Noble #1 | Writer: Brandon Thomas | Penciller: Roger Robinson | Colorist: Juan Fernadez | Letterer: Saida Temofonte | Publisher: Lion Forge | Price: $3.99
The first issue to kick off the Catalyst Prime event just dropped today. Noble #1 is out and believe me when I say this ladies and gentlemen- it's lit. With a tragic opening and well planted questions, the first issue has a magnetic draw that grips us with heavy dosages of action. We're introduced to a classic metahuman story that focuses on a man that some sort of corporation is obviously trying to bring back in... alive. But he’s not going quietly.
The man's name David Powell, though based on some loose evidence I'm not sure that he even knows that. It seems he thinks his name is Julian for some reason. Furthermore, flashbacks of his son also suggest that some sort of memory loss occurred, and something dear to him is the only fragment he can grasp onto. He's supposed to be dead, as the opening pages lead us to believe but, it’s clear that he is very much alive, and very difficult to handle.
The very first thing I notice and find myself enjoying is the sheer amount of power this man has. The sight of a gang of white men beating on a black man brought painful thoughts of reality to mind, but in what may have been a metaphorical show of "No More" he explodes with massive telekinetic force, throwing his attackers awry. Now, whether or not he has super strength is unclear, but I'm going to go with my theory of Psychic control of the body. I can't think of the name of that particular practice but I think in the same way he can create forcefields and move objects with his mind, he can also psychically enhance his strength, which may be how he was able to jump so high. I could be wrong, but in any case, he employs a great deal of combat skill, and some knowledge of how to use his abilities.
At the same time, it’s clear that he doesn't have invulnerability, or if he does not to a very high level, as he uses telekinesis to deflect rounds, and hides behind vehicles for cover. The other metahuman, however, does have super strength, and the fight becomes a mind vs. body type of situation. Like I said, this issue is full of very well-choreographed action and it’s so very fun to see. If you don't read closely though, you'll miss a couple of important lines.
For example, before shooting him, when his mask is lifted, one of the attackers recognizes him. Right before that, when they think they have him subdued, the super strong meta tells them to contact "Queen Bee." This is right before David attacks them and presumably escapes. After some others are reviewing the scene they take up DNA, and one of them sends it to his wife, Astrid. I'm unsure if they are connected or not, but right now it looks like she's determined to find her husband one way or another. We'll have to wait until the next issue to find out for sure, but that last page has me excited!
The art in this book is incredible. Talk about making power look like real power. I get the sense that if he wanted to, David could take down buildings! Character expression is on point as well. I don't like reading a story where we can only assess what's going on via the dialogue. I like to be able to see good story telling in the art from panel to panel as well, and Noble accomplishes that very well. The simple things really matter when trying to get a sense of characters and where their mind is in a comic. A lot of it has to do with more visual storytelling than just dialogue. I really appreciate Roger Robinson's ability to convey that well. Juan Fernadez also does a wonder with colors. Can I give the letterer some love too? Seeing "Boom!" in the dust got a clap out of me, and Saida Temofonte does even more than that to help tell the story throughout. The visual beauty in this book is stunning and I'm enjoying the creative team as a whole.
Big thanks to Brandon Thomas and Joseph Illidge. I was already geeked for Catalyst Prime before, but now I am highly anticipating what's to follow. This is only the first book? In a connected universe? Featuring diverse teams with diverse characters? I am all for it. This is what I want more of. Lion Forge is on the rise, and I'm telling you right now not to wait and see what other people think about this. See for yourself. Pick up Noble #1 and support these creators. Introduce yourself to a brand new world. One.