In what’s shaping up to be a great October for comic books, this week saw the debut of a dozen titles. The one I’ve been looking forward to the most is the continued shaping of the Aspen Comics universe. With it’s second company-wide crossover, the publisher put together a menace that won’t stop at its flagship characters.
As always to keep up on what goes down every week with Marvel and DC, check out their respective rundowns on The Beat.
ASPEN UNIVERSE: DECIMATION
Story: Vince Hernandez
Art: Marco Renna
Colors: Federico Blee, John Starr
Published by: Aspen Comics
After years of creating series with their own separate and unique worlds, Aspen Comics brought together some of its most notable characters into a shared universe in Revalations. In 2017, the publisher is going all in again by launching a new event that brings together some of its later years’ characters, Aspen Comics: Decimation.
Decimation has a free #0 issue you can read on Comixology. While this opening chapter begins with a recap of the important points of issue 0, it’s still a piece worth going back to read if you haven’t checked it out. Orlanna, The Death Princess is on a mission to erase the council of magic from the universe. She enlists various villains from the Aspen U. Heavy hitters from books like Shrugged, Soulfire, even kidnapping Hank from Charismagic. Who does that? Orlana’s scheme is beyond your typical Cobra cartoonish supervillainy. To decimate something as powerful as the council that controls magic, it has to be undone at the beginning.
Decimation wastes little time in not only setting the stakes but unleashing worst possible scenario. An unlikely group of heroes such as Aspen Matthews, Theo and his friends Ang & Dev will have to come together, but in clever fashion are only hinted at in issue one. Instead, this chapter focuses on pure evil. A risky move but writer Vince Hernandez takes real estate to give you moments of vengeful motivations and schemes that paint these characters better than basic exposition could.
Let me tell you what I have a major issue with in this book. The art. Marco Renna’s illustrating is serviceable at best, however every lazy in some instances. I had problems with it during All-New Fathom’s launch but hoped the artist would pay more attention to detail by learning from mistakes. It simply hasn’t been the case. While panel layouts are solid and easily understood in terms of being easy to read. The little details still illude Renna. Characters in the panels still do the awkward poses for camera and the emotional detail is…well…it’s just bad. Look at this, a character who apparently is the first supervillain with a lazy eye.
That’s not what I expect from Aspen Comics. Fortunately, this book doesn’t live or die solely on the art.
Decimation is a compact event with big scale that’s far from a complete package but enough of a good comic comes through to warrant reading. It’s got all the makings of a major event series; lots of big fight set up while keeping everything streamlined for long-time readers of Aspen Comics. Readers new or unfamiliar with the entire Aspen universe can easily take everything at face value and be thoroughly entertained, but it’s the loyal Aspen fans who will get the most out of it.
[Won] Despite some less than stellar illustration, Aspen Universe: Decimation #1 is a good opening shot. An unapologetically evil narrative shining a light on some proper villains. Check it out if you fancy a spot of bother.
Check out the rest of this week’s #1 comics:
- [WON] OVERWATCH ANTHOLOGY HC VOL 01 (Dark Horse Comics/Blizzard)
- [DONE] GOTHAM CITY GARAGE #1 (DC)
- [WON] RAGMAN #1 (DC)
- [WON] WORMWOOD GOES TO WASHINGTON #1 (IDW)
- FAMILY TRADE #1 (IMAGE)
- GOD COMPLEX #1 (IMAGE)
- [WON] ADVENTURE TIME 2017 SPOOOKTACULAR #1 (BOOM!)
- [WON] DAN DARE #1 (TITAN)
- [DONE] DANGER DOLL SQUAD #1 (ACTION LAB)
- [DONE] FIGHTING AMERICAN #1 (TITAN)
- HATCHET #1 (AMERICAN MYTHOLOGY)