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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.

160 pages, Paperback

First published June 23, 2020

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Jennifer Muro

2 books41 followers

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5 stars
1,947 (39%)
4 stars
1,721 (34%)
3 stars
855 (17%)
2 stars
226 (4%)
1 star
193 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 677 reviews
Profile Image for Chad.
7,311 reviews851 followers
June 26, 2020
Ashley has been bouncing from foster family to foster family since her dad went to prison. When she meets her new quirky foster parents things begin to click. He foster dad is an artist like herself and her foster mom is a scientist. When her mom brings her work home, Ashley mistakes it for a present and spills this special paint on her, each color giving her a different power. She secretly becomes Primer and fights crime.

The art was great, reminiscent of a cartoon with bright colors that popped. Ashley was extremely likable, cracking tons of jokes as she fights crime. Kids are going to absolutely love this. I enjoyed it quite a bit too.

Received a review copy from DC and NetGalley. All thoughts are my own and in no way influenced by the aforementioned.
Profile Image for Tina.
2,306 reviews1 follower
July 24, 2022
This is a Superhero Middle Grade Graphic Novel. I have to say I found this book to have a good storyline. I also really enjoyed this pictures in this book. This book is being told by a strong will girl that is in foster care named Ashley Rayburn. I love that this book shows foster care in a good light, but it also show that Ashley is still overcoming things. This is a fun graphic novel, but it as some good messages in it.
Profile Image for Alexander Peterhans.
Author 2 books155 followers
July 31, 2022
Reads very breezily, is funny and sweet at times. I'm not a huge fan of the constant quipping during superhero-ing, it's a bit too cheesy for me.

Primer feels ridiculously overpowered, three powers at a time feels like at least one too many. I guess the idea is that she can use a power once before the tube needs to refill itself..? Kind of an important detail, I don't think it's addressed.

The final fight felt contrived -

The last page got a big laugh from me..
Profile Image for Stay Fetters.
2,017 reviews116 followers
July 25, 2020
Primer takes a unique spin on being a superhero. Paints that can give you superpowers and a girl kicking ass, I couldn’t ask for more. This was just awesome!
Profile Image for Kadi P.
740 reviews94 followers
September 19, 2020
This was total perfection! It was funny, it was cute, it was completely and utterly unique. The emotions portrayed weren't hyperbolic or superficial like they usually are when it comes to DC graphic novels.

The graphic novel's only downfall was how short it was, but even then it managed very well. It built up perfectly to a climactic fight and a cliffhanger ending that left me wanting more.

The art was simply sublime. Absolutely beautiful. But I knew it would be. I followed the artist Gretel Lusky on instagram even before I knew she was illustrating this book and her art is always so expressive and amazing.

And the protagonist Ashley was just a breath of fresh air! Just look at her:

How could you not love her?

I can't wait to see what else Primer gets up to, I would absolutely love to see her make the transition to full-blown DC comics character! I'm not sure if that'll ever come about but there definitely seems to be plans for a sequel if that ending was anything to go by...
Profile Image for Rory Wilding.
618 reviews22 followers
June 24, 2020
Published as an original graphic novel, Primer tells the story of Ashley Rayburn, an orphan who has been through the foster system since the imprisonment of her criminal father. When she gets another chance to be part of another foster family, Ashley finds a new home with the Nolans: the adult hipster, Kitch, and his more sophisticated wife, Yuka.

Adjusting well in her new family, despite the fear of her father clinging onto her, Ashley discovers a briefcase that is secretly kept by Yuka, who is a geneticist working for a very high-level tech company — one that’s contracted out to work for the government and the military. As the briefcase contains tubes of what looks like body paints, they comprise of a colorful array of superpowers that Ashley uses for good, despite Yuka’s worry of the paints being on the wrong heads.

Please click here for my full review.
Profile Image for Diz.
1,509 reviews84 followers
March 16, 2021
The art is really attractive, but the story fell flat for me. It's trying to be cool, and it's trying too hard to the point of being awkward at times.
Profile Image for Laura.
2,616 reviews79 followers
June 12, 2020
This is a fun story, and kept me interested all the way through. Ashley is in foster care, and has been brought into just one more foster family, but they seem to click, and then she finds some cool paints, that turn out to be more than paints, and she gains superpowers from them.

