PREVIEW: Fathom V3 #4

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

Michael Turner’s Fathom continues on for the sensational fourth volume! Over a million species of undersea life forms exist under the surface, some dating back over four hundred million years old. Aspen Matthews, marine-biologist, has researched many of them in her past. Yet, nothing in her education could have prepared her for the recent discovery of the mysterious Church of the Eternal Depths.

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REVIEW: Haunted City #1

Suffer the Little Children

Writer: Chap Taylor & Peter Johnson
Illustrator: Michael Ryan
Colorists: Kelsey Shannon & Beth Sotelo
Letterer: Josh Reed
Editors: Frank Mastromauro & Vince Hernandez
Publisher: Aspen MLT

Detective Tom Whalen had a bullet ricochet off of his skull and now is on the run from Internal Affairs, Korean gangsters, and a ghost; not to mention being told fairy tales and folk lore creatures are real – definitely not your typical day.

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REVIEW: Fathom Vol.4 #2

United Notions

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Pencils: Alex Konat
Colors: Beth Sotelo
Letters: Josh Reed
Editors: Vince Hernandez and Frank Mastromauro
Design and Production: Mark Roslan and Peter Steigerwald
Publisher: Aspen MLT
Fathom created by Michael Turner
The Black co-created by Michael Turner and Peter Steigerwald

Aspen is on the trail of a group of creatures called the Ceratonotus Steiningeri who are posing as Secret Service agents protecting the Vice President and who are planning to kill him.

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: Soulfire, Vol.2 #4

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

In this issue of Soulfire, Grace and Seph chase after Blackjack and Rainer’s men as they attempt to free the hatching Blackjack stole from the dragon Marigold.  Benoist, PJ, and Dylan attempt to deal with their attackers on the Eight Continent, and Malikai may have just gotten in over his head as he attempts to show Jayden how to use her new found abilities.

At the end of the first volume of Soulfire, I really wondered if the new creative team on the series could hold the same level of energy that the first volume provided as well as really carry out an expansion vision for these characters.  From the very first issue of this second volume, J.T. Krul has done just that and more by being reverent to what has come before and then building upon it so many more layers.  Fans of the first volume that, for whatever reason, decided not to continue on with this new volume should be kicking themselves now for missing out.

Krul is balancing three different storylines with this series, and so far each has been well written and entertaining.  There really hasn’t been an awkward balance or forced storytelling in any of these issues thus far.  Like with previous issues, Krul continues doing what he does best and providing readers with a great story with great characters.  I think my favorite part of all of this has been Beniost and the Eighth Continent.  There’s not a lot of expansive storytelling, and it’s been a lot of action, but there’s a heart in the story that I think we really didn’t get to see in the previous volume with Benoist and it really rounds out his character.

The art in this issue by Marcus To, Saleem Crawford, Beth Sotelo, and Josh Reed is so good!  Every issue has pages I wish I could own because they’re so gorgeous to look at.  I think the world that these amazing artists have created really is extremely vibrant and exciting.

Soulfire continues to be in my personal top ten each and every month and I’m always excited to see a new issue.  I can say without hesitation that this series is well worth looking for at your local comic shop and picking up.

REVIEW: Soulfire Vol.2 #0

Soulfire Vol.2 #0

Soulfire Vol.2 #0

“Freefalling”

Story: JT Krul
Pencils: Marcus To
Inks: Saleem Crawford
Colors: Beth Sotelo
Letters: Josh Reed
Publisher: Aspen MLT

Its no secret I’m a huge fan of Aspen MLT.  While “Fathom” is what brought me to the company, it has been “Soulfire” that has really become my favorite universe at Aspen.  I’ve recently re-read the entire first volume of this series in order to get ready for this new volume.  This issue is a perfect transition issue as well as being a great jumping on point for new readers. 

Krul and To with Crawford, Sotelo, and Reed should really be happy with the work they’ve put into this issue.  It reads great.  It looks great.  And that last page had me really excited for what’s to come with this book.  I want the next issue to hurry up and get here!!