By Courtney Ryan. One of the certain thrills of being alive right now is watching the world expand in new and astounding ways as more and more historically marginalized individuals and societies share their visions on the global stage. The comics world especially benefits from a rich deposit of creativity and fresh perspectives that never would have thrived during its earlier, more exclusive incarnation.
One of the most exciting of these fresh projects is Catalyst Prime, a completely new superhero imprint from Lion Forge Comics. The Catalyst universe launches on Free Comic Book Day with Catalyst Prime: The Event, which will serve as an overture for a story about how five astronauts sent to save the world from destruction instead spark the beginning of superhuman existence and martial law on Earth. A diverse set of acclaimed authors and artists will issue seven monthly series following The Event, including, as you might have guessed, Catalyst Prime: Noble.
At the center of Noble #1 is astronaut David Powell, an amnesiac suddenly blessed with telekinetic abilities and a military-grade hunting party on his tail. His struggle to outrun his would-be captors and discover his true identity takes place one year after The Event, during which we’ve learned he saved the planet from a nearly fatal collision with an asteroid—though he doesn’t know it. Nor does he realize he has a son back home and a wife who is driving her own covert mission to find him.
This is, by all means, the start of what could be a wonderful adventure. Writer Brandon Thomas beautifully directs a swift and steadily paced story that masterfully balances action, intrigue, and just enough character development to build emotional investment. Artist Roger Robinson captures Thomas’ ambitious vision by illustrating sweeping vistas and cinema-like stills that realize the grand scheme of this superhero cat-and-mouse. As for the superhero himself, Powell strikes a sharp blend of menacing vengeance and wounded bewilderment.
It will be especially fascinating to see how Powell’s story is woven in with the six other series on deck, but for now Thomas and Robinson seem comfortable steering their member of the fleet. Catalyst Prime: Noble #1 is an exciting genesis for a superhero tale that is still deferential to its genre but thankfully also crisp around the edges.
Written by Brandon Thomas.
Illustrated by Roger Robinson.
Colors by Juan Fernandez.
9 out of 10