– by Daryll Benjamin –
The Catalyst Prime line of superhero comics is proudly brought to us by Lion Forge Comics.
For this I have to give a little back history. It was two New York Comic-Con years ago that friend of Afronerd Radio, Joseph Illidge, when we asked about Milestone’s revival, told DBurt and I that he had a project in the works. And that it would fulfill our desires for a full and inclusive universe with talented writers and artists Then at last January’s Black Comic Fest at the Schomberg Center in Harlem, we were told that this project, Catalyst Prime, was a full throttle go. Since the release of Catalyst Prime: The Event on Free Comic Book Day and then Noble soon after, Illidge has proven to be a man of his word. This has been my go-to for a superhero universe that looks like what I see when I leave my house everyday. Let’s take a look at the foundation 5 titles.
by Brandon Thomas, Roger Robinson, Paul Mounts & Saida Temofonte
Recommended for Fans/Readers of Batman; Deathblow; Hardware
Plot: The Captain, David Powell, of the space mission to save Earth has returned with a missing memory and fantastic powers involving energy. His love, Astrid is turning over heaven and earth to locate him. So is the head of the mission project, Lorena, but her desires aren’t as altruistic.
My Note: Brandon Thomas kicked off the world-building in style here with not just the hero but throwing the reader into a war situation where the reader had to catch up fast. I love the break neck speed feel of this story from the start and with each issue he adds on another intriguing character to keep everyone on their toes.
by Joe Casey, Damion Scott, Ramon Govea, Sigmund Torre, Robert Campanella, MOSH Studios & AW’s DC Hopkins
Recommended for Fans/Readers of Mark Waid’s 1st Wally West Flash run; John Sturges’ Blue Beetle; Static Shock; Karl Kesel’s Superboy; Spider-Man
Plot: Daniel Dos Santos is just your everyday young adult who is just floating through his life. No real responsibility other than his wealthy girlfriend, and his video games. That is until he “finds” a chunk of the meteorite from the Event. Now he has super speed and is learning how to control the power while trying to do some good.
My Note: I’m a sucker for stories like this. And super-speed is right up my block.
by Joe Casey, Larry Stroman, Snakebite Cortez, Rob Stull, Saida Temofonte & Ramon Govea
Recommended for Fans/Readers of Peter David’s first X-Factor run; Power Company; Blood Syndicate; H.A.R.D Corps; The Gifted TV Show
Plot: As more and more people are getting “blessed” with powers, certain elements want to corral them. As a counter, some of the super powered individuals have gotten together to get to them first. Mistrust and resentment run throughout this book and it will take a while to differentiate the main characters, but once you do the action happens fast and furious.
My Note: I have a love/hate thing with Stroman’s art but this has been his best work in years to be honest with y’all…
by Dr. Sheena Howard, David F. Walker, Ray-Anthony Height, Alitha Martinez, Veronica Gandini, AW’s Tom Napolitano & Lebeau L Underwood
Recommended for Fans/Readers of Devin Grayson’s Titans; Marvel’s Fallen Angels; Icon; Young Justice
Plot: Showing the other end/spectrum of the story from Incidentals. Welcome to a town where a superhuman event led to a crackdown of people with powers “for everyone’s safety”. As this is going on, there is a hero named Cosmosis still helping out anyway he/she can. At the center of this is a friendship between Kayla, a gal whose parents work for Foresight (the company behind the crackdown) and Jonah, a kid with Autism who only wants to do the right thing.
My Note: Did not imagine that this book would be the one to get me emotional so fast. It isn’t in the Wolfman/Perez Titans realm yet but wow Howard and Walker have got the teens’ voices down pat!
by Alex De Campi, Pop Mhan, Jessica Kholinne & AW’s Tom Napolitano
Recommended for Fans/Readers of Xombi, Nightmask; Doctor Strange
Plot: I’ll put this into context. You are a spoiled rich guy living the good life. Now imagine being the designer of the shielding for a shuttle on a save the world mission. Now you go along and get pieces of “stuff” stuck on your person. Now, you have your business and lifestyle along with seeing parasites connected to the incident that attach themselves to everyday people and fight them on another plane of existence. One drawback: the very powers you have, might also be killing you bit by bit…
My Note: What’s a comic book universe without an entitled rich guy? Definitely did not see the subversiveness of this one being so endearing.
So that’s the first five parts of Phase 1. It has been a wild ride so far but lots of fun. Now on the horizon, we find out the fate of the other 2 astronauts on The Event mission.
Kino – by Joe Casey, Jefte Palo, Chris Sotomayor & Todd Klein looks like it is going to be a Sentry meets Ninjak through The Matrix type book as the protagonist is peak super-powered but hidden away.
And also . . .
Summit – by Amy Chu, Jan Duursema, Kelly Fitzpatrick & AW’s Tom Napolitano seems like a Captain Marvel meets Green Lantern type book where power, honor & loyalty are going to clash.
#MakeMineCatalystPrime. The new age of superheroes (and villains) are here! Are you reading?
Until Next Time, Keep Fantasizing!