Review of “Noble” from Lion Forge Comic’s Catalyst Prime line.

Greetings Geeks, Nerds and Comic lovers!

This is the Experience some. . .call Jason. Today I’m continuing my series of reviews on Lion Forge’s Catalyst Prime universe. Today we’ll be covering the first four issues of Noble, the first book in the line. It launched this past May and as of this writing is eight issues in.

The Talent behind the book is Brandon Thomas on writing, with art divvied up between Roger Robinson, Jamal Igle, Will Rosado  and Robin Riggs. Robinson has illustrated the bulk of the issues with help on a couple and Jamal Igle drawing all of one issue.

Issue one starts off by introducing us to Astrid Allen-Powell, We saw her on one page in “the Event” but they didn’t I.D. her there. Here we’re given her name and she’s waiting at a Foresight facility in Houston, waiting for some bad news. We see her brief flashback of her and her son watching news of the asteroid from “the Event” being destroyed and the astronauts being “in danger”. She leaves, telling her son she “going to get daddy”. The opening ends with her breaking down after talking to  a doctor. This was nearly one year ago.

We then go to Argentina, Right now. There’s some obvious merc types on their way to backup a team already engaged with their target. Their target is David Powell (presumed dead). He’s using the alias Julian Brass and is wearing a metal helmet/mask. They have him beat down and handcuffed already but he begins glowing and tossing them about before erupting in a power display that knocks everyone down while he leaps away. Most of the rest of the issue is a running battle with the mercs one of whom displays super strength and durability. Conversation during the battle implies David has lost his memory.

After the action there’s a clean up team taking evidence, including a gun with some of David’s blood on it. You see the man that gathered it in the port-o-john scanning it and sending the DNA results to Astrid. The lost shot of the book is her son asking her where she’s going as she walks out of the house. Mirroring the beginning of the book she tells her son she “going to get daddy”.

 

All and all I thought the first issue was great. It introduced the the main two characters, some plot threads/mysteries and of course had plenty of action! I’ve noticed some writer seem to forget that while you can have compelling story and character interaction (and these things are important) superhero comics are at heart and action genre. Also while this is the beginning of the story it’s not an origin story. Nothing wrong with origin stories but a lot of time they bog down a bit as you have to cram so much in to them.

Noble issue one  does a good job of telling story and showing you why you want to show up for issue two.

Speaking of issue two…

The book opens with David on a table flatlining as a doctor works on him. He’s dead for a few minutes before groaning and coughing. The doctor rushes back to him and introduces himself as DeMarcus Mayes, Remember him he’ll be important later. The scene changes to David floating in his sleep, now in Bolivia. He works on his helmet some and we see him confront a street gang trying to recruit local youths. Meanwhile Astrid is jumping out of a plane in to Argentina and begins questioning the locals about the events of issue one. She speaks at length to one woman who shows her a video of David fighting. It would seem to be the first time she’s seen powers in use or at the very least she never knew David had any.

The issue ends at some kind of clinic, a man comes in wounded and asking the doctor if it’s true he doesn’t contact the police about his patients. The doctor is Demarcus Mayes from earlier. He drugs the wounded man and after some sort of procedure the man’s heart stops. The good doctor the waits around for almost thirty minutes and just as he’s giving up the patient sets up and reaches for Mayes demanding to know what he’s done. Mayes is perfectly calm as tells the man not to get excited that he’s here to help he’s a doctor, while putting a gun under the patient’s chin.  

Issue three reintroduces us Lorena Payan from “the Event” book. We see her first in a flashback of David trying to escape from one of her labs he has some kind of implant in his head and her voice has a very commanding effect on him. Your not sure at this point if she has some kind of mental ability or if it’s the implants doing. Currently she’s tracking David and is presumably the person behind the mercenaries in issue one. She sets off a fire at a decommissioned refinery where the homeless where staying. David proceeds to save as many people as he can and is confronted by Lorena’s drones. She orders him home, he’s less than receptive.