But, in the back of my mind, I think this diminishes how foster care really works. That it would be so easy to fit into this new family, and that Ashley would not have more problems.

But, if you just read it on the surface, it is fun, so don't try to think too hard about this.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
Profile Image for Rod Brown.
4,965 reviews164 followers
August 3, 2020
Surprisingly good for a superhero book aimed at the elementary school market. Ashley Rayburn is spunky and creative. Her first adventure is nothing really original, but it is very solid in execution. The only missteps occurred on the last few pages when some emotional moments were rushed, an unlikely status quo was established, and a hideous costume was introduced to replace an already great look for DC's newest hero. I'd gladly pick up a sequel.
Profile Image for Brandon.
1,823 reviews25 followers
June 26, 2020
Primer is an incredible OGN starring a young middle school girl named Ashley. She's constantly going in and out of the foster system while her father is locked away in prison when she's finally adopted by two loving foster parents who want to encourage her free spirit and love of art. Ashley stumbles upon her scientist foster mother's superpower-giving-body paints, Ashley becomes a superhero of her very own!

It's really such a wonderful and colourful book. Every page is exploding with vibrant colours and dynamic characters. If you pick up a book about paint that gives you superpowers, you expect the paint to look cool and feel like a big part of the story- on that point, it definitely delivers. Primer embraces the big explosion of fun you expect from animated cartoons, but packed into one cohesive comic book. The story itself manages to be heartwarming and even devastating at times, showing Ashley's insecurities and need to act out.

If there are any downsides to Primer, it's that some of the jokes caused me to cringe. They felt like what adults try to say to be hip with the kids, with references to "L.O.L." and selfies. At times they were knowingly silly, like the foster father showing how dorky and laid-back he is. And, as a 26-year-old, I don't think I'm in any place to judge how "dated" or "accurate" the kids lingo is. It's definitely not a big detractor from how much I enjoyed the story overall, and with the creative team leaving room open for a sequel I'm eagerly anticipating what comes next in Ashley's story.
Profile Image for Darla.
3,155 reviews447 followers
June 14, 2020
This new series from DC Comics ticks all the boxes. Sassy, confident heroine - check. Supportive sidekick -- check. Interesting set of superpowers -- doublecheck. A secure home base -- check. Somewhat dark back story -- check. The presentation does due justice to the narrative. There were chunks of panels in my DRC that were not yet inked in, but less than half. I am intrigued by this new superhero and the use of body paint (only three at a time) which give Primer thousands of different combinations for fighting evil. Then there is her incarcerated father lurking in the background. Dun, dun, dun. Looking forward to the next installment!

Thank you to DC Comics and NetGalley for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Madison Warner Fairbanks.
2,124 reviews275 followers
October 12, 2020
Very creative storyline. Fantastic artwork.

Thanks to the publishing company for the ARC
Not thrilled she got away with stealing from her parents without repercussions.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Shannon Rochester.
829 reviews71 followers
July 18, 2020
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

Outside of the Archies, I have never really been into comic books/graphic novels. For whatever reason, though, this one called to me the day I was choosing books at Netgalley. I can't say I was disappointed. The storyline was a good one, yet somewhat typical. Ashley is going from foster family to foster family while her Dad is in jail. None of them really stick until she meets her newest family. They seem to really care about her and she is finding herself caring about them as well. Normally, her guard is up as she knows she will probably end up leaving yet again. But this time she also makes a friend and she is fitting in better at school...so who knows? One day, she finds a case hidden away and she sees it is full of body paint...she learns that this paint can give her super powers...but in a limited capacity as she can only choose three at once. Obviously there is a bad guy because, well...it is DC. The art was great and so colorful that i flew through the book, hoping for more. I loved it and I know there are tons of kids out there that will love it too. :)
Profile Image for Celeste.
871 reviews2,311 followers
September 10, 2020
This was so stinking cute. The story, the art style, the relationships, the concept, were all simply adorable. I was captivated and charmed. I would buy this for any child in my life in a heartbeat. But honestly, my adult self enjoyed it immensely.
Profile Image for Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*.
6,001 reviews178 followers
June 12, 2020
Primer by Jennifer Muro and Thomas Krajewski, 136 pages, GRAPHIC NOVEL, DC Comics, 2020, $10. 978-1401296575

Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content PG; Violence: PG



Sixteen-year old Ashley Rayburn has been in and out of foster care since her dad is in prison. She seems to have struck gold with the Nolans, especially Mr. Nolan who shares her love of art. Things get interesting when Mrs. Nolan, a scientist, tries to protect the top-secret weapons she has been working on by bringing them home. The weapons look like paint tubes. Ashley, thinking that the paints must be for her birthday, begins to experiment with them, and becomes the newest super hero, Primer. She is not the only one with an interest in the paints though and soon she has to decide what family really means.

