Review: CATALYST PRIME KINO #1

I guess I’m the resident Lion Forge reviewer, because every time I wanna get my hands on a review copy of the Catalyst Prime books, they expect me to review it! The audacity…
.
But jokes aside, I really do love what Lion Forge has been doing with their superhero line of comics and whenever I can, I read them. And if that means putting in a little effort to spread the word? So be it!
.
.
This time around, I’m reviewing KINO #1, their sixth title in Catalyst Prime and I think it was a very strong showing. Tying into “the Event” that kicks off the various superhero stories, KINO is about Major Alistair Meath, one of the astronauts that broke an extinction-level meteor into smaller, managable pieces. He has been missing for months, but only because his body has been retrieved by the evil corporation of Catalyst prime, Foresight. Agent Gilmour a new character, comes to convince Director Payan to release the English operative’s body. She denies any such knowledge, but little does she know that it was a cover for Gilmour’s team to rescue Major Meath from under her nose. They are attacked after extraction and Meath’s body is once again lost to an unknown enemy.
.
.
KINO stands for Kinetic Impulse Neoterrestrial Operative, which basically means he can redirect kinetic energy attacks as powerful explosive blasts. (Think Bishop or Sebastian Shaw from X-Men lore.) Alistair never actually does anything in this comic though. You may ask, “Then what’s the point?” This is where the beauty of KINO comes in. It is so original ans fun to read that I didnt even mind that the main character never says a word or even leaves his stasis container.
.
The real “superhero” stuff happens as a story within the story. The plot about Gilmour stealing the body from Foresight and getting shot down by some other enemies is what is actually happening (which has plenty of excitement all on its own), but in the story of KINO, it takes a totally different turn. You see, a scientist is implanting false (??) memories of caped grandeur into the mind of Major Meath, which is expressed in this comic as a very retro comic style of writing. We’re talking silver, maybe even bronze age aesthetics here. I absolutely LOVED this aspect of the book and hope it contunues well into the series. Reading the “comic style” versus the “real world” portrayals are like night and day, and this disconnect really drew me into the book.
.
.
Everything screams “classic comic” in that portion of the book. It’s perfect!
.
Excessive narration, check.
Dialogue and thought bubble stylings, check.
Lettering, check.
Art, check.
Colors, check.
Panel structure, check.
Hell, they even added artificial yellowing the white paper pages. That’s dedication, y’all.
.
Joe Casey writes KINO #1, and I’ve applauded him for his other contributions for Catalyst Prime, but he outdid himself on this one. He gets what is happening in the real world and tells the story very well, but then goes and switches writing styles to this old-fashioned, over-the-top narrative that comic fans have grown to love and appreciate. They are two totally different feels, and if I didn’t know any better, I’d say there was a collaborative effort here. Same goes for Jefte Palo’s artwork. I could tell he was the artist throughout the book by the synchronicity of his characters, but the changes made between modern and retro portions of the book have a stark contrast. Chris Sotomayor and Todd Klein are equally skilled in their respective coloring and lettering alterations. The whole team must have pulled their back issues out for inspiration because it is exceptional work.
.
.
KINO may not be my favorite hero in the Catalyst Prime universe, because let’s be real… there are a lot of awesome characters. The story was not the greatest either, because I had some confusion about who was who and what was going on. However, this comic is probably one of my favorites because of the split between “bronze age style” and the modern style. I was never bored in the KINO heroics and loved the unashamed throwback to what got mant comic readers obsessed. I will see if the second issue lives up to the fun standard set by KINO #1 or if this was just a hook reserved for a single issue.
.
Great start, 4 out of 5 Stars.
(W) Joe Casey (A/CA) Jefte Palo

Leave a Reply

2837 More posts in Reviews category
Recommended for you
Advance Review: Long Lost #2

Starting with yet another tonally different flashback to the girls in their youth, this issue...