Leonard Nimoy’s PRIMORTALS

Working for Tekno•Comix in the mid-Nineties was a bizarre experience. But one good thing that came out of it was the opportunity to write the company’s flagship book, Leonard Nimoy’s Primortals. The company had a lot of trouble at first coming up with a writer that Leonard Nimoy liked, so they had several people write up sample scripts for him to review. He chose me, surprising everybody. I ultimately wrote eleven issues, co-plotting with my pal James Chambers (editor of the title), with input from Mr. Nimoy.

The premise was that 65 million years ago, an alien race had harvested various prehistoric beasts from Earth and transported them to other planets, where, spared the great cataclysm that killed the dinosaurs here, they continued to evolve into intelligent, sentient creatures. Now, in the present day, some of them have returned to their ancestral homeworld.

Chaos ensues.

The artists on the book during my run were great, especially Scot Eaton and Ron Randall. Story-wise, the one issue that Pat Broderick drew was probably my favorite. It was a tough series to write, but plotting the series over beers with Jim was always a blast.

I had fun. I loaded the series with in-jokes – many that flew right over the publishers’ heads, including naming a half-human/half-bug alien “Kafka.” As I recall, Nimoy thought that was pretty funny. One he didn’t pick up on, though (as far as I know), was that I named another Primortal “Narab,” after the Martian character Nimoy portrayed in the 1952 sci-fi serial Zombies of the Stratosphere.

And yes, I did meet Mr. Spock. He was much skinnier and shorter than I would have expected, but he was pretty cool, and genuinely complimentary about my work. I have a memo from his office in my files that describes my writing as having: “…a theatricality, an intelligence, and a sense of Wagnerian Epic.”

Pretty cool, no?

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