Aspen Comics for 9/21/11

This week, Aspen Comics is releasing four, count ’em… four books. Check out Fathom #2, Soulfire #3, Executive Assistant: Lotus #3 of 3, and Broken Pieces #1.

Fathom #2

Scott Lobdell – Writer
Alex Konat – Pencils
Beth Sotelo – Colors

Michael Turner’s Fathom makes its return for the sensational fourth volume!

Aspen Matthews finds herself back in her peaceful hometown of San Diego, but soon she will discover all is not fun under the sun. With her life’s privacy now a thing of the past, even a trip home will prove deadly for the daughter of both worlds. When a run in with the Secret Service turns ugly, her already infamous reputation above the surface reaches a breaking point amongst the Humans. However, the scorn of the people is far less threatening to Aspen’s present than the surprise return of someone from her past!

For the legions of FATHOM fans who have been waiting to see Aspen in her element, taking control of her life, now is the time to jump on in—the water’s just fine!

Wow… This week’s Fathom was really good. Aspen is tracking down underwater bad guys who have infiltrated the Secret Service. As Aspen races to save the human world that turns its back on her, she gets a little help from Judith’s police officer cousin, who causes pandemonium in order for Aspen to take down the bad guys. It’s pretty funny. “Pasty-faced granola munchers” may be my new favorite insult now.

I loved seeing some more of Aspen’s powers. I didn’t realize that she has super speed in water and the ability to change into water at will. It’s a near-invulnerability that I think is pretty cool.

My one complaint is that I can’t seem to be able to pronounce the name of the bad guys “Ceratonotus Steiningeri”. I hate it when I can’t pronounce alien names, like the Yuuzhan Vong in the Star Wars expanded universe. It makes the name less “stickable” in my brain.

Overall, Fathom #2 is really good. Even though the ending ties back to something that’s happened in an earlier volume of Fathom, I still want to see what the implications are for Aspen.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Soulfire #4

J.T. Krul – Writer
Ryan Odagawa and Jason Fabok – Art
John Starr – Colors

The magic has returned! But, this time…the light has grown dark.

The long-awaited answers to Malikai’s early years and his connection to the past Samusaras—or Bearers of the Light—are revealed! Journey back to the orphanage where Malikai grew up and see firsthand the deadly quests of past incarnations of the Samusara as this milestone issue is so epic it can be only be told by not one—but two—amazing artists. This is THE issue Soulfire fans will not want to miss as long-burning questions will finally be illuminated!

New adversaries, exotic locations, and a fresh cast of exciting characters, including some from the Soulfire Universe’s long forgotten past, reign supreme in this epic third SOULFIRE volume!

Soulfire was an interesting read this week. This issue delves into Malikai’s past. The summary above pretty much says it all! It’s an interesting look into the character, with a little bit of action at the beginning to start things off right.

One of the best parts of the book was how they took an event from earlier this year, flocks of birds that mysteriously died in Arkansas, and turned it into a plot point. The way it’s done is pretty eerie, and it gives you enough of the, “I remember that,” feeling to give you the creeps.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


Executive Assistant: Lotus #3 of 3

Vince Hernandez – Writer
Oliver Nome – Art
Emilio Lopez and David Curiel – Colors

The pieces of “The Hit List Agenda” begin to fall apart around Lotus as she attempts to track her employer Virat, against his knowledge, to the jungles of Myanmar and his newly-acquired Executive Assistant school. However, her world is once again turned upside down as Lotus discoversher master has staged a deadly ambush—with ten Executive Assistants ready to end her life– and satisfy his thirst for revenge…

It’s the final issue of Executive Assistant: Lotus, and there’s is plenty of death and gore to go around. Virat sics his small army of Executive Assistant trainees on Lotus, and Iris steps in to help kick some ass. Some of the Executive Assistant deaths are pretty awesome. Being shot in the eye has to be one of the grossest ways to die.

The book ends predictably, but the set-up is there for Lotus to join Iris and the other Executive Assistants in the final two books of the Executive Assistant: Iris series.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


Broken Pieces #1

Mark Roslan – Writer
Micah Kaneshiro – Art

What is lost in life is found in…death!

Aspen Comic’s newest original series, BROKEN PIECES, starts now!

In a not too distant future torn apart by a deadly biological catastrophe, doctors Richard and Gabriella Adams stood on the verge of a scientific breakthrough—a cure to the epidemic spreading across North America, splitting the population between those that are plagued—and those in power that are not. However, their union of research and marriage is tragically ripped in two, and Richard soon discovers that he has to sacrifice everything in order to piece together a hope for humanity and put the shattered remains of his life back together again.

Written and created by Aspen’s own Mark Roslan and featuring stunning artwork by newcomer and series artist Micah Kaneshiro, BROKEN PIECES will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish!

Broken Pieces is a book that I’m still trying to figure out. This #1 issue is definitely less disjointed than the #0 issue was, but there’s still no clear line of how A gets to B; of how what we’re seeing in the past ties to the present. Now I’m confused as to whether it’s Richard who we’re seeing in the present, or if it’s the dead person they’re experimenting on in the past.

One of the best scenes was the mob scene outside of the city. It shows you how desperate the citizens are after the detonation of the bio-bomb. They allude to it in other scenes, but it doesn’t have the same effect in a clinical laboratory setting.

My one issue with the book is that the artwork is… weird. It’s not necessarily bad, but it’s a style unlike anything I’ve ever read before, and it’s unsettling. The closest I could get to describing it is a watercolor style with sharp, defined edges and thick lines. I thought that the artwork was actually taking away from the story instead of adding to it.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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Mary Knize, Captain Painway, "C-Pain", and formerly Mary Staggs, was Panels on Pages' May 2010 Fangirl of the Month and is a former rollergirl. When she's not busy writing, she's probably playing a video game. She also loves Wikipedia and science.

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