Catalyst Prime, the new superhero comic book series from Lion Forge Comics, caught my eye as soon as it was announced last year. Hype has continued to grow with today’s release of the Free Comic Book Day exclusive, Catalyst Prime: The Event, which introduces the world and its characters. However, it’s not the first official book in the series. Noble, the first standalone book in the saga, came out a few days ago. And it’s a bit of a mixed bag.
Catalyst Prime is about a group of five astronauts who try to stop an asteroid from hitting Earth, which some characters believe to be connected to aliens (spoilers: it is). The astronauts end up gaining special powers, becoming the first super-humans on the planet. Noble, aka David Powell, is the first hero we meet, a telekinetic with amnesia who’s on the run from some pretty bad guys.
Noble was written by Brandon Thomas (Horizon, Civil War II: Choosing Sides), with artist Roger Robinson (Batman: Gotham Knights, Solo Avengers) and colorist Juan Fernandez. Most of the issue consists of a fight between Noble and some mercenaries in Argentina. The action is solid and flows well, but it was sort of hard to keep up with what was happening. It’s clear the comic was trying to put us in Noble’s perspective, a man who’s lost his memory and is struggling to survive in a world he doesn’t understand— but given this looks to be our only issue that’s centered on this character, I feel like we ended at a loss. I mean, we barely even see his face.
The beginning and end of the comic are undoubtedly the best part, as we open and close on David’s wife, Astrid, who learned he and his fellow astronauts helped save the world... but that it probably cost him his life. Later on, we learn that she’s been orchestrating the search for David (probably as part of a larger mission, given her bodyguards in the first panels), in order to “get Daddy back” for his kid. It’s unclear who she is right now, and what role she plays in the larger story, but her panels were the highlight of the story... since they gave us some real, raw emotion that tied the story together.
The seven-part series features a diverse group of characters that I’m excited to see grow and develop over the coming months. It continues next month with Accell, about a man with supersonic speed named Daniel DosSantos, who becomes this universe’s first vigilante crime fighter.
Personally, though, I’m most looking forward to Superb, the third comic in the series, which is about a superhero with Down syndrome. Lion Forge has paired with the National Down Syndrome Society to help the creators understand the unique challenges that people with Down syndrome experience, in order to convey a character with capabilities that don’t take away his disabilities. That issue comes out in July.