TITLE: Freex vol. 1, Issue #1
YEAR: July 1993
Writer: Gerard Jones
Penciller: Ben Herrera
Inker: Mike Christian
Letterer: Tim Eldred
Color Design: Paul Mounts
Editor: Chris Ulm
In 1993, writer Gerard Jones and penciller Ben Herrera would create the series “Freex” for Malibu Comics imprint, Ultraverse.
Where as other groups in the Ultraverse saw a purpose of using their powers for good, Freex focuses on a group of teens with supernatural abilities that are treated as outcasts.
Having to live with each other with no money, no home and food, they have to resort to stealing, squatting and always on the lookout as they are being chased down by police.
And because these teenagers are emotional and are not knowing what to do in life, they decide to create their own gang as a support system.
The first issue revolves around the following characters:
- Anything (Lewis Phillips) – Former football athlete who got hit and turned into goo and can take up any shape.
- Pressure (Valerie Sharp) – An angry and volatile teen who was in juvie and has the ability to burn things with her green fire.
- Sweetface (Angela Salazar) – A girl who has skin that extends all around her body.
- Cayman (Evan Murayama) – A young man locked in the basement by his parents and the only form of entertainment he had was reading “The Adventures of Huckleberry Film” and dreams of escaping towards the river. He is in rock form.
The first issue is the team trying to figure out what to do as they are being chased by police. The first issue sets up the origin of Lewis, Valerie and Evan.
When “Freex” was released, I liked how it was different than the other superhero titles out there. This young group are the targeted, they have no home, no money, no food and try to make by with what they have.
It’s a different type of storyline that focuses on a group of strangers who need each other to survive and keep moving on with life as best they can.
The group have gathered in an apartment but are not sure why they are meeting up at the same spot.
But the first issue is merely introductions to the characters. The series gets better overtime and it was a title that I looked forward to each month.
And unlike the other superhero group title, “The Strangers”, these individuals received their power when a nurse injected newborn infants with “wetware”, a mix of mutated DNA and nanotechnology.
So, they discovered their power through typically unfortunate situations as teenagers and because they are not accepted by society and looked at as freaks, they have no one but themselves. But the journey as a group, what will they eventually learn? What will they lose? And what lies in front of them in the difficult road ahead?
When this issue was released, it was released in two formats. A comic book version and a CD-Romix (along with “Prime” and “Hardcase”) which featured a digital comic book with lighting effects and voice acting.
For the most part, “Freex” was a series that I gravitated towards, because they were more runaways trying to survive but they all happened to have special abilities. How wold they deal with life? That’s something readers had to keep up with the series and find out.
Unfortunately, the series only lasted for 18 issues as Malibu comics would eventually be sold to Marvel Comics and while the story tries to conclude with events in Godwheel, unfortunately with all the potential the series had, Ultraverse was no more after the Marvel acquisition.
Still, “Freex” was one of the better Ultraverse comic books out there and Gerard Jones did a great job writing the series and the artwork by Ben Herrera had a distinct style that made his artwork different from other Ultraverse comics, let alone other comic books out there.