Review: Catalyst Prime: Kino #1

Major Alistair Meath of Britain’s Royal Air Force sacrificed his life to save Earth from an approaching asteroid on the night of “The Event”. Seven months later, Meath has resurfaced as the colorful, kinetic energy-powered superhero KINO, but something is very wrong with the world. Britain’s MI6 is on the hunt for Meath, and the terrible secret behind his return is revealed in this mindbending thriller within the Catalyst Prime Universe.

Lion Forge‘s “Catalyst Prime” has given us a lot of familiar and new types of characters often playing off of comic history to deliver entertaining reads and create a new superhero universe. Written by Joe CaseyCatalyst Prime: Kino #1 is the latest entry and delivers the universes Superman-ish type character, or at least that’s what it seems at first glance.

It’s clear Casey is having fun with tropes and the genre in this series, and that’s evident from the two distinct stories he tells and the art delivered by Jefte Paolo, with color by Chris Sotomayor.

One half of the comic is Major Alistair Meath origin as Kino from his catastrophic space flight to his body being held for experimentation. That involves secret organizations and corrupt corporations. While that could be standard in some ways, what’s interesting is the comic splits about half way through.

Casey gives us a battle of Kino against an evil doppleganger in a style that’s retro in both the panels, but also the art and coloring. Even Todd Klein‘s lettering shifts to give a throwback vibe to it all. This split is what makes the comic really interesting presenting Kino no longer as the tool being fought over but instead the traditional hero along the lines of Superman.

It’s an interesting choice in presentation and gives a good idea as to who he would be as a hero. It’s clear that Casey is going to explore some traditional superhero tropes as the series moves forward.

The story is interesting but it’s that flip in art that’s really impressive. The comic feels like a modern take on a classic comic in every way but with a cool style about it all. I’d take a comic just of that any day of the week. Palo’s art is fantastic as a whole with character designs that are engaging and stand out. This is a case where the art make the comic.

A new entry in the Catalyst Prime world is great to see and this one is another unique one for the universe. A first issue that has me interested in seeing where it all goes and hoping we get more of that retro art.

Story: Joe Casey Art: Jefte Palo
Color: Chris Sotomayor Lettering: Todd Klein
Story: 8.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Lion Forge Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review