SUPERB #1 | Writer: David F. Walker & Sheena C. Howard | Penciller: Ray-Anthony Height | Colorist: Veronica Gandini | Letterer: Tom Napolitano | Price: $3.99
Finally, we got our first issue of Superb! When looking through the titles of the coming books from Lion Forge for Catalyst Prime, the one I was most looking forward to was Superb. It’s difficult to say what was most compelling for me. I knew that it looked like a couple of friends who I assumed both had some sort of powers, and were a little younger in age then say, David Powell (from Noble). It may have been the nostalgia of a childhood book that drew me, or perhaps it was Kayla’s immaculately drawn hair. But it wasn’t until I saw the creative team that I knew that this was going to be a must have book. David F. Walker and Dr. Sheena C. Howard? Done. Easily, done.
Superb #1 didn’t open exactly how I expected, but exactly how I wanted it to. Kids on a school bus, and a jerk picking on people he thinks are smaller than him. We quickly get a sense of Kayla’s character when she steps in to stand up for Jonah. However, I couldn’t help but notice the panel with Jonah’s balled fist, and him struggling to restrain himself. Makes you wonder what the kid might be hiding, doesn’t it?
In any case, we are introduced to the school and the state of the world since “The Event” and how there are scanners at the school, deployed in attempted to detect “enhanced” individuals. They did end up finding a girl with abilities she hadn’t even discovered, and the authorities immediately strong arm her and herd her away. All of this serves to paint a larger picture of Catalyst Prime’s world. The canvas only expands more when we find that Kayla’s parents, who recently moved their family back to the city, also work for the Foresight corporation, which monitors and possibly attempts to control these enhanced individuals.
This book is rich in characterization. Kayla is a strong cynical type who seems that she may resent her parent’s work at Foresight if not suspecting something about it. It’s hard to tell how much she knows thus far, but it’s clear that she knows her values and isn’t afraid to speak up about something that she knows isn’t right. Jonah is a more reticent type, but feels comfortable dressing up as his favorite comic book hero, Cosmosis. Though the comic doesn’t state it directly I’m quite sure that’s who he is. Then again there may be another twist and reason they aren’t telling us, but that remains to be seen. Both of them live in households from which they want more.
The art on Superb is… well, call me cover title conscious but… superb! I love every page, and I adore every page that features Kayla. There’s something about her character that feels real and genuine, and we don’t see enough chocolate women like her featured as a main character on comic book pages. I love what Superb is doing with her, not to mention how accurate her features are drawn. Ray-Anthony has a way with expressions and facial features that I really enjoy. Jonah’s aloofness is evident in every panel and Kayla’s shrewd circumspection is just as prevalent. Put Veronica’s colors on top of that and you have a beautiful book from cover to cover.
I am drawn to character driven stories, and with the focus on the relationship between Kayla and Jonah, as well with hints about their individual relationships with their parents, I can already see the book growing into something that is going to rely heavily on our emotional attachments to these characters. That’s what I like to see on the page, not to mention seamless inclusion. I’ll be first in line to pick up Superb #2 when it hits the shop. Please, go to your LCS and list Superb now!