Graphic Novel Review 135/365: Lion Forge Catalyst Prime Pt. 1

Please keep up with all of my old Graphic Novel Reviews here as I quest for 365 in 365 days! Or hit up #GN365 on Twitter.

This week I am pleased to bring you a collection of reviews of books from the Lion Forge family. I was luck enough to spend a bit of time with the great people at Lion Forge last weekend at NCTE, and their discount at the show was too good for me to pass up! Luckily for me, the books I’ve read so far have been super cool, and I look forward to sharing them with you throughout the week…

Many of you might not have known, but Lion Forge has released a series of seven monthly titles to kick off their new hero universe: The Catalyst Prime Universe.  Today, I’ll be bringing you a little knowledge from a couple of the issue ones that I have read.  I’ll have the other four reviewed later in the week, with a focus on the new heroes!

Title: Catalyst Prime; Noble; and Accell 

Author(s): Various

Publisher: Lion Forge Comics (2017)

Age Rating: 13+

Story: Priest & Joseph Phillip Illidge   Art: Marco Turini & Will Rosado

Story: Brandon Thomas   Art: Roger Robinson

Story: Joe Casey   Art: Damion Scott & Robert Campenella

I list them in this order because that’s the way you should read these three if this is where you start.  Catalyst Prime is the event book that kicks off the rest of the universe.  Without giving too much away, I can tell you that the universe is kick-started when an asteroid, headed toward Earth, is intercepted by a group of brave astronauts.  The fallout of the asteroid creates the Catalyst Universe.  Pretty straight forward, right?  Nah…

If you just read Catalyst Prime and Nobel, you will immediately get a good idea of the feel and tone that Lion Forge is going for, and I must say, it’s pretty dope.

The new Avengers trailer came out today, and to the chagrin of many, I thought it was just…meh.  Why?  I don’t know.  I guess I’m just tired of the same old same old.  Same tone.  Same characters.  Predictable.  This was why I was so excited when I, as a newer reader to comics, discovered the Valiant Universe; it was like I was discovering an underground hero world that wasn’t polluted by pop culture and tonally similar films.  I had a hero universe that was for comic fans.

That’s how I’m feeling about this new Lion Forge universe in only three issues.  The world created for the reader in just the first two issues listed above is new and cool.  It’s the hero story without all of the pressure to read 800 issues of backstory.  It’s neat art and action with characters that feel real and unexplored!

This is what Catalyst has to offer.  A new world for you and your friends.  Maybe for you and your students.  Get them in on the action, and you will all be in the club.  Be the Catalyst (eh?) that creates new readers in your classroom with new books that break through the same old same old.  I dig it.  These books show that there are other pathways into hero books.  I personally, as many of you know, don’t even read many hero books.  I prefer more non-hero stuff, but new hero stuff?  That’s pretty darn cool too.

I know I didn’t take much time to talk about the characters of Nobel and Accell, but I’ll deal with more of the character specifics when I review the other titles later in the week.  For now, I just wanted to give you my two cents on the new universe that Lion Forge has created for us.  Check it out.  It’s new and exciting.  Maybe one of these titles will become the new Walking Dead or Riverdale, and you can say, I knew it back then…

Happy reading!

Eric

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