DC has been riding a hot streak of excellent middle grade graphic novels, and they just announced a pair of new 2020 books this weekend. We have a first-look look at Primer – the first original superhero to debut in this line. (VVisit GeekMom for coverage of Lois Lane and the Friendship Challenge by Grace Ellis and Brittney L. Williams.)
Primer is the story of an artistic girl with a rough past who finds her inner superpower thanks to a mysterious set of super-powered body paint. This original graphic novel is by Jennifer Muro, Thomas Krajewski, and Gretel Lusky. It is scheduled for release in June 2020. Below, you’ll find DC’s official solicitation text for Primer, as well as the cover and some unlettered preview pages. If you’re interested, I’d highly recommend pre-ordering it, as the Raven: A New Beginning graphic novel had to go back to print this year to meet demand.
Written by Jennifer Muro and Thomas Krajewski
Illustrated and colored by Gretel Lusky
Lettered by Wes Abbott
On sale 6/23/2020
Primer introduces a brand-new superhero with a colorful array of superpowers to explore.
Ashley Rayburn is an upbeat girl with a decidedly downbeat past. Her father is a known criminal who once used Ashley to help him elude justice, and in his attempt to escape, a life was taken. He now sits in federal prison, but still casts a shadow over Ashley’s life. In the meantime, Ashley has bounced from foster home to foster home and represents a real challenge to the social workers who try to help her–not because she’s inherently bad, but because trouble always seems to find her.
Ashley’s latest set of presumably short-term foster parents are Kitch and Yuka Nolan. Like Ashley, Kitch happens to be an artist. Yuka, on the other hand, is a geneticist working for a very high-level tech company, one that’s contracted out to work for the government and the military. And it’s Yuka’s latest top secret project that has her very concerned. Developed for the military, it’s a set of body paints that, when applied to the wearer, grant them a wide range of special powers. Fearful that this invention will be misused, Yuka sneaks the set of paints home, substituting a dummy suitcase with an ordinary set of paints in their place.
From here, signals get crossed. Ashley comes home from school one day with her new friend Luke and, thinking that the Nolans have purchased a surprise gift for her upcoming birthday, finds the set of paints. Being an artist, Ashley naturally assumes these are for her. It isn’t long before she realizes that she’s stumbled upon something much bigger and a lot more dangerous. Although she uses her newly discovered powers for good, it’s not long before the military becomes wise to what happened to their secret weapon. And this spells big trouble not only for Ashley, but for her newfound family and friends as well.
Jennifer Muro is an acclaimed animation writer whose credits include the Lucasfilm series Star Wars: Forces of Destiny. She’s also written for Justice League Action, DC Super Hero Girls, Marvel’s Spider-Man, and is currently working on Critical Role’s The Legend of Vox Machina series. Since 2004,Tom Krajewski has been writing animation for Nickelodeon, Disney, Warner Bros., the BBC, and Cartoon Network. Titles he has worked on include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Iron Man, Looney Tunes, Scooby-Doo, and The Fairly OddParents. He is also the head writer on the Netflix series Buddy Thunderstruck.
Gretel Lusky is a character designer and visual development artist for animation. Primer is her debut graphic novel.