Review - Soulfire #9

It's hard to truly get into any comic book. It usually requires quite a bit of commitment on your part as you get invested in the characters and story. It's even more difficult to get into a comic when you come into it in the middle of battle craziness, but I'm going to delve into the world of Soulfire with Soulfire #9. If you've been reading the series to this point great. If not, I'll try to get you up to speed as best as possible.

The issue gets right into the middle of a battle where Malikai is getting beat bad. Rainier is leading a group of enemies (Jayden and Cole) that is draining his powers while Malikai's allies are getting it handed to them by a dragon in the skies. Things aren't going so well for Malikai as the Samusara (Bringer of Light) until he goes Super Saiyan on everyone and unleashes a devastating power that repels Rainier's advances. Mal holds his own and repels the enemy advancing against him, eventually throwing his weight behind his friend Grace, who is being terrorized by the dragon Marigold. The issue ends after Mal kills the dragon and is abandoned by his friends for doing so, leaving him to contemplate his true potential and place within his group of friends.

Soulfire was created by Michael Turner and Soulfire #9 is written by J.T. Krul. This is the first issue of Soulfire I've ever read and Krul makes it so new readers can pretty easily pick up what's going on in the story. The dialogue is almost a little bland in a sense, which may just be the storytelling style that I've missed not reading previous issues. The story definitely sets up a ton of future storylines: Rainier continuing to try and exploit Mal's problems, Mal's friends dealing with his killing the dragon, a woman seeking revenge for the death of her father Saxon and what appears to be Grace, feeling remorse for not keeping Marigold alive.

The artwork by Marcus To (inks by Richard Zajac and colors by Beth Sotelo) fits the characters and the story well. In a world populated by fairies, dragons and magic you could easily lose sight of the mature aspect of a story and have character designs that are somewhat childish. To has given the characters a mature feel that help you to get drawn into the world of Soulfire. The inks and colors by Zajac and Sotelo respectively also do a great job of creating a good/evil dichotomy that inhabits the world the characters live in.

I get the sense that this issue ends a story arc in the Soulfire series (the "The End" at the end of the issue is a good clue). I'm intrigued by the storylines set up and am curious to see what happens with them, but I hope future issues cut out a storyline or two. There seems to be a LOT going on in this issue, almost too much for one issue. Again, this could just be an issue that's tying up a bunch of loose ends and giving the series somewhere to go from here so I can't really hold it against the creative team. In a world of superhero comics it's great to find one a bit more fantastical but feels like and adult comic book.