Catalyst Prime/Lion Forge Comics 2017
Written by Joe Casey
Pencilled by Larry Stroman
Inked by Rob Stull
Coloured by Snakebite Cortez
Lettered by Saida Temofonte
The mysterious superpowered teenager named Seven is still on the run, while billionaire Bo Vincent Chen is racing against time to assemble a team of superheroes for secret missions. Will the MMA fighter Alex Winters, also known as Deathmill, be the next recruit . . . or a threat to Bo’s ultimate goal?
While the formula that Joe’s using here isn’t a new one, I last saw it in The Troop (very good read by the way) and what Joe’s managing to do with it is solid. It’s unfolding in a natural way that isn’t being rushed, allows us time to get to know these characters before the cast grows larger. His ability to utilise pacing is wonderfully demonstrated with these first two issues as we get to see the what and possibly the how and slowly getting to the why. All along we get some nice action and interaction along with some solidly done characterisation.
While we open up with a different look at the way the first issue ends we quickly move on to another potential member of Chen’s burgeoning team. Alex is a cage fighter and he’s using the abilities that the meteor gave him to his advantage to win, make money and work off this aggression that he has. Now I’m not sure if said aggression has always been there and the reason he and his girlfriend broke up or if it’s something new, a side effect of these new abilities if you will. Either way we get just enough information regarding that so that we’re intrigued and hooked to keep following and find out.
Meanwhile back their new headquarters the team is discussing the failed attempt at getting to the young woman before the police did thus forcing her to use her powers and escape. For now it’s okay that Chen seems to have his secrets and ulterior motives behind forming this team. Even if he doesn’t tell the kids what those reasons are I wouldn’t be adverse to seeing his musings on why or at least that morsel which makes the mind race thinking of possibilities.
The interiors laid down by Larry and finished by Rob and Snakebite is some really nice solid “comic book art!” Love the way page layouts are utilised with their angles and perspective to give you that maximum impact of the scene, facial expressions and that television/movie quality so we get that panoramic view. While backgrounds aren’t left out they could be a bit more detailed for my tastes but regardless it’s very good stuff happening here.
While Alex turned down his offer the first time, that exchange was very executed by the way and demonstrates beautifully why I’m a fan of Joe’s writing, so what will happen to change his mind? Also will his change of mind be able to get past his breakup with his girlfriend whom he was with on the beach that night? Oh I did enjoying seeing that night through his eyes as it provides further clues as to who else might be the bearer of additional talents.
Also I do like the idea of Detectives Platte and Hodge becoming more and more involved in the events currently happening. There’s more to these two than meets the eye and I look forward to seeing what role they ultimately play in this. By that I do mean will they work with them aiding them in an official capacity or will they be trying to arrest them, get them off the streets and claim them to be menaces one and all?
This is a different take on how to start a superhero universe from scratch. How “real” people would react to a world where people with strange powers and abilities that they suddenly share. I like how they all combine and yet remain separate there really is a nice cohesion to this world but not making it essential to read every title coming out. But seriously why wouldn’t you want to be reading this? It puts the established world’s of the Big Two to shame.