Comic Books & Graphic NovelsOpinionReviews

Mr. Singleton Feels the SOULFIRE POWER

“Cool!” that is exactly what came out of my mouth when I saw that I had another book in the Soulfire series to read. I absolutely enjoyed the last one so much that I was counting down the minutes until I was able to review the next book. It was like that Christmas morning when you know you’re getting something cool, that one present that was on your list that you are more than certain that you’re going to receive from the people who love you most and want to see that smile on your face for that special moment. Yep, that is exactly the feeling I had knowing that another book was coming for review.

At first glance I noticed there was something different, something that didn’t match. And much like that excited kid on Christmas Day, I bypassed who the wonderful present was from and started playing with the present, missing some important details. The artwork was different, but I will get into the artwork a little later…more about the story line for now.

I don’t know if any of you ever got into Avatar: The Last Airbender, I did only because of my son, at first. I became intrigued with the story that there was one being that brought balance to the four tribes or elements however you prefer to look at the story. You can see a resemblance to our story here with Power. The particular being that can hold all of the magic together has gone missing, or misplaced…there isn’t an official A.P.B. that I have found yet and this may be a time for a CSI crew to takeover the investigation. On second thought probably not, the story would take a twisted turn for total self destruction. Lets just stay the course shall we?

All five of our stories in this series are looking for this one supreme being that serves a purpose. A lot like the fifth element, but probably not as hot in the human form. (Note to self, watch Fifth Element soon.) So we have some good story line building up a base for our search.

In true form whenever a key character goes missing, the world starts to fall apart, dogs and cats start living together, the cable man shows up on time, there is never a line at the bank and customer service will assist you in any way you need them to no matter what your request. We call it utopia but trust me the world is messed up when that starts happening. You wouldn’t need an escape and the story that we are discussing (well I’m talking to myself and hoping that somewhere out there in the interwebs someone is reading) would not exist. So the world is being attached and this is where we get to see some awesome action as well as some great fight sequence flashbacks.

This is the point where I get to talk about the artwork.

Remember earlier in our conversation (again, this is a one sided conversation, you can send me your comments later) I talked about the artwork and that I would go deeper at a later point…that time is now. The artwork at first glance was rough and not the kind of rough I could look past to see the story, I was in such awe of the artwork that Siya Oum did in the Faith book that I literally was expecting the exact same work in this book. Not so much. The crew on this book, (pencils) Nacho Arranz, Khary Randolph, (colors) John Starr, Emilio Lopez, Etienne St. Laurent, (letters) Josh Reed and (story) David Whol had a different style for the Power book. I didn’t see the artwork come alive until the action portions of the story. There is a reason for the methods taken here. You see I am simple when it comes to my wants and desires from comics, I love illustrations that belong in a museum and I demand a story line that I can find plausible in any realm of alternate realities. That is all, no more, no less.

I thought to myself, “am I being too demanding on the artwork?”. No, no I am not. What was happening here was I wasn’t following the artwork as part of the story. You see there is the opening sequence in the movie “Chaplin” where Robert Downey Jr. is taking off his stage makeup as Charlie Chaplin. Of course if you know anything about Charlie Chaplin you know he was a silent film actor and his silent films were in black and white. The movie starts off in black and white as we see Chaplin taking off his makeup you start to see the color of his skin, then his eyes and then finally the film we are watching is no longer in black and white, but full blown color. There is the visual set up for what I am about to tell you next. Power starts out as a simple drawing, much like what you would expect from a low budget japanamation film and later blossoms into the attention to detail work that I was expecting in the beginning. It was my “aha” moment. I saw all of the work of tying the other four story lines with this one, taking key elements and making sure the soul of the story isn’t lost and that included the art work. The artwork is now a character, a living, breathing, I’ll kick your butt if you cross me in a dark alley character.

This truly is a genius series that is worth every hard earned penny. Taking the time to make sure that no detail goes neglected, no character goes undeveloped, that every pencil stroke has purpose, where every color is chosen not because it hasn’t been used before but because it is absolutely the right color for this particular moment int he story. The writing is excellent, the plot is unmatched. Future, Past, Old School, New School, Sci Fi and low tech. This series has become my new favorite. Kill Bill meets The Last Airbender. A kaleidoscopic adventure with a portal through time and space. This series will wake you up and make you dream in color again.

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