Aspen Comics 2015
Written by Scott Lobdell
Penciled by Jordan Gunderson
Inked by John Ercek & Mark Roslan
Coloured by Valentina Pinto & Justice
Gia and her new allies, Ivana and Ara, recruited the services of Aspen Matthews for their group’s desire to end the impending threat of four very powerful brothers--yet, she did not come wholeheartedly. However, following the ladies’ exploration of the infected and capsized submarine, the S.S. Leningrad, Aspen and Ara came face-to-face with the one known as War--and Aspen decided to put her reservations aside in order to discover more about the fast approaching threat…
Just because there is a threat so great that these four women who represent the elements must come together to face it doesn’t mean they have to be friends and like each other. Aspen may have been the one in the spotlight and been the focus for so long but she’s just one member of this team and while she’s also the most in touch with the world’s population, and are dare I say most human, doesn’t mean these women don’t have a long way to go in learning to trust and work with each other. This tension is something Scott is portraying wonderfully here.
Gia’s story continues to unfold a little bit at a time as we learn of her upbringing before she was shall we say institutionalized. The poor girl has been overwhelmed by her “gift” for so long she isn’t as prepared for human contact as she might believe. We see a hint of this as well as she’s more co-ordinating the events instead of taking an active part in what’s happening here it’s as if she’s studying, learning the right way for her to behave.
The concept here that the girls need to go up against the four horsemen and their uncle to save the world is a great one. We’ve seen this kind of story emerge elsewhere in the past but here it seems Scott is taking his time and instead of going for outright fighting there’s testing the fences for weakness going on first. Assessing the game players as it were before trying to go at them directly and this issue Pestilence was the one chosen. It’s a smart way to introduce this too because while they have to stop the men from shooting up a hospital they are afraid of what’s happening inside, this isn’t straight up terrorism or anything it’s plain fear and survival and that’s a fine line take that is smart and interesting.
I’m really impressed with the way Scott’s telling this story it’s really incredible that he can pack all this characterization into the story and move everything forward and almost seem to make it one sided in favor of the horsemen who appear to be better organized and in control even with the apparent loss of Pestilence. The way this is unfolding is great, smart, and fun to see.
Jordan and company are doing some spectacular work on the interiors too. Whether it’s seeing Aspen in her water form or the visage of Pestilence himself or his victims the interior artwork is powerful, beautiful and more than slightly creepy.
All around strong original storytelling and gorgeous interior artwork make this a series you don’t want to miss.