Review - Soulfire: Volume 4 #1

Oh Anantia. Home of people, magic and dragons who have been poisoned to kill. Wait. You mean that's not on the brochure for the Everlands? Aspen Comics sure seems to think so in Soulfire: Volume 4 #1.

Soulfire: Volume 4 #1 is written by J.T. Krul, illustrated by Mike DeBalfo, colored by Nei Ruffino and lettered by Josh Reed.

The Search for the Light has ended, with Malikai returning from chaos and making all things right with the world. The Samusara are living it up, reveling in the supposed peace and each are taking different approaches to life.

Grace has been having a tough go of it as of late though. When the Samusara went into the chaos to fetch Malikai, none of them thought that some of that chaos would return with them. Grace bears the brunt of it, revealing in her a secret that both sets up the coming series and shocks all involved.

The universe Soulfire exists in is one of the more complex at Aspen, but Krul has managed to make it accessible. Fans who read the series of one-shots prior to this first issue were given an early primer of the events to unfold, yet even if you didn't read them you can still keep up. The reliance on magic as a binding force is relatively unfamiliar, which means the upcoming battles could be rather interesting.

Krul is tasked with making Grace a more powerful entity and, hopefully, he can pull it off. It was the last volume of Soulfire where Malikai was perceived as the grand power and having Grace take that crown from him could be a tough feat to pull off.

DeBalfo's art is really strong. There are a lot of off-center shots, where part of someone's face may be in the panel for instance, that really work. They sort of add a cinematic feel to the comic, thus adding significance to the events. Ruffino's colors are a subtly deft touch, helping to accentuate the emotion of the characters on the pages.

Grace is powerful; possibly even moreso than Malikai. The series has the potential to face Grace against Malikai, but whether or not Krul and Aspen allow that to happen and has tragedy come from it remains to be seen. This is a solid foundation issue that does a great job of getting everything set at the table, so pull up a chair and enjoy the meal.

Soulfire: Volume 4 #1 is in stores now with interiors below.