Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

DC Primal Age: Good Dumb Fun

The PopCult Comix Bookshelf

DC Primal Age 100 Page Comic Giant
written by Marv Wolfman, Jerry Ordway, Louise Simonson
drawn by Scott Koblish, Jerry Ordway, Brent Anderson, Phil Winslade, Scott Eaton, Chuck Patton & Tom Derenick, Keith Pollard
cover by Jon Bogdonove pin up by Michael Kaluta
DC Comics
Sold exclusively at Target stores

Sometimes you just want a good, dumb, fun comic book, and DC Primal Age fills the bill nicely. The premise is, well, sort of silly. This is based on a line of toys made by Funko that reimagines the top DC Comics superheroes as fantasy warriors in the style of He Man and The Masters of the Universe. The toys, in which I have no interest, being a bit too old to have fond memories of He Man, are sold at Target, and this comic book is a nice tie-in that can only be found at the land of the Tar-jay.

Imagine being given the assignment to create a 100 page comic book based on this remarkably asinine premise.

Luckily DC hired some of their greatest writers and artists, who unfortunately can’t get regular work due to rampant ageism in the comics industry, and turned them loose. The writing team, headed by Marv Wolfman (New Teen Titans, Crisis On Infinite Earths), has taken this premise, which could have come across as moronic in lesser hands, and turned it into a pure fun action adventure romp.

Set in a primal land of sword and sorcery, we meet versions of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and their arch enemies, The Joker, Killer Shark and others. There’s a quest to gather orbs to rule the world, and all sort of sword and sorcery tropes to give us some conflict. We even get Solomon Grundy reimagined as some sort of ersatz Catcher In The Rye.

The surprising thing is, due to the talent involved, they make it work. This is a fun comic book. It’s basically in the same format as the Walmart 100 Page comics, only with far fewer ads, all-new material and a price twice that of the Walmart Giants. Aside from the lead story by Wolfman, the stories are short, action-packed and easy to digest.

It’s a real kick to have Wolfman, Louise Simonson and Jerry Ordway writing comics again. These seasoned veterans can still write circles around today’s “hot” writers, and they do it without taking nine months to tell a story that can be told in ten pages. The art is also by veterans who seem to have fallen out of favor, but still have their chops. Ordway illustrates one of the stories he writes. Brent Anderson offers up his first non-Astro City art in a while. And it’s fantastic to see Keith Pollard back in print with new work again.

The stories are not Earth-shattering, or revolutionary. They are fun comic book adventures. Kids can enjoy them, and the young at heart will also get a kick out of seeing new work by much of the crew that made the Superman titles the best superhero comics running in the early 1990s.  The book has six stories and over 90 pages of story and art. It’s a pretty good value for ten bucks, if you like what is essentially an all-new “Elseworlds” universe.

This is also great for any fans of the DC Primal Age toys, however, I’d imagine that no kids are actually going to get to play with these toys, as they seem to be aimed at the adult collector market. DC Primal Age is fun for fans of the creators, and for folks who are not crazy about the current direction of mainstream comics.




  1. Thomas Wheeler

    I’ve seen the toys, and have no particular interest in them since I feel the original Masters format is a bit dated (and has been ever since Mattel developed the Masters of the Universe Classics line), but I’m sorely tempted to get this book just because of the talent you listed. Marv Wolfman? Jerry Ordway? Louise Simonson? Brent Anderson? I know what those people are capable of, and it beats the hell out of today’s comics.

  2. Keith P Mayo

    Can’t find this anywhere in my area. ARRGH!!!!!!

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