After months of ramping up excitement over their brand-new superhero universe, Catalyst Prime’s first title, Noble, has dropped. And boy, what a crater has it left in its wake!
By Abdulkareem Baba Aminu
Noble #1, written by Brandon Thomas, with Roger Robinson on art, tells the story of David Powell, survivor of an incident involving astronauts and a killer asteroid. Imbued with powers, including super strength and some sort of powerful energy projection, he’s sought after by a number of people.
When we first encounter Powell, he’s fleeing from a pack of Special Forces-type fellows, armed to the teeth. But as the story unfolds, we realise he’s not running from them. Rather, he’s running away because of what he could do to them.
The art is beautiful, with incredibly kinetic fight sequences, and masterfully played out emotional scenes. Speaking of emotional, the story’s pacing wherein Powell’s wife is introduced in the beginning, is perfectly framed as she also closes up the story, setting the tone for what is obviously a deep — and possibly tempestuous — relationship between them.
Notable, too, is Powell’s appearance. From his helmet — which looks intriguingly like an ancient artifact — to his urban-flavored get-up, it is a unique-looking protagonist we have. This is illustrated by the striking main cover by Robinson, which has the makings of an iconic one. Also, from tearing through the book, one can tell that he is a well-layered character that readers will continue to discover as the tale unfolds further.
Speaking of the tale, the writing, by Thomas, is at once nuanced and brutal, conjuring up both whenever necessary, and many times unexpectedly. Then the art (oh, boy, the art) by Robinson, is also calm and beautiful when called for, but raw and energetic when it’s time. And thank goodness, that’s most of the time.
The rest of the creative team, too, deserve much kudos. Letterer Saida Temofonte knocks her part out of the proverbial park, providing words that perfectly fit story and art such as this, gorgeously coloured by Juan Hernandez, whose work may as well be a character in itself in its dazzling array of well-applied hues. The book’s design, though uncredited, ties up everything in a perfect box, one containing positively riveting, old-fashioned comic-book action, with a fresh twist.
Noble, for me, hit all the right notes that the first book of a brand-new universe should, and then some. It gives just enough for the reader to want more, without sacrificing its ambition. If this first issue, for all the adrenaline it’s pumping up, is what Catalyst Prime’s intentions are, not only for Noble, but for the rest of their universe, then I’m here to stay. This brand-new universe’s got a brand-new fan!
Noble #1 is published by Catalyst Prime, and is in stores now