The first time I went through the book I spent more time admiring the fine details in the art work than I did reading the actual story. Siya Oum has some hands down amazing art work, I want every picture in my house rendered by Siya…sorry honey but the family portrait is dull without a little work from Siya! Now that I have given my eyes some candy, it is time to dive into the main course.
As with any hero, we find our hero has struggles; struggle to believe in the gift that has been given, struggle to keep their own identity while secluding their secret identity and struggle in learning how to use this newly discovered power. I am intrigued, I am a believer.
I was reminded of Watchmen when I was going through the struggle portion of this book. The main character reminded me of Silk Spectre who was also adapted from Phantom Lady (you’ll see what I’m talking about when you see not only the art work but also the attitude in the dialogue). The struggles are building our beliefs in our heroine, it makes her human on the outside and we realize she is battling her inner-self trying to break through.
Attention to the details, keeping all the little things in mind and not skipping over minor plot development. This is important, keep in mind there is more than one story to follow here and everything matters. Try to imagine having a gift, not knowing exactly what that gift is but some day you’ll have to use that gift along with others who have similar gifts to save the universe…sounds kinda cheesy and overplayed but not in this series.
Here we are in the future and we are faced with the fact that technology is bad. What future story will have technology as the hero? Where will my smartphone be the saving grace in the future, besides the reality that when I need to order a pizza I’m too lazy to look the number up I have to speak into my phone and say “Find me pizza”? Anyway, I digress (a lot!).
The magic is gone, not a drop left, can’t even get any in a bottle from your local Witch Dr. Technology has done the wayside to any idea or hint of magic in this universal future. With the exception of our five on their quests…this is where it gets interesting. This is where you go AHAA! That proverbial light bulb shows up above your head with that “Ding” sound and you go, “now I get it”! Of course if you’re like me you are in a local coffee shop and you say it out loud right at the moment when it is quiet enough for everyone in the shop to turn around and look at you. The hero’s discovering the magic is key to the future of the future.
What is a good hero without some goofy sidekicks? Okay, maybe not goofy but not completely serious either. Well, maybe these aren’t sidekicks either. Maybe, just maybe these are just some friends we see training with each other joking around. Talking about a missing partner that must be found…By the way, our heroine needs to find the same person. Maybe this is the same journey that everyone is on, or maybe it is pure coincidence. Coincidence or not, it is another story line that I want to know more about. Who is this mystery person? Why is it so important to find them? Questions need to be answered here people. I have rights to know what is going on here. I just find it odd that in the middle of building up the story of our heroine, that we would be thrown to a scene where we have two people in a room fighting (training) but for no reason, only to mention someone they need to find. Odd I tell you!
I have made a comparison earlier to Watchmen and I wanted to state that the story isn’t depressing at all, quite the opposite actually. Yes I found Watchmen to be depressing, of course I did, but that is for another time. The comparison was made to point out the struggles that our main character is having with her inner magic. What will her new path look like now that she has discovered this magic? What trials and tribulations are to come from exposing this magic in a world that is deprived? This episode gives us a peak, a glimpse, a tease if you will, of what to expect of our heroine in this series.
It didn’t take much for me to get hooked, a rich story line that is compelling and makes you immediately care about the characters and what their story may or may not be. With some old world “Native” beliefs and new world technology, it is an interesting mixture of Faith and Modernism. Trust me (or not, I don’t have a gun to your head) when I say this, Soulfire is a series that will have you hooked on the first read. Not only is the art work top notch but Amanda McMurray isn’t too shabby of a writer either.
I am glad that this idea was resurrected for production. You may not know this but the series was originally adapted by the late Michael Turner who did work on Witchblade, Fathom, Superman/Batman and other DC and Marvel adventures. The new life breathed into the series only does it justice and Mr. Turner would be extremely proud!
Do yourself a favor and grab the books from the Soulfire series. There are five issues, five masters, five quests and they are all trying to find the light. And I know you’re thinking “step into the light child”, not that kind of “light” but I like how you’re thinking. If you’re like me and since you’re still reading this far you just might be like me, then you’ll come to love the Soulfire series like I have.