Unit Primes vol. 1 (2004)

This is a sweet and original graphic novel that’s well worth your time. After the unspeakably evil Unit Primes destroy his home planet, a young boy is adopted by three alien creatures who are trying to learn about the Unit Primes. The three aliens form a familial bond with the boy, a bond which is tempered in sadness by the ongoing threat they all face.

The approach of the creators to this graphic novel is quite unique. The universe faces a great threat, but the emphasis of the book isn’t the threat itself. Instead, the threat is always hovering in the background. The threat of the Unit Primes is a maguffin, a plot point that allows the creative team to focus on the relationship that they really care about. Palpham and Zumel care much more about the boy, L-Bee, and the aliens, Harko and the married couple Alo and Viralo. Alo and Viralo virtually adopt L-Bee as the son they never had after rescuing him, and it’s the warm and charming family relationship between these characters that gives this graphic novel its emotional depth.

It’s that depth that gives the team’s desperate plan for defeating the Unit Primes its poignance. The group of characters feel they have to try to save as many people as they can from the next planet that the evil being is about to attack. However, the attempt goes terribly wrong and has horrifying consequences for the group of friends. In the end, sad moments occur but growth has also happened. The characters grow and change in real ways through the course of this book.

The artwork in this book wonderfully conveys the emotion of the story. It’s got to be hard to depict alien creatures‘ emotions, but the team of Zumel and Dreier are up for the challenge. The art is better than what you might find in more mainstream books, and you can clearly see the commitment to the work in every panel. This is one of the treats of reading independent comics: because the creators are working just for themselves, they often pour a tremendous amount of heart and soul into each panel.

Heart and soul are words that define Unit Primes. Readers can see heart and soul both in the story and in the commitment that the creators give it. I hope we get to see more of this story in the future.


Order from Afterburn Comics.


2 Responses to “Unit Primes vol. 1 (2004)”

  1. cauwel3 Says:

    Sounds cool can we buy it at the local comic store. Is it just called unit primes??

  2. cauwel3 Says:

    check out my review of Primer on my blog I think you might like that movie

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