At C2E2, Lion Forge announced that its superhero line Catalyst Prime was undergoing a renewal with company co-founders David Steward II and Carl Reed stepping in as editorial directors, new titles beginning with Quincredible, and a goal to expand these superhero titles to broader audiences through its YA and Children's imprints.
Newsarama spoke with Steward and Reed about these changes that come concurrently with the line's second year in business. In the conversation, we delve into the new Quincredible series, their aim for true diversity both in the characters and by those who work on them, and how they're looking to make a cohesive superhero universe akin to DC and Marvel's.
Newsarama: David, Carl… what's coming up for Catalyst Prime in the summer and fall?
David Steward II: There’s a lot upcoming with the universe. We bit off a lot last year launching a whole brand new connected universe and as happy as we are with the launch and the warm reception we’ve gotten, we feel that there’s a lot more that left for us to do. We’ve diversified editorial on the books and we now have multiple editors on the line and we’ve changed up some of the creative team as well. In additional we’re expanding our line across our imprints. They’ll be specific titles focused on Adult, YA, and Middle Grade markets.
Unlike our competitors who are taking their same characters and trying to adapt them to fit these markets, we’re creating all new characters that will speak specifically and embody those generations. Over time you’ll see those same character age, grow, and die. That’s why I feel our universe is unique because it mirrors how the real world works with life, death, and consequences.
Carl Reed: In addition to what David mentioned, I am particularly excited about bringing the Catalyst Prime Universe to our YA imprint and our children’s Imprints. The sandbox is expanding, and I am thrilled to be able to explore different approaches to the superhero genre.
Nrama: One of those new series is Quincredible, by writer Mildred Louis and Selina Espiritu. What is that, and how does it fit within Catalyst Prime?
Steward: Quincredible is a new series aimed at the YA market and will appear on our Roar imprint. It tells the story of a kids who gets superpowers during the meteor event but unlike the other heroes we’ve seen up till this point, he only has the defensive power of invulnerability. It’s an interesting character because he’ll have to think through his challenges.
Reed: Quincredible is one of my favorites, as I can see myself in his story. He is a normal kid, facing tremendous odds now that he is invulnerable. He not only wants to be a superhero, but he doesn’t let the fact that he is (sometimes hysterically) underpowered against other super-powered foes.
Nrama: Is this one a creator-owned title, or a Lion Forge-owned one?
Steward: This is a Lion Forge title, all of Catalyst Prime up till this point has been internally developed. The one exception thus far is Incidentals, which we developed in partnership with Ramon Govea, who is also co-writing the series.
Nrama: What else is coming with Catalyst Prime?
Steward: I think you’ll find in the upcoming series a greater differentiation in creative and style amongst all the titles at large, and you’re going to start seeing some of the character development I alluded to before. One thing I can say is that one of the characters doesn’t turn out to be one of the good guys.
Reed: Without giving too much away, each story across the line is preparing us for a huge event in the world. How this actually plays out is yet to be seen, but I would suggest that readers pay close attention to how things are developing. There are more surprises coming!
Nrama: With such a large line-up of tiles, does Lion Forge have creator summits like other publishers with lines of this size do? How do you work to make it all fit?
Steward: Yes, we do. In order for our universe to work, all creators need to know what’s happening across the line. Again, unlike our competitors, if something epic happens in one book there may be rippling effects in other books. In addition, we like to draw upon as many creative opinions as possible in deciding direction and vetting thoughts.