Aspen Comics 2016
Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov & J.T. Krul
Penciled by Jordan Gunderson
Inked by Mark Roslan
Coloured by Peter Steigerwald & John Starr
Lettrred by Josh Reed
Malikai and his allies, including Grace, attempted to literally turn back time in order to save their present from the devastation wrecking their world. Combining the engineer-savvy Benoist’s technology with Grace’s powerful magic in one device, the group was able to send Malikai back to another time period. However, the result brought him no closer to finding the answer to their conundrum—yet did put him into contact with one Aspen Matthews.
Following the pair’s initial disagreement, they would eventually decide to team up, but soon encountered what appeared to be another—more malevolent--version of Malikai himself...
I might be in the minority but I love Aspen Comics and we don’t get nearly enough books from them so when we do it’s always a highlight for me. That we have Malikai and Aspen teaming up on a grand adventure together to chase down Halazeel and his Grace, different version than the one that’s with Malikai, that will span the annuls of time in the Aspen Universe is one of the best concepts ever!
That Aspen is an unknown quantity in the Soulfire Universe it means that Halazeel and Grace will underestimate her and her powers. I like what the guys do here by putting this initial encounter in a desolate future where they’ve already won. This gives us and our heroes an opportunity to see what they are up against. Even better is that all of Malikai’s allies have been tainted by Halazeel and are in his thrall.
The characterization we get here is great as we get to see the madman who wishes to rule of time and space in action as well as see how Malikai and Aspen fare as partners. So far I like what I’m seeing as the characters are incredibly true to what we’ve seen in their past adventures. As the two chase after a fleeing Halazeel and Grace as they rush to put their time machine in use it’s a great opportunity to really set the story in motion on a grander scale.
I like the interior artwork here. While it’s less Turner inspired and more traditional comic style it still has those swirling colours and variations that make instantly recognisable. The way the story flows through the pages and panels thanks to the use of angles, perspective and the all important backgrounds helps us get into the story more fully. From the dark hopeless future to the time when they emerge in Aspen’s world where things are bright and colourful it’s a dramatic difference and it’s superbly done.
This has all the potential in the world to be a shining example of a company crossover done with excellence. The writing is fantastic, the characterization phenomenal and the premise is everything we could hope for. This is how you keep Turner’s legacy alive and thriving.