Review: Catalyst Comix #3

This series continues to grow on me. I still think that it’s over-narrated to the point that if it catches me at the wrong time, it puts me to sleep. If that’s some strange goal of Joe Casey’s then mission accomplished because that’s two issues in a row. The thing for me is that after I feel my eyes become heavy, I switch over to just glimpsing the narrative since I find it so dull and uninformative. If you stick to just the dialog the story is fine though. Checking in with Frank Wells his story became infinitely more interesting this time around. He whistles to defeat a guardian which was reminiscent of Superman in Final Crisis, but it was actually cool here. The rest of the story was him basically kicking the ass of men that use young boys as slaves in Africa. It was a great change for his character because when he saw how terrible the scene was he just acted without hesitation and it was great. The art was good and is a strong reason to why I’m able to skip the narrative. You can pick up a lot of the tone and seriousness of the story from the body language and facial expressions. Dan McDaid’s art is a great fit for the story and character.

Amazing Grace was a bit drawn out. Really the ending was the only reason to read this story as everything else that happens along the way is just filler, fluff and characters showing off. I really like Grace’s character and hopefully the story will actually focus on the character more. Paul Maybury’s art continues to impress me. Sure I felt the story was filler, but I still couldn’t get enough of his art. The narrative tells you the Grace isn’t feeling up to par, but the art shows you that she’s not. It’s beautiful.

Catalyst Comix #3 CoverAgents of Change, was actually disappointing. The story jumped around a lot and I think one segment was actually just a drug dream or something. I enjoyed Elvis Warmaker going after a dude just to get his watch back, but he’s not really kicking anyone’s ass. He talks a lot of shit, but another character defeated the villain he was up against making three issues he’s just shot a lot of stuff up. I absolutely love Ulises Farinas’ art though and would likely continue reading this series for that alone.

Overall it’s a decent issue. It’s improved in some areas to the last issue, but it still bogs the reader down with narration rather than fully utilizing the artistic team. All three artists are incredibly talented and have fantastic styles, but they’re chomping at the bit for something to really get at with their visuals. At this point I think you’re either reading the series or you’re not. I don’t see it picking up any new readers which is a shame, but this is Joe Casey and Dark Horse’s experiment and at the end of the day they’ll decide if it was successful for them or not. For me it’s just a decent read that I’ll stick with for a bit longer.

Score: 2/5

Writer: Joe Casey

Artist: Dan McDaid, Paul Maybury and Ulises Farinas

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Price: $2.99

Release Date: 9/4/13