Meanwhile we see the death of the man who slipped Astrid the proof that David was still alive. One of Lorena’s flunkies, who we saw with her when she confronted david in the flashback, catches bullets out of the air and chastises the man while apparently draining the life out of him with a touch. The man had been in contact with Astrid while she beat down some security at a facility. She was asking about an attack but it may have been the one we saw David trying to escape from. Over the now dead man’s com Astrid and Lorena speak. We find out Astrid is a former agent, no surprise given the skill set we’ve seen out of her so far, and worked for Lorena at some point. Lorena wants her back, her and David. She says it’ll be just like the good old days.

Issue four opens with a flashback to the event as the asteroid explodes we see David throwing up his hands at the oncoming shock wave, his eyes begin to glow and we see a bubbles of energy surround his ship and at least three others. He holds them like that for six months his eyes dimming and closing only as the ships hit earth’s atmosphere.

 

Jumping back to “now” it’s exactly one year since the event and Lorena is preparing to give a remembrance speech. At one of her facilities in Mexico. David walks in and allows himself to be secured until Lorena comes to speak with him. She gives him his helmet back at which point the chair and metal bands he’s in fall apart. To try and earn a little trust she takes him to a lab where he is immediately in love with the suit she shows him she tells him her people built it but he showed them how. They had talk about his lack of control in the beginning and she theorized that his helmet was helping him with his control. This suit was the first such device he’d designed. She gives him a couple of hours to go over the suit and make sure she hasn’t put anything in it that didn’t belong. Her parting shot as she leaves is that someone is going to try and kill her this afternoon and he’s going to help stop them. Her time table is off a bit.

Moments later she’s confronted by Doctor Mayes who’s now shown to have Teleportation abilities. He clearly worked for her in the past and now hold a grudge about something. While he confronts her the man you died on his table and came back starts attacking people outside the building with lighting he generates from his body. He only blasts a couple of people before David leaps in to stop him. Finally our hero is in costume!!

While we’ve seen the suit on some of the variant covers up to this point this is the first time he’s worn it in the comic. The fight that ensues is pretty short. One good lick seems to take the lightning blaster out, only he’s playing possum and when Noble (I’ll call him that now that he’s in costume!) gets close enough Sparky grabs his leg and tries to electrocute him. The only thing that saves our hero is a bullet from off camera going through Sparky’s hand.

The shot comes from Astrid of course and as she’s holding the gun on the man. Mayes teleports in and gets himself and his man out. The next page is a recreation of the page from the Event that showed Astrid confronting a man in a suit. This version though gives you a clear look at Noble’s costume. She tells him to take it off, she has to know. When she calls him David he tells her he doesn’t know her and hopes she find this David then flies off. She’s crushed but springs back in to action as soon as she hears Lorena’s voice. The issue ends with her gun on Lorena and a circle of guards with guns drawn on her.

 

I know it’s a cliffhangery spot to end but I’ll stop here at issue four. If your not interested in the book by this point then I’ve got nothing else to tell you. Other than you have no taste. 🙂

Over all I’m really digging the story. I like the art, I love the cast, Lorena is a villian but your still not sure if she’s just evil for if she’s trying to do good and is just an “end’s justifies the means” type. Astrid is great, she’s capable of taking care of herself against anyone remotely normal. She’s the love interest but doesn’t fall into the classic “Lois Lane” perpetual damsel in distress.

Finally David himself, he’s not the bright and shiny hero but he has that moral compass. He’s in a world where you have to fight rough but he still tries to keep everyone around him alive, even the guys trying to kill him. His motivation is a pure desire to help people and fix things. He’s a hero in the true classic comic sense.

If your in to Superheroes I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s definitely my favorite Catalyst Prime book so far. Though a book I’ll review late “Superb” does give “Noble” a run for it’s money.

I hope you enjoyed this and I invite you back next week when I’ll be covering “Accell” Catalyst’s speedster hero.

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