NOBLE #4 | Writer: Brandon Thomas | Penciller: Roger Robinson | Colorist: Juan Fernadez | Letterer: Saida Temofonte | Price: $3.99
As the story in Noble unfolds, more secrets are uncovered. In Noble #4, David Powell still doesn’t know his name. That’s all he wants from Lorena, the woman in charge of things at the Foresight corporation. She, however, seems to be keen on dangling that and other information in front of him like a dog bone that she refuses to throw him. As discovered in the last issue, we know that it was her that did the memory alterations, but Noble #4 teases with the idea that it’s possible that what she did was to protect him. Whether or not this is truly the case, there’s no question about her callous methods of handling him. She likes Powell on a leash.
The entire issue she’s dropping him hints about his past without simply telling him the truth. In the midst of this, we found out that he created a suit capable of helping regulate his power (which may fluctuate based on emotional state) and we learn that his iron mask does the same thing. We also get a glimpse at Dr. DeMarcus Mayes’ relationship to Lorena and the rest of the corporation, and apparently they aren’t on very good terms. Furthermore, he seems to have a powerset of his own, along with an electrically powered henchman at his side. Is this perhaps the start of Noble’s Super Villain Rogue’s Gallery? The most staggering (but admittedly predictable) reveal is that while Astrid (his wife) knows who he is, he does not know who Astrid is. The panel depicted the realization in her eyes is heart wrenching.
Noble #4 has had the most progression of the issues that have come out so far. We are starting to get a better perspective of things as we build the structural morality of each character in our heads. As of now, to reference the book title, David seems to be “Noble” in all of his actions. At the start of the issue we get a phenomenal scene that shows him in the midst of “The Event” holding him and his fellow astronauts in orbit with his abilities for what seems like just about 6 months. If this is the case, this is changes our perspective of the kind of power his holding 10-fold. I’m curious if these implications will hold true in future issues and encounters.
Lorena is another character that’s been unpacked more in this issue. She’s selfish, but seems to want to help Powell to an extent, so long as she’s helping herself in the process. While Foresight as a whole is a shady company, I wouldn’t exactly label her “villain.” I like that dynamic, and I’d like to see what she’s hiding from David. At one point, she mentions that she “left just enough of him to continue to be useful.” I get the vibe that she’s controlling him (which Is still amoral) but not necessarily to conduct wholly nefarious tasks. Meanwhile, there’s no doubt that Mayes is some kind of murderous mad scientist who’s interesting in perfecting power and creating some kind of super villain empire. When Super powers are involved you’ve got to have one of those, right?
I’m impressed with David’s suit design. I was waiting for him to put it on, instead walking around like “The Man in the Iron Mask” for too much longer. All I need now is for him to find a good barbershop for a clean cut and lineup. The art continues to be astoundingly beautiful. Strong expression, sharp motion lines and detailed, layered coloring keeps the book top notch from a visual perspective. It’s beautiful to look at. The lettering only further adds to the effect.
Noble #4 does an excellent job of balancing the ongoing story while referring back to David’s origins on an issue by issue basis. At the same time, the book knows how to hit high action scenes and still give weight to the quieter moments. The result is a level, perpetually entertaining story that consistently introduces new elements that raise new questions.