Review by Booklist Review
Following a destructive meteor shower--part of the cosmic event that launched Catalyst Prime, Lion Forge's recent shared superhero universe--high-school sophomore Quin finds that he is suddenly indestructible. In this volume, collecting the first five issues of his story line, tech-nerd Quin struggles with his new abilities, pursues his social-activist crush, and finds his place within the "enhanced" community that is fighting to save New Orleans from a rising crime wave. Catalyst Prime intends to modernize superhero comics through relevant, inclusive storytelling, and while this doesn't depart much in style, it does in substance, featuring a predominantly Black and Brown cast that is up against the forces of systemic racism, among other issues, played out in dramatic, action-packed fashion. Barnes brings a crucially light hand to the subject matter, while Espiritu captures Quin's youthful uncertainty in every gesture and expression, juxtaposing his internal vulnerability with his external invulnerability--a truly endearing combination. A perfect starting point for teens (and adults) looking to enter a fresh superhero universe.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 7 Up--New Orleans is hurting. The city has barely recovered from Hurricane Katrina when a meteor shower almost destroys it a second time--and ushers in a new era, in which ordinary citizens are imbued with superpowers. Black teen Quinton "Quin" West has the gift of invulnerability, yet he views his powers as useless, aside from making his beatings from bullies painless. Struggling to fit in, he is overwhelmed by mounting civil unrest in his New Orleans neighborhood and longs to save the world, starting with his family. When violence erupts at a rally to improve city conditions, Glow, who was also affected by the meteor shower, notices Quin's powers and urges him to join a group of other crime fighters and stabilize the city they love. But Quin must reckon with power structures that perpetuate racism and class warfare: Will his powers serve the people or add fuel to the fire? Barnes attempts to tackle racial disparity, generational poverty, and the nuances of power, but struggles to build equally developed characters to buoy the intense plot. Dynamic, saturated artwork showcases the beauty and grit of New Orleans and the diverse lives of its people. VERDICT Despite occasionally clunky storytelling, this series starter will prompt teens to ask how they can make the world a better place. Perfect for fans of "Ms. Marvel" and "Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man."--Elise Martinez, Racine, WI
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
A Black teen uses his extraordinary abilities to protect his neighborhood. High school freshman Quin is invincible, at least on the outside. After a meteor shower hit New Orleans, it left a lucky few with enhanced abilities. Thus, a new class of superheroes was born. Quin looks up to these brave beings, but his own powers have not stopped him from being targeted by bully Caine or made bright, high-achieving classmate Brittany Barnes see him as more than a friend. He meets Brittany at a rally led by Dr. Davis, a local Black activist, and soon the crowd and the police are clashing in the street. After superhero Glow saves him from a cop, Quin is inspired to use his invincibility to put a stop to the crime in his neighborhood. But when criminals attack his home, Quin will need his friends, enhanced and ordinary, to help save the day. This graphic novel is a classic superhero origin story with a wide-eyed, earnest teen trying to redefine justice. Quin's parents are models of support and acceptance and, like Quin, understand that the world isn't black and white. This new universe of heroes and villains packs a punch with commentary on the ills of society and the people who shape it. The illustrations, featuring bright, saturated colors, pop, adding to the drama of the story. A fun, fresh adventure. (character designs, concept sketches) (Graphic fantasy. 12-18) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.