Aspen Comics Review – Broken Pieces #1, Exective Assistant: Lotus #3, Fathom (vol 4) #2 and Soulfire (vol 3) #4

It’s another week and that means a whole bunch of releases from Aspen Comics.  The books are varied ranging from fantasy to horror, political thriller featuring assassins to one featuring water creatures.  The quality is a bit mixed too, but there’s a little something for everyone.

Broken Pieces #1

BROKEN_PIECES-01a-KaneshiroMark Roslan – Writer / Micah Kaneshiro – Art

I decided to reread the #0 issue along with this first issue in the new series from Aspen Comics.  Overall, I have to say the book is pretty solid.  It’s the future and what seems like a terrorist attack has destroyed the Gulf Coast and launched a disease that seems to do some funky stuff as far as your skin and organs.

The story begins as a corporation comes to a promising doctor who may hold the key to stopping the disease, but what’s everyone’s goals?  Is it to stop it, is it to just fix people affected?  Also, the area of infection is moving northwards and refugees line along the Virginia and North Carolina border.  There’s a bit of a political tone along with the horror vibe of the comic.

Then the end of the first issue comes around and everything gets flipped.  The first issue is all set up, and what this comic seems to be about, or at least it’s focus, doesn’t really reveal itself until the end of that first issue.  The comic is solid overall and kept me on my toes.  What I thought the direction of the comic would be, that doesn’t seem to be the case.  It’s a solid first issue and definitely worth the look.

Story: 8 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: LOTUS #3

Vince Hernandez – Story / Oliver Nome – Art / Emilio Lopez – Colors

Do you like hot chicks with swords and guns kicking the crap out of each other?  How about deadly assassins fighting to, well, the death?  This is the last issue of Lotus’s chapter in Aspen’s event, The Hit List Agenda.  Lotus takes on Virat who has betrayed her and sicked his students on her.  There’s lots of fighting and some kick ass scenes, and that’s really what the comic is and some times you need that.

While the three issues for this series has been entertaining, it really is a piece of the bigger event puzzle.  I’ve read it all now, so get a the big picture, for the most part, and I don’t know how enjoyable the series might be on it’s own.  I liked it though, but can’t really separate the limited series from the bigger picture.

Overall The Hitlist Agenda has been entertaining mixing a lot of action, with some intrigue and a lot of machinations and maneuvering usually saved for political thrillers.  I’m still not quite totally clear as to what the end game is, but the end of Lotus is a great bookend to it’s beginning.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Fathom (vol. 4) #2

Scott Lobdell – Writer / Alex Konat – Pencils / Beth Sotelo – Colors

Four volumes in and this is the first issue I’ve ever read of Fathom.  I always had it in the back of my head that this was Michael Turner’s Aquaman, but with a hot chick.  I also came in on this issue worried that with four volumes and one issue behind it, I might be a bit lost, that quickly went away.

The story is pretty cool.  An underwater race have been plotting to kill the President and Vice President and are posing as their Secret Service detail.  Aspen must rush to save the Vice President.  There’s a lot of action here, but the pacing is damn perfect with a great countdown feel to it.  I had no idea what the result would be.  Will she get there in time?

The art is beautiful here and I had no idea picking up what was going on, who everyone was, and some of what came before.  It might be a second issue, but it was still an easy entry point.  I can see myself really getting into this one, and looking forward to what’s to come.

Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Soulfire (vol. 3) #4

J.T. Krul – Writer / Jason Fabok – Art / John Starr – Colors

This is my second issue into the series, and I still don’t quite get it.  The teaser for this issue promised, “This is THE issue Soulfire fans will not want to miss as long-burning questions will finally be illuminated!”  I read it and couldn’t tell you what that is.  There’s some decent art, but this series just isn’t for me.

I’m still trying to figure out the reason.  It might be that I’m not the biggest fan of fantasy, which this leans towards.  There’s a lot of history here, and I don’t know any of it.  It relies heavily on that continuity, again I’m behind the eight ball with that.

It’s very possible if I went back to the beginning and started to read the series, my opinion might be different, but this issue like the last, just isn’t clicking with me.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Pass

Aspen Comics provided Graphic Policy with an advance copy of these issues for FREE for review.