Just been getting caught up on all your blogs since February... it's been a busy time!
I didn't know that Titan had made a Prime comic, so it's been good to catch up on what I missed. In terms of content, it feels much the same as every modern kids comic that isn't The Beano. Half a dozen pages of original strip and the rest of the mag filled out with the same recycled puzzle features, plus whatever assorted plastic tat that even Sir Toys might be embarrassed to sell.
Whilst it's been great that there's been some budget for originated material (scarce in these times for adventure comics aimed at kids- it was around 2014 that Marvel laid down the law with Panini that they were no longer allowed to produce original material for the UK or Europe using Marvel characters, which meant their younger audience but by no means rubbish Spider-Man and Marvel Heroes titles came to an end). As an adult, it's not really what I want to be paying £4 a month for (I don't particularly like paying that now for a regular US comic, to be honest, but I accept it's the reality of the industry), especially if the strip isn't up to much.
It's also interesting to hear your comments on where violence in the strip has been toned down. I wonder if the art on UK comics is still sent to editors at the draft stage for approval, before it goes to full art. That may explain why in some issues the art has seemed rushed, or lacking in some way. There certainly seems to be much tighter regulation on what type of content can be shown to children these days - even if its robots smashing each other up. Not saying this necessarily a bad thing, but it does seem to neuter the strips somewhat, which makes for a rather bland and joyless read.
I don't think Prime was a particular flop - at least not in terms of the toys and show. It's been the only Transformers TV show to be released in it's entirety on Region 2 DVD - including the TV Movie capstone, which is impressive. Or at least it is to me - the only other time that's happened is with Beast Machines (and I suspect that was more because at 26 episodes, it was fairly cheap to sling out on a few discs to capitalise on the success of the 2007 movie). The comic limping along at a quarterly pace doesn't surprise me - the show was fairly complete to the point that, as with Beast Wars / Beast Machines, there aren't a lot of stories you can tell in other media that the show hasn't done - and the comic really seems to highlight that. It's got the right ingredients - a decent writer and some enthusiastic artists - but lacks imagination and ingenuity. Because of that, it's never seemed particularly great.
Sadly, we're far beyond the days of having a lively and vibrant UK comics market. The newsstands are awash with titles like Prime that are more magazine/ puzzlebook than outright comic and seem to exist soley to promote a brand, rather than develop any genuine interest in reading, imagination or the characters and ideas the comics are supposedly encouraging you to take an interest in. I suppose if you want that sort of thing these days, you're best off getting the educationally themed Aquilla.
Stuart Webb. Who knows everything about nothing and not a lot about that.
Action Force/G.I. Joe