REVIEW: Soulfire, Vol.2 #5

Story: J.T. Krul
Pencils: Marcus To
Inks: Saleem Crawford
Colors: Beth Sotelo
Letters: Josh Reed
Editor: Vince Hernandez
Publisher: Aspen Comics
Created by Michael Turner

If there is something that I enjoy about Soulfire each month is that along side of the action, adventures, and magic – there are still those character moments that everyone can relate to.  Those moments are what keep this magical and fantasy based series from getting away from the readers.  Those character moments, like last issue’s moment with Benoist at the bed side of his old friend as he died, that really bring things home.

Last issue we saw Jayden kiss Mal while Sonia walked in on them.  If you’ve not been reading this series that probably wouldn’t mean much to you, but this has been building ever since Jayden showed up.  Readers, and even Sonia, know that there’s something up with her, but Mal has yet to see it.  Even Grace, upon her return to the group, notices that there’s something not quiet true to Jayden’s story.

While the last issue had a lot of action in it, this issue is more preparation for what’s to come.  Rainer’s plans seem to be coming together, and Grace knows that it will more than her or Mal to defeat him this time.  So, Grace begins to gather her troops and I will say that the big reveal at the end of the issue was a bit of a surprise.  For long time readers, you’ll hopefully recognize who Grace has brought the group to, but if not – go check out Soulfire: Dying of the Light miniseries.

Soulfire continues to be an enjoyable series for me as a long time reader, but I’m curious what new readers are thinking if they have recently jump on board with this latest volume.  There has been a previous volume of this series, as well as three miniseries.  All of that seems to beginning to fall together with this current volume, but I wonder how easy it is to understand for new readers.  I hope that this issue’s re-introduction of a certain character will cause new readers to want to check out those previous series because it’s caused me to want to go back and re-read them again.

As I’ve said before, the art in this book continues to be top notch.  I wish I had something different to say than I did from the previous issue’s review, but Marcus To, Saleem Crawford, Beth Sotelo, and Josh Reed continue to knock each page of this issue out of the park.  What else can be said?

If you’re not reading this series, but are curious – this issue is a pretty good starting place, but keep in mind – its only issue five.  You can easily go back and pick up the previous four issues along with it.  I recommend finding at least the Soulfire: Dying of the Light miniseries for reference to get the impact of this issue’s re-introduction, but its not necessary because I’m sure next issue we’ll get acquainted once again.

REVIEW: Don Bluth Presents: Dragon’s Lair Vol.1 TPB

Writers: Andy Mangels (Chapters 1-4), Ryan Foley (Chapters 5 & 6), and Jimmy PS Hayes (Bonus Story)
Art: Fabio Languna (Trade Cover, All Chapters, Bonus Story & Chapter Covers 2-6) and Don Bluth (Chapter Cover 1 & Bonus Story Cover)
Colors: Tony Washington (Chapters 1-3), Arcana Studios (Chapters 4-6), Val Staples (Chapter Covers 1, 5, &6), James Offredi (Bonus Story), and Brian Miller (Bonus Story Cover)
Letters: Bill Tortolini (Chapters 1-5) and Ed Durkshire (Chapter 6 & Bonus Story)
Graphic Design: DMF Comics
Publisher: Arcana Studios

Reprints: Don Bluth Presents Dragon’s Lair #1-6

If you know anything about Don Bluth and his role in American animation, then his co-creation with Gary Goldman – Dragon’s Lair should be something you’re well aware of, too.  Dragon’s Lair the video game first hit the masses in 1983, back when I was only 9 years old.  I remember going to the arcade every day for hours when my family took our summer trip to Myrtle Beach, SC.  I would play this game until my parents had to drag me kicking and screaming away from it.  By far – this game, and its successor, Space Ace, we’re my favorites growing up.

In 2003, CrossGen Publishing released the first issue of Don Bluth’s Dragon’s Lair and all of those fond memories came flooding back. The miniseries was based off of the original game’s story of Dirk the Daring’s attempt to rescue the Princess Daphne from the evil dragon Singe.  Only three issues into its run, CrossGen began having financial problems and eventually closed down without seeing the miniseries completed.  In 2006, Arcana Studios collected the previously released three issues as well as the three unpublished issues as well as a bonus story.

This collection is a great looking hardcover.  The page art by Fabio Languna is so close to Bluth’s style, but just different enough to not be an exact copy.  I think the art alone makes this hardcover worth picking up for any comic book art fan. But it’s the story in this book that should make the fans of the video game come running after it.  If you were like me and you never finished the game, now is your opportunity to see what you missed!  I have to thank Andy Mangles and Ryan Foley for bringing back all of these childhood memories.  This is such a fun and entertaining story of knights, swords, princesses, and dragons that should keep anyone hooked.

Arcana Studios has done a superb job collection this miniseries.  I was so happy to get my hands on this book and reading through it.  If you have ever played the video game, or were just a bit curious about the story or the art then you need to pick up this collected edition and see for yourself.  You won’t be disappointed!