Review - Soulfire: Grace #1

Ah the plight of Malikai. The pivotal character in the Soulfire universe has lots of big players looking for him. The search reaches its conclusion in Soulfire: Grace #1, published by Aspen Comics.

The issue is written by J.T. Krul, with illustrations by Pasquale Qualano, colors by Beth Sotelo and David Curiel and letters by Josh Reed.

It's the aforementioned Malikai that brings together the five masters of the Samusara: Pili, Grace, Ren, Faye and Sarin. Each have been featured in the other books leading up to this conclusion, where each was given the chance to showcase their contributions as a master.

It all comes to a head in this issue, with the presented goal of finding Malikai for whatever reason. There appears to be a greater evil on its way, an evil reaffirmed by the insistence on the part of the masters to secure Malikai. What the five masters finds is both frightening and reassuring.

Krul did an excellent job with this issue, writing it as a culmination of the previous four one-shots. Taken on their own, they seem a little incomplete, but it's this issue that ties them all together. His portrayal of Grace as an almost desperate master was great, with her showing a desire to find Malikai for more personal reasons.

Krul manages to work in all the personalities of the characters. The interaction between Faye and Sarin continue to display their reluctant partnership, while Ren defers his powers out of humility. It helps with the continuity of the series and gives readers familiar characters they know.

The illustrations by Qualano are actually quite strong. He's essentially combining all the art from the previous four one-shots and does a great job with his rendition of the characters. There's some great character designs in the issue and some of the evils they face are illustrated very well.

Aspen wants readers to know that things in the Soulfire universe are not all right. Malikai is making a return and it looks like his powers will be needed. The second volume of Soulfire could be a knockdown, drag-out magical battle that leaves a scorched world in its wake. Get excited.

Soulfire: Grace #1 is in stores now with interiors below.