Aspen Comics 2016
Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov & J.T. Krul
Penciled by Jordan Gunderson & Giuseppe Cafero
Inked by Mark Roslan & Gabe Carrasco
Coloured by Peter Steigerwald & John Starr
Lettered by Josh Reed
Aspen Matthews and Malikai discovered that Halazeel and a malevolent Grace pose a much greater threat to mankind’s existence than simply the threat of their magical abilities, as their damaging effect on the world sends ripples through the present and future. However, while Aspen manages to utilize her powers to fight them off briefly in the present, Malikai and herself soon realize they are in the presence of the rogue dissident Kilian and his warrior daughter, Kiani...
One of the great things about this story is the underlying tone both series have. That despite our predilection to saying we’re all about exploration, inclusion and peaceful encounters in reality we fear that which is different and immediately either find ways to enslave, control or destroy. Which is why the Blue and Malikai’s people are hunted in their series because the U.S. Government is unable to control or use them. That one being is using that, those fears and that mistrust to empower him is a logical decision. It doesn’t hurt he’s magical in nature, able to absorb energies and make himself more powerful and is the kind of despot who always seeks to have more and be more powerful, that’s usually a downfall that kind of overreaching ambition and gluttony.
I like that anything can happen here, and that it does. Once the battle is over i’d imagine that things would return to normal and the timeline resets itself and what has occurred would feel more like a dream than reality. So whatever is done in this battle can be undone when things go back to a time when it never happened. So the while drama of the moment is real it’s long term effect isn’t. Okay now I could be totally off base on that but it’s how i’m seeing this and it’s that which makes things more interesting to me.
Michael Turner set such a high standard with his work and it is his company at heart so that the interiors are done and remain so true to his vision and yet are able to make it their own at the same time is fabulous to see. The flow of this book through page layouts, angles, perspective and the use of backgrounds draws the readers in beautifully. The attention to detail is great to see and the colouring here really makes this pop. the artwork here lends a power to the characters that makes them heroes or villains instead of us seeing them “normal” and it’s great thing see.
We know that Aspen and Malakai come from two different worlds and times so if this is the kind of crossover that would blend the two worlds into one where they are separated by years then i’m all for it. I’d love the opportunity to see this be one cohesive universe and with Aspens friends and Malakai’s future being in the same timeline opens up a realm of new possibilities for future stories that make shiver in that special kind of anticipation.
The Aspen universe has always been a thing of grace and beauty, power and effect and it’s nice to see that the spirit is kept alive like it is here.