The Four Points #3
Story: Scott Lobdell
Art: Jordan Gunderson
Colors: Valentina Pinto
Letters: Josh Reed
Publisher: Aspen COmics
Team stories are probably the hardest to tell in comics, maybe anywhere. To enjoy any tale; the reader needs to know whose story it is. A perfect example would be when you watched The Mighty Ducks, the movie was the redemption story of Gordon Bombay, but we’re made to believe this is a movie about a hockey team. That film also exemplifies how once we know whose story it is the supporting characters need to have a delicate balance that doesn’t steal the focus but keeps them from being trees in the background. The Four Points by Aspen Comics has been that right team story and it doesn’t even have Emilo Estevez or Joshua Jackson in it.
Four Points is the story of a mental patient named Gia who through both a gift and a curse is forced to bring together three volatile elements to save the world from the approaching horsemen of the apocalypse. These elements are in fact complete strangers from around the globe. A Russian wind rider named Ivana, the fire goddess Ara, and the publisher’s most recognizable face Aspen Matthews. So far this dysfunctional group has survived a confrontation with the horseman known as War. In issue #3, the team is in the middle east investigating a plague ravaging the population. It’s easy to guess which horseman they’ll have to deal with in order to put an end to the suffering, but where the book poses its heavy questions is in the hard choices they’ll have to make if they want to stop it. If you’ve read any of the Fathom volumes, you already know Aspen Matthews is a morally centered agent of life. Her affiliation to Gia’s crusade will be tested if she’s forced to play the role of assassin. In the end, more questions about this ominous threat are raised as these Four Points struggle to aim in the same direction.
Writer, Scott Lobdell isn’t particularly known for lacing his stories with political undertones. It’s why Four Points feels different from most of the work he’s done. He’s brought together female characters of radically different cultural backgrounds and melts the pot in front of the readers eyes. The big questions of Four Points surround Gia and the messed up mindset she inherited from her family. Finding out where the voices in her head come from is just part of the appeal. There’s a hook in how much mistrust the other three have for each other but know they can’t save the world alone. Sure it’s been done lots of times before, but when done right it’s still good every single time.
Lobdell has always been a writer whose story can be greatly deterred by subpar artwork. Fortunately, artist Jordan Gunderson is solid here. Any Fathom story needs to have the spirt of a Michael Turner book. Gunderson imitates the iconic artist’s most notable trait without cloning it, sex appeal. Turner had a gift for drawing the most gorgeous female characters and giving them allure without crossing the line of cheap. The sultry eyes and powerful posture are well used in this book. Gunderson still has some room to grow when it comes to the faces in smaller panels but his larger detail work makes up for it.
If you’re on the fence about trying Four Points, you definitely have to start at the beginning. The story is one of the best put out by Aspen so far this year. It’s a familiar dive into the fantasy pools they like to swim in, but it manages to do a lot of fresh things. Despite a bit of an abrupt ending, Four Points #3 is worth picking up.