Freex

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Freex
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Publication information
Publisher Malibu Comics
Main character(s) AJ
Anything
Boomboy
Cayman
Plug
Pressure
Sweetface
Creative team
Created by Gerard Jones & Ben Herrera

Freex is a short-lived comic book series from Malibu Comics. Created By Gerard Jones and Ben Herrera, it concerned a team of teenage superheroes in the Ultraverse.

Its roster over the series consisted of Anything (Lewis Phillips), Pressure (Valerie Sharp), Sweetface (Angela Salazar), Cayman (Evan Murayama), Boomboy (Ray), Plug (Michael Rafani) and AJ.

The group that would come to call themselves the Freex were apparently created when a group of newborn infants were injected with a substance called "wetware", a mix of mutated DNA and nanotechnology that had been created by the advanced but isolated underground society called the Fire People. The nurse who injected these children would later go on to become the superhero Contrary, who utilized other Fire People technology to assist and organize Ultraforce.

Fictional history[edit]

The members, searching for others like themselves, began to contact each other. This was helped by 'Plug' and his ability to interact with computer systems. They came together, but before they had time to do more than introduce themselves, they were already being chased, exploited, hunted, and were wanted by the police. This would set the tone for most of their exploits to come.

Over the course of their adventures, they had to deal with many adversaries. There was Mangle, a murderous adult who manages to convince them he was being exploited and pursued also. Nightman, a vigilante, would go from opponent to ally. A thrill-seeking speedster manages to cause trouble. A team of literally dog-faced pursuers manages to endanger anyone who crosses their path.[1] Most of the team ends up confronting an entity they call an angel, who comes to them in their darkest moments and tries to tempt them into entering an alternate reality. They deal with the actions of Rune, a powerful, alien vampire. An ancient immortal dubbed 'The Old Man' comes to be an unofficial mentor, trying to teach them how to survive in the world. Contrary's team provides adversaries and team roster changes. Boomboy ends up staying with her in order to receive a complete education, though he does help his friends escape. Cayman joins the team because he is frustrated with Contrary's mind games.

The 'ultra killer' known as Rafferty would be their biggest foe as he kills Plug. Despite their differences, Contrary has Plug buried at her mountain headquarters. Nightman and the 'Old Man' attend the funeral. After the services, Angela recalls how a previous incident with computers left Plug feeling like he had left half his mind back inside.

Around the time of Plug's death, the team gains official uniforms. They continue on past this tragedy, confronting more threats, in this dimension and others.

Pressure and Cayman become involved in the four-part series Godwheel. Along with other heroes and villains, including Contrary's students Flygirl and Feline, they help stop the villain Argus from gaining untold power. In the course of the events, Flygirl is killed [2] and Cayman, in battling the entity Primevil, loses some of his reptilian features and what he believes to be half his power.

At the end of the series, Cayman expresses the desire to go back to the Godwheel, itself a strange world, because he thinks he can find acceptance and power. However the magic utilized to transport the survivors of the battle is interrupted by Rune, shocking all involved. The heroes vanish in a burst of pink energy. Cayman is not shown back in his desired Godwheel lands.

Origins and powers[edit]

Over the course of the series, each character's origin in highlighted in an issue.

Boomboy (Ray) is a super-strong giant, with an angled, grey appearance. He lives most of his young life shunned by his parents, locked in a basement. His only escape from this is a book he finds, written by Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He reads this novel over and over, entranced by Huck's adventures, his willingness to do good deeds and his friendship with Jim, the escaped slave. Unfortunately this leads to Boomboy not quite understanding the difference between reality and the book, though he always tries to help out no matter what the situation. Boomboy ends up creating the codenames for most of his teammates.

Plug (Michael) grew up with a mother and father who believed that their son must earn their love. He tries, but never feels he has ever succeeded. He escapes into the world of computers and one day discovers he can do this literally. He does so to escape the murder of his parents, who he still loved despite their actions.

Pressure (Valerie) is able to convert her sweat into steam or even superheated plasma. "Pressure" describes her personality as well as her powers; she has been abused and manipulated so often, that her frustration and rage often make her extremely short-tempered and violent. She takes this out on her friends, even temporarily leaving them to work with the above-mentioned speedster.

Anything (Lewis) used to be a star football player. His life falls apart when his powers manifest in the middle of a game, in front of hundreds of people. He can only crudely reshape his body, and cannot change color or imitate complex shapes. He can expand his body to great size.

Sweetface (Angela) has skin that is covered with flesh-colored tentacles. She is horrified at this, but she learns to accept this with the help of her friends. She learns to use them in battle. In one instance, she braces herself on a tree with some and uses others to grab the Old Man and slam him to the ground.

Cayman (Evan) joins the team in Freex # 11. Super-strong with scaly armored skin and big claws, he can assume human form but only briefly and with great effort. He is calm, intelligent and well-adjusted.

AJ can project an energy form from his body.

Continuity[edit]

After the team returned from a time travel adventure in issue #17, the deceased team leader Plug is simply forgotten and a new member appears - AJ. It is apparent that AJ has taken Plug's place in the team's memories (as well as his positions of team leader and Angela's boyfriend), with the exception that AJ survived the events that killed Plug. However, as far as they are aware, AJ has always been there. The narration reveals that an intelligent force manipulated their journey through time (via the Fire People's Fire Portals) to exchange Plug's existence for AJ's, in order to spare them the pain of bereavement. Since the title ended in the following issue, the identity of the intelligence was never made explicit, though the use of Plug's recurring special effect carried a heavy implication.

The Freex are not seen or mentioned following the universe-altering events known as "Black September", and it is possible that they ceased to exist either during the event or soon after. Seeing as how the revamped Ultraverse was cancelled before any conclusive answers could have been revealed, their fate is still unknown (aside from Cayman, who surfaced to join the revamped Exiles and Ultraforce and may have simply been a regular ultra in this altered reality. Cayman never made mention of the Freex during his entire run in the All-New Exiles or his final appearances in Ultraforce).

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Freex #3 (October 1993)
  2. ^ Godwheel #2 (1994)