CATALYST PRIME: 7 DAYS #5
The Khrelan is down but as our heroes learn certainly not out... and humanity's defenders find themselves face to face with the next stage of the relentless world conquerers plans as the desperate situation earth finds out brings out the best and the worst in us...
Gail Simone opens issue five with a very uncomfortable but important scene which uses the desperate situation to show exactly what toxic and predatory masculinity is as a male character seeks to exert his will over a young mother and her son under the guise of “helping them cause that’s the kind of man he is” it’s uncomfortable because of the ugly truth it shows about the kind of toxic behavior that happens all the time in our society…thanks to a dying hero’s message though good normal people stand up to the creep. It’s been a highlight of the series that alongside the superhero fantasy Gail has highlighted several social issues facing our modern world.
Back to the story though. This issue finds humanity and its heroes even more hard-pressed as the Khrelan sets of the next phase of its plan. The Earth and its defenders find themselves with their backs against the wall. What makes this issue so engaging is how Gail shows the cracks in the resolve of our heroes and then brings out the best in them. Lorena Payan is a superb example of this as we watch her lose her temper with someone she loves, sink in desperation under the pressure of the terrible situation then rise above that desperation to make a decision that commits her team to defend the people of New York even though it means that humanity will have no back plan should Earth’s heroes fall in the new onslaught.
We also get to spend some time with the super-powered younger generation who are drawn into their own side mission which I am sure will be part of the next issue. The thing again that I like about this portion of the story is Gail once again shines a light on some well-meaning but very patronizing behavior, this time in the form of an adult that patronizes our young autistic hero. As a father of someone with ASD, I have seen this kind of patronizing behavior leveled at my own child in real life by adults and I can vouch for it being highly accurate.
My only gripe this issue surrounds the character of Tillian who we learned the last issue is a hybrid product of part Khrelan part human. How did she get into that heroes costume? There seems to be a small timeframe missing between 5 and issue 4 and this one and I am hoping that issue six addresses this.
At the risk of repeating myself over and over again. The art in this book is absolutely beautiful, detailed and engaging. It’s a perfect match for the writing. Luis and Trinidades pencils and inks are a thing of classic comic beauty and I am actually breaking with my rule of not posting full pages to show this amazing double splash page. Look at that detail on the city and the way it’s lit by the glare of the sun off the metallic figures
Whether it’s one on one conversation, a rousing speech, an alien sinking in the dark waters of the ocean or a scene of thousands of alien creatures attacking the city. Every panel is gloriously rendered by Luis and Trinidade then superbly colored by Michelle Madsen.
The lettering by Temafonte flows effortlessly with the art never impeding it and I am consistently blown away by the standard of this comic on all fronts every single issue. As always the cover by Stjepan Sejic is a thing of beauty.
Catalyst Prime: 7 Days issue #5 continues to excel as both an action-packed superhero yarn as well as an examination of our society through the lens of a high-pressure fictional situation. The strong inclusive storytelling from Simone and the incredibly high standard of art by the whole team make this comic an absolute must read.
CATALYST PRIME: 7 DAYS #5 : Can It Get Any More Dire?... Yes It Can (SPOILERS)
Writing - 9/10
Storyline - 8/10
Art - 9/10
Color - 9/10
Cover Art - 9/10
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