Seraph’s Sanctions: ASPEN UNIVERSE: REVELATIONS #2

Writers: Joshua Hale Fialkov & J.T. Krul
Art: Jordan Gunderson, Mark Roslan & John Ercek
Colors: Peter Steigerwald & John Starr
Lettering: Josh Reed
Publisher: ASPEN COMICS (August 2016)

 

The Breakdown:

Malikai and Aspen end up in a future were Grace has been turned evil, but not by some kind of entity this time, but just seemingly evil. And the being that caused the destructi02-03-AURevelations_02-Aspenon of Aspen’s planet … and Malikai’s is a future Samusara, Halazeel. This revelation throws Malikai for a loop as he and Aspen fight for survival and stop Halazeel’s mad plan to go back in time and take over the world … Only to find some familiar faces on the trip.

The Bad:

There wasn’t anything really bad this particular issue.

 

The Moment of the Issue:

Aspen showing her dominance once they change venues was quite beautiful and quite liberating for the character and for readers. It definitely cements her as the Aspen Icon that she is supposed to be. Plus, Water Dragons are cool.

 

The Good:

Wow. Ok. This issue picked up the pace a bit. We get to find out who Halazeel is, what is his plan and some of his motivations. Fialkov and Krul cleanly craft this issue in ways that they give a whole lot within the pages of the 22 page story. There’s firm establishments of Halazeel’s character, evil Grace’s character, overall plot advancement and some wonderful ascensions to both Malikai and Aspen as marquee characters. While Aspen has enjoyed being the premiere female to the Aspen Universe, this issue really 04-AURevelations_02-Aspenhelps elevates her in ways that make her feel iconic while still being very down to earth. It is brilliantly penned by both writers and kudos to them in doing so. Malikai himself also got a much better feel of ascension here, but still feeling in equal terms with Aspen while still feeling and sounding different. The mystical energies of Malikai and the Samusara are very key here and Krul & Fialkov make sure you know that. They build what will become this shared Aspen Universe, and it’s starting to weaving into a fine tapestry this issue.

The art is superb. Gunderson outdid himself again was the clean, detailed like work makes every panel seem poster worthy. There’s some really good detail on some backgrounds and brilliant renderings of characters and beasts a like. There’s an energy to Gunderson’s work that really comes out here, thanks to the clean and sharp inking by Roslan & Ercek. They clearly love the pencil work Gunderson is throwing down, so they both really bring out the best of Gunderson’s lines while also fill the world with their own touches, creating masterful pictures that capture powerful emotion, ominous tones or  heart-pounding action. Steigerwald & Starr’s brilliant color work just holds the foundations to how much life this book explodes outward as you read it. The art alone isn’t just something to look at, but an experience that you are sharing with these characters. Definitely an up.

 

The Verdict;

Aspen Universe: Revelations #2 definitely delivered. The art was exquisite from start to finish, just filled with spectacular detail, emotion, atmosphere and a vibrancy that many comics cannot replicate. The writing was superb, multi-layered yet very easy to follow. The characterizations of our leads definitely helped elevate them and their importance to the entire Aspen Universe and it shows when readers scan the issue. We get a great mix of emotions as well as moments that kind of set a new bar for the universe as Aspen full takes her place as the icon for Aspen that she has been but not quite felt till now. Fialkov and Krul make magic here and Gunderson, Roslan, Starr, Ercek and Steigerwald bring that magic to stunning, thrilling, splendiferous life. Get this book immediately.