On May 3rd, 2017, Noble #1 from Lion Forge drops onto store shelves and digital retailers, introducing new readers to the Powell family. David Powell, astronaut, husband, and father, was forever changed when he sacrificed himself for humanity in something called “The Event.” He has returned one year later with no memory of his former life, and with immense, strange new powers.
The core of the comic, however, belongs to his wife, Astrid. Astrid appears at the beginning and end of the issue, but her influence flows throughout it. She has searched for her husband for the past year, unwilling or unable to believe him dead. She’s managed to recruit a number of toughs to try and find him, and when they do, bring him home. Over the course of the issue, we watch these toughs — at least one of them super-powered himself — as they fight a man who turns out to be David. David fights back, of course. He doesn’t know why these people are after him, and neither do we, until the end of the issue.
Writer Brandon Thomas (known for his work on Horizons and the recent Civil War II: Choosing Sides) knows exactly when to hold back in the narration, which I think is a real strength in the comic. The dialogue serves the art, provided by Roger Robinson (Batman: Gotham Knight & Solo Avengers) and colored by Juan Fernandez. We get a beautiful sense of the brutality of the fight scenes — I know I flinched and looked away from the page at least once. Additionally, I really liked the use of blue to indicate Powell’s powers, which otherwise are fairly mysterious.
Thomas’s restraint in dialogue leads to a couple of gut-punches as well, particularly on the last page of the comic. Astrid’s pain and determination make themselves clearly evident; she will do anything to get her husband back. I want to learn more about her, and because of her, him. He might be the title character, but she is the reason to read this issue.
Noble #1 also kicks off the Catalyst Prime universe for the publisher, and I personally cannot wait to see where this is going. This is one of my first forays outside the ‘Big Two’ of Marvel and DC, and I definitely made the right choice to start here. People interested in new superhero universes, especially ones with major characters of color, will do well to get in on the ground floor of Lion Forge’s new effort by picking up this book.