From last year. I'm catching up on the Aspen ones since I've gotten into the company recently and trying to clear out some old Comixology titles I own.
This was fun: a quick peek at Fathom, Soulfire, and the first Aspen crossover event, called Revelations. There were some designs, mostly sketches although one or two cover pieces. There were also biographies of the main players, and I appreciated those.
Then there were the inevitable ads. I didn't mind these as much, because they were one page ads, a shot of the comic, and some descriptions. It left more pages to preview the main event. But this didn't feel like a great introduction to Revelations. Or not the perfect one. The way it ends, well, it felt a bit too abrupt. It does make me excited about the comic which came in the Humble Bundle: I have Revelations Volume 1.
So it was mostly successful. The crossover looks tense and plausible, and I was wondering how they would accomplish that given how different the series are in this case. Onto the next comic, and then I'm trying to get more sun, but my poor arms are about to get toasted again. I may stay inside until I go out: I've decided I want a burger for dinner, but I'm going to take it home so I can watch TV. A burger, fries - inexpensive burger but you order fries on the side - and a milkshake for while I'm walking home, maybe.
Stunning art. There's something about seeing Turner's art in pencil that really shows just how talented he was. It's obvious even with the colors, but strip that away and it's all Turner. I was talking a friend who hates the stripped down version of comics and how it's becoming a trend; I agree with him at times. Sometimes the art, because it's meant to be colored, just looks better that way. (This of course doesn't touch black and white comics: when it's meant to be just pencil and inks, that's a different category than putting them out in color then stripping them down to pencils and/or pencils and inks.)
Turner just gets better. While he draws the best to him - inkers and colorists - because he's such a star, I somehow like the stripped down stuff even better. Or maybe in a different way but I appreciate it more because there's so little of this out there.
It's issues that's I've already read, but I enjoyed reading them again just for this art.
The art got funky at the end, but for the most part? It was absolutely gorgeous. A completely different style than Turner's work, but the linework, the inks, and the colors were all stunning, especially all together.
Furthermore, the science and magic finally come together, in a way I'd hoped they'd have done before this. After all, when Grace sacrifices her own soul to save Mal, she becomes consumed. There's something about seeing her so dark, and knowing how much she'll end up being devastated by this if she becomes herself once again, well... it all got me in all the feels. I was especially heartened to see how many people cared about Grace.
There were subplots with Dex and Pili that I enjoyed as well, although they were very small parts of this volume.
My wrist is hurting again, so I'm going to keep this another short review.
Grace is trying to keep her homeland intact after Onyx steals a book on shadow magic and uses it to try and gain the upper hand. Meanwhile, afraid that the darkness inside him brings danger to everyone he meets, Malikai has separated from the group, his self-imposed isolation an attempt to keep his loved one safe.
Meanwhile, Miya, the savior to Grace's people is still alive and convinced that everyone Mal is, and has been, are evil. HIs powers come with a price, and that price is chaos and a taste of darkness that spreads, or so she tells everyone she knows. When Mal is pulled back into Grace's world, Grace has to balance both the danger that both Miya and Onyx represent, especially when it becomes clear that Miya's mission to kill Mal blinds her to the threat Onyx presents, a more immediate and concrete threat even if Miya is correct about Mal.
I liked this. It got dark, but within that darkness, it allowed the characters to explore the hope that comes with fighting for their freedom. And it also allowed Grace to stand on her own and hold her own ground.
Eager to see what the next volume brings!