by Vince Brusio
News and teasers have been burning up the 'Net so fast for Lion Forge Comics that they've been making our heads spin. And no wonder. More festivities for the publisher are going to kick off for this year's Free Comic Book Day, with the unveiling of Catalyst Prime — The Event (JAN170035)! Now, lo and behold, the eagle has landed in our back yard: we got a few moments to speak with one of the main movers and shakers that's driving the train on this new face in comics. In this PREVIEWSworld Exclusive interview, Senior Editor for Lion Forge Comics Joseph Illidge talks about a new title that's rolling out for their Catalyst Prime superhero universe. It's written by Amy Chu and illustrated by Jan Duursema. The book is called Summit, and we've got first-hand details right here on PREVIEWSworld.
Vince Brusio: Many of us are very excited for the rollout of Catalyst Prime. In particular, we want to focus on Summit. When we see this new series for the first time, we learn that there’s this brave new soul named Dr. Valentina Resnick-Baker. Who is she to herself and others? What makes her tick?
Joseph Illidge: Val is one of the most brilliant minds of the Catalyst Prime Universe. The doctor has a Masters in Materials Science, and a PhD in Theoretical Astrophysics, for starters. She had a good life teaching plasma fusion at the MIT Aero Astro, a girlfriend who loved her, and the respect and admiration of her employer Lorena Payan, CEO of the Foresight Corporation.
One year after The Event that introduces the means for super powers to the world, Val is the only known survivor of the mission that she took on with four other astronauts and Mission Control to stop an asteroid from destroying the Earth.
How Val survived, and her personal struggle to deal with the aftermath of the mission is at the core of Summit.
Vince Brusio: What are the facts on the ground? We’re told that an approaching asteroid is about to wipe out life on Earth. Why does Dr. Valentina Resnick-Baker draw the shortest straw to end this crisis?
Joseph Illidge: Val’s drawn the short stick because of her intellect, skills, and passion about exploring the mysteries of space. She's well aware of the legacy of women in the field, and wants to know the secrets of the cosmos. Because of all of that, Val's boss handpicked her for the mission.
Good people are put into bad situations every day.
Vince Brusio: Some of us believe in “chance.” Some of us believe in “fate.” And then there are others who subscribe to “chaos.” What’s the significance of Val’s involvement in Earth’s salvation? Does her service to her country fall into any of those previous camps? Or does “bravery” better describe the mind beneath the skin?
Joseph Illidge: Val believes in science over fate, for sure. I think her essential bravery comes from the example of a woman who inspired Val a great deal, whom you'll see early on in the series.
Her significance is something that we'll explore over time, as the layers get peeled away. Val is on a journey, and the readers will be on it with her.
Vince Brusio: Amy Chu is the writer for this project, and Jan Duursema is the penciller. What’s been your impression of the direction they’ve taken for this series? Is the work smart? Gritty? Tense? Uplifting? All the above, or is the best yet to come?
Joseph Illidge: Amy and Jan are both brilliant creators, so all of those adjectives apply, at the least. The first issue script that Amy wrote for Summit just nailed me, because it's character-rich, and shows an affinity Amy has for Val. I'm so happy to have her on this book.
Jan has put so much thought into every visual aspect of Summit, and Val as both a person and superhero-to-be. I've admired her work for years, especially the exemplary body of Star Wars work, but I've learned more about how her mind works in our various discussions.
Along with colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick and letterer Deron Bennett, we have a great team on Summit, and the quality will show through in all areas.
Vince Brusio: If you had to put Val into a category, what label would you apply? She’s become a recluse, so we’re led to believe that she’s either been shattered by her experience, or she’s wrestling with personal demons. What adjectives might best be used to give us an idea of the personal war she’s fighting, and one which she’ll soon be taking to the world outside of her front doorstep?
Joseph Illidge: Val's been a hero for most of her life. Once a person decides to dedicate themselves to a cause, a vocation, to learn more and help society, the road to heroism begins. Val is helping the world through science, and heart. But heroism has consequences, and Val will have to fight her demons.
She doesn't have a personal war, but I'd say her ultimate goal is to leave the world in better shape than it was when she came onto the scene. Hell, in better shape than it is now.
|Catalyst Prime: The Event (JAN170035) is available May 6 for FCBD 2017!|
|Visit Lion Forge Comics online!|
Vince Brusio writes about comics, and writes comics. He is the long-serving Editor of PREVIEWSworld.com, the creator of PUSSYCATS, and encourages everyone to keep the faith...and keep reading comics.