Saturday, July 17, 2010

Catalyst: Agents of Law #1 (1995)

Dark Horse launched their Comics Greatest World line while I was in college, and by far my favorite of the new titles was Catalyst. Set in the fictional Golden City of Northern California, the series starred Grace and her Avengers-like team as they declared independence from the U.S. It had a great bit of that Squadron Supreme dystopia while still being a super-hero book.

For some reason, when the book was cancelled and re-launched as Agents of Law, I only bought the first issue. Somehow that first issue bubbled up and was on my desk, so I flipped it open to see how I'd like it, especially once I noticed that Keith Giffen plotted it.

What a good comic! The setting is obviously fun, but this series launches with Grace missing and the Catalyst team trying to lead Golden City in the way she'd want. Mecha is an awesome armored soldier and Rebel is an energy casting flyer, they get the most screen time here, along with the new city leader, Madison.

Law shows up cradling Grace (or a lookalike, is my guess) and they are promptly shot by a sniper. This launches Law into the public favor and he takes over as leader of the city. The problem is that he's a full on villain. He kills Madison and the other city council. Ruby is sleeping with him, Rebel thinks he's great. Mecha doesn't trust the guy, and the only other team-member is crying in the shower over Grace's death. Nice set-up!

The art by Dan Lawlis is stunning. Is this guy out of comics? His art looks like a mix of Terry Dodson and Paul Pelletier, two of my faves, so I really dig the look.

The problem is, I only have this one issue! Time to seek out some dollar bins!


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