Review - Aspen Universe Revelations #1 (@AspenComics)

"Everyone thinks about the end of the world. Especially if you do what we do."

Comic universes are full of plenty of characters who jump in and out of the lives of the others. Sometimes those interactions are more necessary than others and in the case of Aspen Universe Revelations #1 from Aspen Comics Aspen Matthews is interacting with a lot of the members of the universe to save the universe. The issue is written by Joshua Hale Fialkov and J.T. Krul, penciled by Jordan Gunderson, inked by Mark Roslan, colored by Peter Steigerwald and lettered by Josh Reed.

With the existence of humanity along with The Blue facing a catastrophic turning point for their own survival, one woman of both worlds, Aspen Matthews, must embark on a quest spanning not only time but also magic unlike any she's ever encountered.

For a massive, universe spanning event that Aspen Universe Revelations #1 is poised to be the issue feels a little underwhelming. Filakov and Krul jump right into a setting where the world has essentially ended and has characters from the Soulfire series putting together a solution. The problem is that the world is falling apart, but Fialkov and Krul don't really explain why or what the reason is for the demise. It's likely this will be detailed in future issues as the story unfolds, although it doesn't really do a lot in the way of getting new readers into the fold. Aspen Matthews is poised to play a large role in the coming events, yet her relation to them is something of a mystery.

The artwork by Gunderson is gritty and fits within the end-of-the-world aesthetic. Each of the characters from both the Soulfire and Fathom universes are easily recognizable and Gunderson does a good job of blending them together. He relies on a very delicate linework that makes each character stand out against the relatively sparsely populated backgrounds. In fact, the book maintains a relatively simplistic look that relies on a pretty consistent couple of backdrops, all of which is heavy on the desolate landscapes. Roslan and Steigerwald contribute inks and colors that are on the darker range for the most part furthering this setting.

Aspen Universe Revelations #1 is a poised to be a big factor in the reboot of the Aspen Universe and its pretty ambitious. Aspen Matthews can never seem to catch a breather when it comes to saving the world, but it looks like here she'll have some help. Fialkov and Krul obviously have an overarching plan in mind for the characters even if the issue is a little light on the details. Gunderson's artwork is clean and simple, effectively blending together the more magical elements of Soulfire with the real-world sensibility of Aspen Matthews. Aspen Universe Revelations #1 is worth a read if you're a big fan of Aspen Comics or want to get in on the ground floor of something new.

Aspen Universe Revelations #1 is in stores now.