Ashley makes an interesting character. She comes with some angst from her many foster homes and her controlling dad, who is set to cause her grief in a sequel. The art is colorful and well drawn. Ashley could become the new Peter Parker for girls.

Michelle in the Middle
Profile Image for ˗ˏˋ janet ˊˎ˗.
162 reviews40 followers
June 30, 2020
“Aw dont worry pal. Maybe someday you’ll grow up to be as big and strong as a girl too!” Exactly Ashley!

This was a great read and not only was it great fun but it was also super colorful and cute! Lots of girl power here <3
Profile Image for Meghan.
2,062 reviews
February 6, 2020
This book was received as an ARC from DC Entertainment - DC Comics in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

I was smiling from ear to ear from reading this book that I could not stop reading. The concept was genius and the plot was so intoxicatingly exciting that a lot of our young readers will be looking to read this book. Ashley is struggling to fit in with her new family and new life but remain upbeat during the process. One day she comes home from school knowing that her mother Yuka works for a top secret agency and her latest project is a set of body paints for the military that when applied, the person will be granted special powers. Yuka fears that these paints will be misused so she sneaks them home and replaces them with regular paint at the lab. Ashley finds these paints and chaos erupts. Now Ashley has become public enemy number one and her new parents and friends is in jeopardy. Now with these new powers and the military finding out there secret weapon has been compromised, Ashley must do whatever it takes to save her family and friends. This was such a creative spark to the DC Universe. I know our readers will love this book and will be talking about it.

We will consider adding this title to our JGraphic Novel collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
Profile Image for Amber.
986 reviews
June 23, 2020
I received a complimentary copy of this ebook ARC from the author, DC entertainment publishing and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ashley is a young girl who is stuck in foster care. When she finds some spray paint cans in her foster parents room thinking it's her birthday present, her life changes forever when she obtains Superpowers from them. Now she is being hounded by dark forces. Can she save the world and those she cares about from them? Read on and find out for yourself.

This was a pretty amazing and new Superhero graphic novel from DC entertainment publishing. I loved the storyline and the artwork was incredible. The color to black and white artwork in the book reminded me of the opening of a first volume of a Japanese manga which is pretty cool and I love how they spread that out within the story. If you love Superheroes, be sure to check out this graphic novel now available to buy wherever graphic novels , books and ebooks are sold.
Profile Image for Lost in Book Land.
513 reviews91 followers
June 23, 2020
Happy Tuesday! (Also called new book day)! 

I have been keeping busy reading and playing tons and tons of animal crossing (I recently got super into terrforming and now my island is not only a hot mess but I have a million ideas that all take hours)! I am also slowly getting back into watching some television shows (I kind of stopped watching stuff for a little bit there) but I am currently enjoying season two of Good Girls and really excited to pick up season two of the Politician. Something else I have been loving lately is DC comics, I started reading these a little while back (I can not remember my first one but I think it was Batgirl, which I thoroughly enjoyed)! These are graphic novels I can read through in a sitting and I love grabbing a cup of hot chocolate or hot tea and reading one or two of these! Today's read is DC's latest comic, called Primer (and this one is definitely one of my top two favorites I have read of theirs so far).


Ashley is going through a rough time in her life. She is living in a group home and interviewing with families to try to be adopted while her notorious crime father is in prison. One day a couple comes to the group home to meet her for an interview to possibly foster/adopt her. Ashley is hesitant as always however, the meeting goes great and she hits it off with them! Ashley is soon moving in with them and things are going okay until she overhears the wife saying something that sounds like she regrets having Ashley move in. One day Ashley is left home alone and is able to explore the home, she comes upon a brief case and opens it up to find tons of paints. She begins to mess with the paints (thinking they might be a birthday gift for her) and soon realizes these are much more than just paint. Each paint gives you a super power! Now Ashley can be an amazing superhero and change up the powers she has anytime, but where did these paints come from? And what about that comment that Ashley overheard?

