Review: Idolized #1

By Patricia Jenkins

Idolized

Writer: David Schwartz

Colorist: David Curiel

Penciler: Micah Gunnell

Letterer: Josh Reed

Editor: Vince Hernandez

 

As a novice book reader, the concept of Idolized piqued my fancy immediately.  Take American Idol, a pop-cultural phenomenon that is so rooted in American culture & combine it with a badass female heroine/superhero, or soon to be superhero… and you get Aspen Comics Idolize.  Now… the whole “Idol” concept has the potential to come off as superficial, trivial & “hacky”, but writer David Schwartz does a fantastic job towing the line, providing just enough campiness, whilst offering us a compelling and relatable tale.

Unlike the X-men, Idolized takes place in a world where folks with superpowers and special abilities aren’t chastised, they’re a part of the everyday makeup.  It’s here we meet tortured teenager Leslie Linnell, who at 7 years old experiences an undreamed of event, at the hands of villain Stasis, which isolates and riddles her with unimaginable guilt and seething anger.  Low and behold, even in a universe of superheroes, reality television is alive and present.  Our heroine sees an advertisement for “Superhero Idol”, where the winner will win an elite spot on the superhero team The Powered Protectors.  Hell bent on seeking revenge on Stasis Leslie packs it all in, to audition.

In addition to a great story, I have to say that the artwork immediately drew me in.  It was truly gorgeous.  Micah Gunnell and David Curiel colors popped and were absolutely stunning and whimsical.  While I’m no expert, the characters were drawn rather well, with keen detail to facial emotion & expression, which continually kept me attuned and rapt in the unfolding story.

Anyone who has struggled and battled with their own demons, will definitely appreciate, relish, and root for Leslie along her journey.  I definitely look forward to meeting some her fellow Superhero Idol contestants, but more importantly exploring the ghosts of her past.  I’m intrigued to delve deeper into her motivation for revenge and redemption, and find out ultimately will she succumb to her desire to seek revenge or rise above.  In the end, I give Idolized a 4 out of 5.  Idolized “out”…  I hope not, as I’m highly anticipating issue 2.

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Review of Aspen comic’s Idolized #0

By Robert Greenwood

 

In the current world we live in, those fleeting moments we call life sometimes seem to pass us by. With the advent of the TV shows like American Idol and America’s got talent, millions of normal people can have those preverbal 15 minutes of fame. It can make even the most mundane person Jump out of their comfort zone. Now imagine a world filled with super powered beings all fighting for those same 15 minutes?

This is the world that Aspen Comics presents in their new comic series Idolized. In the #0 issue  we learn about the new reality show “Superhero Idol” and what it takes to become a superhero.

The grand prize isn’t a record deal, No trip to Vegas, or even their own TV show. That would be a silly prize for a would- be super hero. Instead they get to be a part of the greatest group of Super powered beings ever assembled.

“The Powered Protectors”

The comic follows one girl’s dream of being a superhero and doing what she always wanted to do. Does she succeed, or will she fail miserably? Well you are going to have to read the book for yourself and find out.

You will follow young Leslie aka “Joule” on her quest in Idolized. The book is written by David Schwartz (“Meltdown”) and drawn by one of our favorite artists Micah Gunnell (“Shrugged”, “Dellec”)

Sometimes, when I see comics that grab from real life in a parody type fashion it always leads to disappointment. Idolized doesn’t parody, it excels at telling a hard hitting story with hits of action and simple yet stunning art.

Idolized issue #0 comes out June 27 go and buy it up and  check out their FaceBook page here http://www.facebook.com/IdolizedComic

Follow Rob on Twitter @AltMindz

Like our FaceBook page @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/Alternative-Mindz/216819165003579

Charismagic #5 Review

by Charles Suffel

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Aspen Comics – Charismagic Issue 5 – The Witching
Created & Written by: Vince Hernandez
Character Designs & Illustrations by: Khary Randolph
Additional pencil assissts: Lori Hanson
Colors by: Emilio Lopez
Letters by: Josh Reed
Genre: Action/Adventure/Fantasy

From aspencomics.com:

 “Everything you know about magic will…vanish. Hank Medley was at the top of his game. As a Las Vegas magician, or as he preferred to be called– “An Entertainer,” his life was filled with fame, wealth, and excitement. Yet, his fortune and stardom quickly disappeared faster than his world famous vanishing trick. Soon, Hank discovers that magic, something he thought only existed in his fictitious Vegas show, is far more real than he ever could have imagined on stage. And this shocking realization sends him on a deadly quest filled with wizards, sorcerers, druids, witches and mythical creatures of magic– to not only save humanity from a deadly catastrophic form of evil, but also to transform everything he knew about himself in the process.”

