Aspen Comics 2019
Written by Vince Hernandez
Illustrated by Maruicio Campetella & Andre Risso
Coloured by Natalia Nesterenko & Peter Steigerwald
Lettered by Zen
There are two worlds, the one we know, and the one below…
In the devastated city of Muria, Elite Commander Wind quickly greets Aspen with open arms, while remaining suspicious of Kiani. Meanwhile, in the underwater city of Tauro, Killian plots to recruit Bordon and Merelia to his New Dissidents. Far below the waves, Aspen and Kiani journey to the lair of The Black, where Casque immediately attacks them, leaving Aspen unconscious, reliving her greatest fears and failures. Unfaltering in her quest for vengeance, Wind crashes the meeting in Tauro, and— much to everyone’s bewilderment— pledges her allegiance to Killian…
If I know one anything at all it's that Michael Turner is smiling down at the folks at Aspen. They have taken his baby and treated it with love and respect for his vision while also making it very much their own. Not as easy to do as you may think it is either so that this has been accomplished is cause for congratulations.
Ah I do rather love Kiani and she's as fiery and passionate as her hair and bloodline suggests. To see the past when Casque was her mentor and one whom she trusted more than anything is sensational! I mean many may not see it but she has grown, changed and through her experiences has become more than anyone would have expected her to be. The characterisation that we see here is strong and does a beautiful job in fleshing out the characters. The past or the present we get a glimpse of they are and what they are about and it's just enough that we know there is more lurking under the surface but like any good poker face what we see is what need to at the moment.
The story & plot development and the character development that is happening here is marvellous to watch unfold before our eyes. That they weave in, out, around and fuse with each other at seeming random moments then to picked up and carried on always forward is a sign of some stellar writing. Vince keeps impressing me with every outing and that this book feels as it does is something that I can't get enough of. Taking the sums of the whole and getting to readdress them in new and interesting ways not only keeps things alive but also in this fresh new perspective that is as thrilling as if meeting the characters for the first time.
I like the interiors here. They are uniquely their own and not this aped style of someone who came before them. The linework is beautiful and the attention to detail that we see is well executed. Would I like to see more backgrounds being utilised, yes I would for when we see see them or just a view of the underwater city it's magnificent and I want to see more of that. Or with Merelia and the inside of that room it's beautifully done and adds characterisation and verve to the book. The utilisation of the page alyouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a solid eye for storytelling. The creativity and imagination that we see is sensational in how we see the armour they wear or their water forms. This ties in with the colour work too because what we see and how we see it so that the colours are not solid and we see their various hues and tones utilised to create a more three dimensional feel to it. The coral is bloody brilliant and whomever is responsible for laying that in this is master colour work people.
While Aspen is out of commission and Kiani is forced to confront her old mentor alone we see what else transpires throughout the underwater world. With Killian, with what was the council and with Kiani's sister Anika. This world and these characters are all so unique and they all have plots, sub-plots and so on and so forth so that the layering of the story that we see is perfectly done to highlight their lives together and separate. In the end all roads converge the question is who will be following the same path when they do.
Aspen continues the tradition of strong powerful storytelling and that it's main series is still as fresh, new and exciting as it was the day it debuted is a testament to the franchise, it's creators over the years and the staying power of an idea.