Michael turners SoulFire issue #9
At the heart of everyone stands the fight between what “he” believes is right and what “he” believesis wrong. If you have never read an issue of SoulFire, then issue 9 might confuse the masses but only slightly. With the first set of pages, our lead hero, Malikai, breaks down what is going on and who he is in the midst of fighting. A man named Cole is siphoning his magical powers, but as our hero continues
his fight, he worries about his real threat, Rainier.
The world of Soulfire is centered on the idea of “magic” being gone from the world. The story follows our aforementioned hero named Malikai and a rag tag team of magical beings and cyborgs. Malikai’s quest as the chosen one is to bring magic back the hardened future of (2211 AD) and stop it from being used by evil.
Reading the book feels like I am once again thrown back to the late 1990’s world of action-over-substance. Ideas from movies such as The Matrix to video games like Final Fantasy are littered from each panel and through every page. Malikai is the “chosen one” to bring back “magic” to a world deprived. Panel in and panel out, there are images that I can’t help but feel the state of déjà vu. Malikai’s friends feel like they are more based on Final Fantasy 7 video game characters than being their
own unique personalities.
Sure, they know that Mal is the “chosen one,” but I feel like Barret from FF7 is talking instead of Benoist.The heroes’ team falls victim, at least in my eyes, as backup filler for a underwhelming plot.Why is Malikai so important? Why is this Blonde kid so important that the world feels the need to take up arms against him? As the story progresses, we learn very little but feel like we should understand
All we get is page after page of colorful fairy-type women and glittery pixies battling against guys with dragon wings. Well, until an actual dragon shows up itself and starts doing dragon stuff. Of course the chosen one takes it down with enough collateral damage to warrant the outlaw magic of all kinds from Malikai to Penn and Teller. The magic element comes off more like a laser light show than
actual “magic.” Maybe it’s the lack of comic book sound effects?
After the climactic battle, we are treated to almost two whole pages of reaction shots with only one person upset enough to utter the word “no” because Malikai KO’ed the dragon. In essence, this makes our hero throw a hissy fit and flies off with his magical lights. For the remainder of the book, we arebrought back down to some magical and technological downtime. From the fairy people petting baby
dragons to the cyborg guy hammering hot metal to someone getting a giant tramp stamp tattoo on his back, everyone is kind of in a bad place since Malikai flew off. The rest of the book is our troubled hero self loathing and trying to “find” his purpose.
If you have ever been a fan of Image comics, this book fits in with any of the older titles and feels more like it will make a great video game. But with the crop of hard-hitting, gritty, edgy modern comics on the rack today, this story hasn’t found its place yet. I can only hope that in a few short issues, Malikai finds his purpose and leads us into a more fantasy realm. Taking elements from many different genres isn’t a bad idea, but the chosen one aspect and the lack of pronounced magical effects leaves this title hanging.