Previously (in Charismagic #4): Hank, along with Sudana and Sparkles, has made his way jungles of Costa Rica in search of Kon. What they find are The Guardians, protectors of Kon’s temple, will they be friend or foe? Meanwhile Kon battles Samsun but the battle isn’t going very well. Hector and Alle get captured in the Void Realm, can they survive?

This book is beautiful, Randolph and Hanson’s pencils with Lopez’s colors compliment each other perfectly, This book has an epic sky battle, lush jungles and gorgeous fight scenes. As for the story? It’s always hard to jump into a miniseries several issues in but after reading the book twice I’m definitely ready to say, this series is really well done! This is an intricate well crafted story of magic and other realms. The plot is kind of complicated but I was able to grasp it and I’m no rocket scientist. The characters are relate-able and interesting, the interactions between them read smoothly the dialogue is very well written. I don’t know if I’d say jump in on issue five of a six issue series but if you can find the back issues this ones a definite read!

Aspen has a habit of running in volumes so maybe this ones got a volume two on the horizon?

 

Follow Chuck on Twitter @Chuck_Suffel

preview-BROKEN PIECES #2

Mark Roslan – Writer / Micah Kaneshiro – Art

 

What is lost in life is found in…death!

Aspen Comic’s newest original series, BROKEN PIECES, continues!

 

Dr. Richard Adams’ life has been torn apart by a horrible discovery made by his wife Gabriella. However, the astounding breakthrough they made in the

science of bio-rejuvenation has left Richard with a small shred of humanity to cling to, as everything else crumbles around him. With the odds of

survival diminishing by the second—Richard will be forced to make the most consequential decision of his life, one which will effect the future of

mankind itself!

Written and created by Aspen’s own Mark Roslan and featuring stunning artwork by newcomer and series artist Micah Kaneshiro, BROKEN PIECES will

keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish! In stores February 22nd!

Aspen Comics Now Available on Nook Courtesy of Graphicly

Aspen is now going to be available on Barnes and Noble’s Nook

Aspen Comics is expanding its accessibility in the digital comics marketplace by now offering their titles through Barnes and Noble’s popular Nook devices and apps, courtesy of their digital distribution partner, Graphicly. The move marks another platform fans of the publisher can seek to purchase Aspen titles while also presenting them to a new audience through Barnes and Noble’s massive online bookstore. Aspen Editor-in-Chief states:

 

“We’re excited to work alongside Graphicly to deliver our wonderful library of Aspen titles to a new audience and platform on the Nook. In addition to our launch collections, we will be working quickly to add to the number of books available, so fans can look forward to seeing even more new collected series on the horizon shortly.”

 

Aspen titles included in the initial launch on the Nook include: The Aspen Extended Edition, Executive Assistant: Iris Volume One, Fathom Volume One, Fathom: Cannon Hawke, Fathom: Dawn of War, Fathom: Kiani Volume One, Shrugged Volume One, and Soulfire: Volume One.

 

The initial launch titles will be offered as complete collected editions only and prices may vary. For more information on purchasing Aspen titles for the Nook please check www.barnesandnoble.com. For more information on Graphicly please check www.graphicly.com and for more information on Aspen Comics please check www.aspencomics.com

 

 

 

Review: Fathom Blue Descent #4

by Charles Suffel

 

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David Schwartz – Story Alex Sanchez & Peter Steigerwald – Art John Starr – Colors Josh Reed – Letters

“Aspen Matthews is a child of two worlds. Born amongst the Blue, an underwater race, she was raised on the surface among humans. As a marine biologist aboard the experimental DMD facility she was awakened to her true heritage. Aspen, along with the help of Cannon Hawke, Protector of the Elite Council of the Blue, foiled a plot by the Blue dissident Killian to destroy both the surface and underwater worlds.