This is one of my favorite DC comics, maybe ever (I am still on my DC comics reading journey). I loved Ashley and her new family so much! They all have these individual personalities that mess so well and I loved seeing this family come together (my favorite character might be the husband but its hard to pick). Additionally, I loved the paints, I thought this was a cool mechanic and I loved all the combinations she could make (the list of what all the paints do in the graphic novel was also super cool as well). The artwork in this graphic novel definitely made it come alive and I found myself staring at a lot of the pages/panels and looking over them again and again. They were bright and brilliant! I would love to see more graphic novels with Primer in the very near future!

Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
Profile Image for Michael Sorbello.
Author 1 book222 followers
November 24, 2021
Ashley Rayburn is a spunky graffiti artist with a knack for getting herself in trouble. Stuck in care of the government because her single father was a violent criminal and her foster families have all given up on her after growing tired of her troublesome antics, she's a bit cynical toward others. Things take a turn for the better with her newest foster parents Kitch and Yuka. For the first time, Ashley finds parents that not only accept her, but encourage and support her zany lifestyle.

Kitch is a carefree painter and Yuka works as a scientist. After growing accustomed to her new life, Ashley discovers a mysterious case of body paint in Yuka's bedroom which she naturally believes to be her birthday present. Little did she know, they are actually tubes of war paint created from the collected fluids of superheroes which grants people a unique array of color-coated superpowers when applied to the painter's own body. Unknowingly attracting the attention of the military and placing her new family in grave danger, Ashley takes on the mantle of a superhero and uses her artistic knowledge to fight corruption.

A short and sweet comic with a very unique concept. Even though it was published by DC and references Gotham, it doesn't require any knowledge of DC superheroes to understand or appreciate the story at all. Ashley is fun and cool and I loved her relationship with her goofy new foster dad. Using different colors of paint to acquire temporary power boosts reminds me a bit of Mistborn's magic system of burning different types of metals for similar effects to take place.

The villains weren't interesting and there were some cringy lines involving social media slang, but it was a nice and engaging read overall.


If you're looking for some dark ambient music for reading horror, dark fantasy and other books like this one, then be sure to check out my YouTube Channel called Nightmarish Compositions: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPPs...
Profile Image for Mid-Continent Public Library.
577 reviews171 followers
July 14, 2021
This new series from DC Comics ticks all the boxes. Sassy, confident heroine - check. Supportive sidekick -- check. Interesting set of superpowers -- doublecheck. A secure home base -- check. Somewhat dark back story -- check. The presentation does due justice to the narrative. There were chunks of panels in my DRC that were not yet inked in, but less than half. I am intrigued by this new superhero and the use of body paint (only three at a time) which give Primer thousands of different combinations for fighting evil. Then there is her incarcerated father lurking in the background. Dun, dun, dun. Looking forward to the next installment! *Review by Darla from Red Bridge*
Profile Image for cardulelia carduelis.
476 reviews25 followers
July 2, 2020
This was great! The art is absolutely gorgeous and reminded me of all the Italian disney comics I used to read as a kid, like W.I.T.C.H . The story is very hearthwarming but I wanted a little more content for the first volume. It's possible that the story was left a bit looser because this is a kid's volume but Runaways was packed and is probably aimed at a similar age-group.
So yeah, very nice, will pick up volume 2.

Profile Image for Philip.
1,333 reviews67 followers
June 27, 2020
5 stars for the artwork - really nice stuff - and close to 4 for the overall superhero concept. But only 3 for the story, especially the origin part, in that she basically gets her powers by being a sneaky jerk and betraying the trust of the only people that really care for her. Even for a 13-year-old, not cool.

(Like Scottie Young's excellent if really warped series I Hate Fairyland, this was recommended by my son, who works at Barnes & Noble)
Profile Image for Stefanie.
94 reviews
May 26, 2020
This new DC Comics Kids graphic novel is a masterpiece!! I just adore Primer- she’s a rad artist superhero that so many kids will connect with!! The illustrations are stunning and I can’t wait to add it to my classroom library!
Profile Image for Readingwithnori.
285 reviews206 followers
August 18, 2020
Let me just say that this has become of my favorite illustrations because Wow! It’s beautiful. I know this is for a younger age but as an adult I still really enjoyed it.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 677 reviews

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