Full disclosure: I’ve not read a Kino before issue #13
Lion Forge has made some serious moves recently and their books are directly reflecting their intent. A fresh start has lead to an all but wipe the floor, clean slate and direction. It isn’t just individual books they’re building. The Catalyst Prime universe is being formed and KINO looks as though it might be the book to head the construction.
Issue #13 marks Paknadel’s fourth on the series and (again with no prior knowledge) deposits a hell of a load of information. This is expected when you’re course correcting, building, and ramping up the scale of your individual titles AND overall scope. One of the most enjoyable things about the issue is that despite the info overload it doesn’t present a brick wall. Sure, I’ve got questions but they make me want to go back and check out (at the very least what Paknadel has written) how we got here. Now, from this issue it is plainly obvious that there is already a whole hell of a lot going on. That’s ok because we’re given leads and runners that still come together in a coherent singular issue.
Given the bits of back history tossed in throughout, I’m feeling that this issue is a pretty important turning point for our “hero” here. The context given shows him to be fractured and flawed thanks to himself as well as outside forces. That much is clear and digging into more will surely give me the information I need on this front. What I love most though is that this is supposed to be a super hero book. We get an absolute on the nose dose of that with a tipping of the cap to super hero books of yesteryear. The way the different characters are presented shows their individuality and hints at their driving forces right along with the actual written narrative. With this many moving pieces that’s no easy task. However, we get a deeper and richer exposition from how the players are written.
Beyond just what’s happening here and in the immediate future, you can see the ground work being laid for the long haul. From what I can gather this ‘coming to a head’ with Meath’s identity is just the beginning of the grander play we’ll see in this book and across more of the Catalyst Prime universe. Regardless of the direction this team takes the book there will be plenty of doors left open to explore down the road. I admit that I had to read it more than once but that is 90% down to having no experience with the book before this issue. I honestly feels that this actually favors me as my digestion of the book is completely open and free. I’ll go back and catch up where Paknadal began (with issue 10) to be clearer on what’s being curated here, but I was able to enjoy this book as a stand alone introductory chapter to what’s coming. No easy feat with a book that’s already been on the shelves for a year.
This issue is a perfect example of why Paknadal is challenging for my favorite writer, officially. The overall look and feel of the book lends to giving emphasis on little bits to draw attention or highlight key aspects (such as they energy Meath holds and diffuses) without alienating them from the rest of the book. It all goes together very well.
Go check it out and get in on the floor of not just this book, but a publisher wide construct. Kino #13 hits the shops Jan 30th!