However, uncertainty remained concerning the events leading up to Aspen’s remarkable appearance on the Paradise ocean liner and the obscured truth surrounding her parents below the surface—until now…

Amidst the chaos and dangers within the secret citadel of the Black, Abseloma managed to find and rescue his captive wife Eilah. Now, the weight of the future of an entire civilization threatens to crush his plans for escape, as well as the Black’s powerful leader Rahger, who is still after both of their lives and closing in fast…”

This is the fourth book in Aspen Matthews’ origin story and it really ties up the loose ends well. I’m still not really clear why the people of the Blue, the Black, and the Humans are all enemies but at least I now totally understand how Aspen got to the surface world and why and what happened to her parents.

As for the art, the book is just beautiful, underwater scenery can be difficult but I think Sanchez & Steigerwald do a great job. I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of this type of fantasy I find it to be too complicated and the dialogue a tad over the top. But even for me, someone with limited experience with this series, this was an enjoyable book.

It hits shelves on Jan 25th, check your local comic shop!

 

Follow Chuck on Twitter @Chuck_Suffel

Hit up Chuck’s site http://chucksuffel.wordpress.com/

Executive Assistant Lotus #2: The Hit List Agenda

Executive Assistant Lotus #2: The Hit List Agenda
by Rob Base

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Executive Assistant Lotus #2 The Hit List Agenda
Vince Hernandez – Story / Oliver Nome – Art / Emilio Lopez – Colors

Very few comics have the ability to read like a TV series. How many people out there reading this thought The Walking Dead would really be a compelling “TV” show?

Executive Assistant Lotus feels more like a USA primetime TV program in the vein of Burn Notice or In Plain Sight and yet with all the dialogue, the comic’s action is hard hitting and engaging.
I really don’t want to give away any details of the story. Lotus will have many fans of Marvel Comic’s Elektra drooling for more.
Lotus maybe in over her head but finds ways to do much butt kicking that will keep fans reading till the final issue.
Here’s hoping that Executive Assistant Lotus gets her own TV show next fall.

 

Haunted City #0 Review

What makes a comic book reviewer, twitter-holic, blogger or TV personality choose the comics they read? You can easily say it was an advance from the studio. But even so, would they waste their time reading just any title? I believe what draws people are two factors. And these are exactly what drew me to Haunted City.

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First are the covers, even with the old saying that you can’t judge a book by it, in the world of comics, we do just that. This is where Aspen comics, as a company, excels. The Modern Age of comics had its so-called renaissance. It was only good for one thing and that would be covers. This is what Aspen continues to bring, magnificently stylized covers with the use of empty space and placement of characters, which in essence relive the glory days of comics. The two covers of Haunted City have all the makings of a 90s comic: it grabs you and hits you over the head and yet at the same time, it also utilizes the Eisner approach of centering the reader’s eyes to a focal point.

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Yet, unlike the drab, story-less comics of the 90s, Haunted City brings depth and an engrossing story that is near and dear to my heart. And that is the second reason we read comics, concept. This book takes place in and around history and leads itself through the glory days of old New York and into the present day. The constructs of the story, without spoiling the idea, brings the realm of all “the boogie men” and religious fears to the forefront from vampires to voodoo to witches, even ghosts.

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The look and feel of the book is top notch and can best be reminiscent of Vampirella and Spawn with a hint of Gore* to boot (*1 shiny penny to the reader who know that title).
If there is a negative to the comic it’s in one thing. Famed director, McG, is plastered all over the book since it is in collaboration with his Wonderland Sound and Vision. Now, there is nothing wrong with this. But in recent years, comics with celebrities attached tend to have a short shelf life mostly due to the fact that smarky comic fans just run away from a title if it’s not from a “comic guy,” which is sad.

This title has done everything right and deserves to be on anyone’s “buy pile” every Wednesday.

Overall, I can’t wait to get issue one in my grubby little hands. This book fills the gap of great story and old school comic action which has been sorely missed in recent years.

 

See full Gallery here