The wildly muscled retro action figures that make up Funko’s DC Primal Age toy line are getting one wild, new barbaric backstory — and we have a first look.
A special one-shot custom comic book debuting January 18 will build out the mythos behind the quirky action figures and playsets, which were first revealed at last year’s NYCC. The 100-page DC Primal Age comic will have a main story plus five short features that expand upon the He-Man-esque sword and sorcery design of the toys. It’s a tough world with barbarian evil lurking at every turn!
The DC Primal Age comic book is on sale exclusively at Target, and can be found in the endcap of the toy aisle next to the accompanying toy line. The 32-page main story focuses on Wonder Woman, Superman and Aquaman trying to save Themyscira from being sunk by the Joker and King Shark.
Louise Simonson is part of The Who’s Who of comics talent working on the adaptation, which includes Marv Wolfman Jerry Ordway, Scott Koblish, Brent Anderson and Keith Pollard. Weezie, as she is known, wrote two of the short stories in the comic, involving Batman and longtime foe Mr. Freeze.
“It was really fun to do,” Simonson tells SYFY WIRE during an exclusive conversation. “I’ve worked with [editor Kristy Quinn] before and she liked my work so … I actually set some other work aside because, she offered me Phil Winslade and Brent Anderson [as artists], and you can’t say no to them.”
Throughout her award-winning career, Simonson has shown a knack for new directions and characters. She’s the co-creator of Power Pack and Cable, after all. Now she’s reimagining Batman Rogue Mr. Freeze as an ice-powered mage within the DC Primal Age framework, and it works better than it has any right to. “I know, Didn’t he?,” she says. “His powers are almost mage-like anyway, so … I mean, he just slid right in to that universe as if he were created for it.”
Her other short story, “Dark Knight,” focuses on Primal Age Batman. Weezie’s last time writing the character in comic book form happened back in 1991, in a three-part story arc in Detective Comics #635-637. Certain things don’t change about Batman, no matter what Age he resides in. He still uses a cave as his HQ, for example. But this version uses a sword and even has Ace the Bat-Hound (although a super-sized version). But Simonson didn’t make any fundamental changes to the character to get him to fit the sword-and-sorcery angle.
“No more than there would be in a superhero story,” she says. “You create your setting, and you have to be consistent, the rules have to be consistent. Once you let people know what the rules of the world are, then pretty much a story is a story. It’s a conflict and resolution enacted against that particular background. In the batman story, his protective instincts are engaged. He wants to essentially save his world, and that’s pretty much what the Batman in the traditional DC universe does. That’s his motivation, as the ultimate vigilante.”
Working on the stories has changed Simonson’s mind about one character. “One of the things that’s interesting and fun about doing this kind of project is …Mr. Freeze has never been one of my favorites. I’ve written him in a few oddball things over the years. But once you start writing a character and you really focus on him and see from the inside what you think makes them work as characters, they become kind of your favorites.”
As for any other DC character she would like to give the Primal Age treatment, Weezie has one in mind. “I don’t know what’s going on with the rest of the [DC Primal Age] line. I think some of the characters I would have brought in may be planned, so I don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun,” she says. “But I do wonder if they’re doing Poison Ivy. She would work really well in this particular fantasy milieu, I think.”