Monday, October 16, 2017

Review - Aspen Universe: Decimation #1 (@AspenComics)


"There most definitely was a bang."

Despite all their scheming and machinations, the plans of villains can often be distilled down to one immutable fact: destruction of something. In Aspen Universe: Decimation #1 from Aspen Comics, that destruction of something becomes the decimation of everything. The issue is written by Vince Hernandez, penciled by Marco Renna, inked by Mark Roslan, colored by Federico Bee & John Starr and lettered by Zen.

The time for Revelations has ended. The time for Decimation has begun. Orlana the Death Princess has a devastating ability to control minds, and she has recruited the most powerfully gifted villainesses across the globe to do her bidding-with no Aspen hero safe from her reach!

In Aspen Universe: Decimation #1, Hernandez is weaving a pretty intricate tale that involves many of the villainesses of the Aspen Universe. Their plan seems pretty straightforward in terms of its grab for power, but there are still some holes in it that Hernandez doesn't cover in the script for the issue. That's not to say that Hernandez doesn't have a grand plan in mind; rather, there's a lot of questions after the first issue in regards to why the characters are truly coming together and what their end-game is. The dialogue written by Hernandez is pretty straightforward, allowing each of the main characters to effectively define themselves as evil in one way or another. And the issue's pacing feels a tad bit jumpy, mainly because Hernandez is attempting to cover all the angles of all the villainesses in the first issue to set the table for the remainder of the series.

Renna's pencils focus on relatively clean lines in defining the characters throughout the issue. All of the players here are from other corners of the Aspen Universe and Renna does an excellent job of maintaining their recognizable appearances. Roslan's inks further this look in that the players are rendered with an emphasis on standing out--both in general and from one another. The panels are laid out in a myriad of different arrangements, all of which keep the visuals moving at a pretty modest clip. Colors by Bee and Starr are subtle yet effective in further fleshing out the artwork in the issue.

Aspen Universe: Decimation #1 is a very ambitious book for Aspen in that it's a crossover with villainous characters who likely aren't as recognizable as their heroine counterparts. Orlana is orchestrating a seemingly aggressive plan courting destruction and chaos. The script by Hernandez does well in juggling the variety of different characters, all of whom seem to be operating toward the same end. The artwork by Renna and Roslan is pretty solid in its approach and presentation. Aspen Universe: Decimation #1 seems to be aimed primarily at fans of the Aspen universe in general, but those fans will definitely find a lot to like in the issue.

Aspen Universe: Decimation #1 is available now.

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