First published back in December of 1992, Dark Horse Comics’ graphic novel ‘Primal: Part II’, like with the previous two instalments, was once again collectively written by Clive Barker, D. G. Chichester and Erik Saltzgaber.  The graphic novel was the third and final instalment in the three part series, following on from the previous graphic novels ‘Primal: From The Cradle To The Grave’ (1992) and ‘Primal: Part I’ (1992).

DLS Synopsis:
With twenty-four Air Force soldiers dead as a result of Dr. Anthony Ferrell’s experiments in summoning the Riven; one seriously pissed-off four-star general turns up at Pease Air Force Base wanting answers.  And the Colonel in charge has only one to give – Ferrell.

Meanwhile, Ferrell is wallowing in his obsession over the touch and feel of the Riven made human.  The very same Riven who is now masquerading as a new employee in a mock 17th century village.  And the fun is only just beginning, with such potential for corruption and the feeding of fear all around it.

Elsewhere, T.J. Cyrus is trying to remember what on Earth happened to him in the Air Force base.  What did he sign up for?  What the hell did he let them do to him?  And as he strains to think back, his memories take him to that fateful rescue mission in the burning building when he let the fat man die.  Memories that still haunt him to this very day.

And locked away in the secure military facility, alone and undisturbed, Captain Kanakiah Shankar is preparing for the next stage in his destiny – preparing himself to kill...

DLS Review:
Weird.  Plain and simple.  For some reason the ‘Primal’ series ends here.  No explanation – no real storyline.  Nothing!  And to be quite honest, it’s a hell of a disappointment.

So what have we got in this final instalment?  Well, there’s the continuation of the various storyline threads.  The compromised Air Force Base is licking its wounds, Ferrell is going ga-ga, the Riven is doing what it does best – but rather slowly, T.J. Cyrus is still tearing himself up about leaving the fat guy to the flames all those years ago, and the pilot from the beginning of the previous instalment is preparing himself for a war – or so it seems.

That’s it!  Nothing else!

No characters are really expanded on in any further depth.  No great revelations are brought to the table.  No twists or turns of exciting new developments in the plot.  It’s just a pretty mundane business-as-usual storyline that plods along with hardly anything really going for it.

To have the likes of Clive Barker behind the actual writing of these graphic novels is absolutely baffling.  What on earth was his input?  Was there any at all after the first instalment – ‘Primal: From The Cradle To The Grave’ (1992)?  To be honest, the series started off with slightly high hopes.  It was certainly dark and atmospheric – although quite directionless and disorientating.

What’s transpired since is a completely diluted train of thought from the original concept – with no real originality or development in the storyline taking place whatsoever.  And good god what’s going on with the ending?  One can only presume that there was a follow-on instalment planned.

The artwork is once again provided by Lionel Talaro – and consists of the same disappointingly sketchy watercolour work that comes across as weak and washed-out.  The only saving grace is the cover and rear artwork that together have some mildly interesting horror appeal – but little else.

Is this perhaps a contender for the lowest scored review on the website?  I think it might just be.

The graphic novel runs for a total of 28 pages.

© DLS Reviews

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