters, but didn't really have the resources at the time. I do wish Marvel would do a bit more with them, though; maybe it would've been better to sell the property to DC.

I think Marvel did use them when the Exiles did their "World Tour," though. I think I'll reread that whole set some time soon; it was a lot of fun.

On this cover, though, it looks like Supes and Prime are both in for a bit of exposure!

Anonymous said...

I once read somewhere that the main reason Marvel purchased Malibu was in order to get a hold of some innovative printing technology that the company had created rather than the characters themselves.

Anonymous said...

How about Captain America (Steve Rogers) vs. the Suicide Squad?

Sonofjack Well said...

Prime was my favorite Ultraverse character, Ross. Thanks for reviving him like this. Also, I have to say that I find the "I've never heard of them so they must not be that good" comments to be of rather dubious logic. If you've never heard of nor read the comics nor watched the cartoons then what makes you qualified to rate their quality one way or the other. Just sayin'....

Regarding the reason for the Marvel purchase of Malibu, read the following:

http://filingcabinetofthedamned.blogspot.com/2005/03/marvel-and-malibu-full-story.html

Dale Bagwell said...

Agreed Malibu really did royally screwed over by marvel, but that's not like its the first time Marvel's ever screwed anybody. My understanding, and I'll definitely read the link Mr. Sonofjack Well was so kind to post for us, is that basically Marvel just wanted the color and printing editing software programs Malibu was using, which at the time was vastly superior to the big two. That and the of course what others have said, about the not wanting to pay the creators royalty checks(many of which are/were former Marvel creators themselves)

Anonymous said...

@SonofJack: their apparent low-quality being the _very_ reason we've never heard of them. That's what! Just saying.

Bob Buethe said...

Illogical. If everything you'very ever heard of must be low quality, then there'd be no point to ever reading anything, because you'RE already familiar with all the good stuff. Believe me, plenty of high quality stuff has been published that you (and I) have never heard of. I've been reading for 50 years, and every once in a while I still come across a great old series that I never heard of before.

Bob Buethe said...

Illogical. If everything you'very ever heard of must be low quality, then there'd be no point to ever reading anything, because you'RE already familiar with all the good stuff. Believe me, plenty of high quality stuff has been published that you (and I) have never heard of. I've been reading for 50 years, and every once in a while I still come across a great old series that I never heard of before.

Cary Comic said...

@Anonymous: BB's right. It might not be the comics, themselves, that were of poor/low quality. But, more likely, the distribution company! For instance: look how Diamond Distributors are giving Red Anvil Comics such a hard time about WOTI #4, just because of one tardiness glitch last spring. It's imperious distributors like them that gave birth to the independent comic book field in the first place.

Anonymous said...

@Carycomic: the way I heard it, that boom was initially born out of protest over the greedy monopolizing that was previously standard operating procedure on the part of Marvel (and, perhaps, DC). But, whether it was the writing, the publishing, or the distribution that was of poor quality, the fact remains a great many otherwise avid comic book readers never heard of the Ultraverse.

And that ain't the fault of the readers!

Richard Fuller said...

I remember Malibu comics, but never read any of them, or if I even did, out of curiosity, I don't recall a thing about them. I remember hearing about the Ultraverse and Prime, and if anyone else named off some heroes, teams or titles, I might recollect hearing about them more than anything.
Upon hearing of Marvel purchasing the characters, it all still reminds me of the Marvel/DC feud way back in the '80s with Dick Giordano and Jim Shooter. I never read Marvel's side of the story, but as I was buying DC at that time, did get Giordano's version. It was all interesting, as well as George Perez putting his foot down with both companies if they wanted him to illustrate an Avengers/JLA crossover.

Hearing about Marvel buying the Malibu characters then not using them reminded me of DC's obtaining the Charlton characters and getting good usage out of them, as well as the Watchmen series, and yea, I could see Marvel doing this to keep DC from doing this again.
It's all very amusing, actually.

Cary Comic said...

Yeah, much as I hate to admit it, DC's chief competitor back in the Eighties was definitely not-so-Marvel-ous" in their corporate behavior. So, the latter's burying of these characters in the deepest part of their version of a newspaper morgue is probably the _biggest_ reason why so many of us are unfamiliar with the Ultraverse.

More's the pity. :-(

Sonofjack Well said...

Anonymous, no matter how thin you slice it, it's still bologna!

Simreeve said...

Richard Fuller said...
"Hearing about Marvel buying the Malibu characters then not using them reminded me of DC's obtaining the Charlton characters and getting good usage out of them,"

And the Quality characters, and the Fawcett characters...
But they haven't done as much as I'd have liked with the Milestone characters, though...

Cary Comic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

@Sonofjack: And some forms of bologna are still of undeniably higher quality than the comics of Malibu's Ultraverse! :P

Cary Comic said...

@Anonymous: Careful! Don't let Rune hear you say that. ;-)

Sonofjack Well said...

Judging the quality of a product you've never sampled is not rational. That's like me concluding that Game of Thrones is a terrible TV show because I don't get HBO.

Anonymous said...

My point, exactly! What you intended to be sarcastic is actually the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the undeniable truth. So help us both. :P

Cary Killingbeck said...

Hey, Ross. Any chance of permanently padlocking this article against these two necro-postmasters? They're getting tiresome! :-|

Ross said...

What is a necro postmaster?

Cary Comic said...

I believe its the latest on-line slang term for someone who keeps reanimating a dead issue of discussion (aka necro-posting).

Lee Sharp said...

The Ultraverse was an awesome set of characters, my fav was Ultraforce by George Prez, man sucks Marvel eat 'em up and spat them out... These characters are better than a lot of Marvel's B and even some A characters. Disney owns Marvel now, that excuse about paying a little bit in royalties don't wash will me. Disney can well afford to pay a little bit out and still makes lots of money of them and make long tern fan's beyond happy!

Prime also is perfect for a Disney movie, would be even bigger than a Shazam movie from WB/DC.

Anonymous said...

Highly debatable, Lee.

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