I'm so pleased to find a rules-lite system like this at last!
The hobbling point for the RPG group I play with has always been fashioning characters. In any generation of Dungeons and Dragons character creation takes HOURS if not days of pouring over books not the least to determine complex equations based on scores and how to make those scores deliberately unbalanced.
But the Catalyst system gives you options without making the point of the game to boost your scores. The numbers become less important than the adventure...AND THAT'S HOW RPGS SHOULD BE I THINK!
Roleplaying! It's a little distressing to me how seldom that's actually used in favor of rules lawyering.
My favorite system for a long time was the somewhat obscure Over the Edge which deliberately tried to cut out the chaff of rules in favor of outlining characters quickly but in depth, but that system always had the issue again of lots of arbitrary numbers being thrown around requiring all players access to one book. The Valiant Universe dispenses with this and makes character creation so simple it barely takes up a chapter compared with the rest of the book which is devoted to the Valiant Universe itself.
And what a universe! I used to collect Valiant comics and still pick them up when I can because it's a welcome departure from either the crushing despair of modern comics or their rigid formality. Valiant is a maverick in the genre thanks to presenting different times, different cultures, and different attitudes revolving around the core iconic concept of the 'super hero'.
And the system also reflects that approach with super powers being extremely flexible, granting characters suitably heroic edges but not making them invulnerable.
All in all I'm glad that free RPG day introduced me to this system and this concept of gaming in the Valiant Universe and I'd recommend it to those who are fans of the comics, want a speedy but customizable system to make character creation and breeze and roleplaying deft and entertaining again, and for people who just want a different take on the super hero genre itself.
[5 of 5 Stars!]