FCBD 2014: Worlds of Aspen 2014 (Aspen)

FCBD-Aspen-A FCBD-Aspen-B
CREDIT: Aspen MLT, Inc.

Rating: 4.5/5 – Don’t Skip This Preview of Aspen’s Two Latest Worlds.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

This year’s Worlds of Aspen FCBD comic is a flip book introducing us to the worlds of Vince Hernandez/Mirka Andolfo’s “Damsels in Excess” and Peter Steigerwald’s “The Zoohunters”.   This comic is well worth grabbing at your local shop on Free Comic Book Day, Saturday May 3rd.

Damsels in Excess is a precursor to the 1st issue that will be out in July.  There are NO men in the Five Realms.   None.  Each is ruled by a princess: Bethany, Ilina, Barra, Kimberlein and Kaleena, and the princesses try to keep the realms safe.  This quick 10 page preview did a great job of setting the stage for this series.  We get a short introduction to each of the princesses with some good dialogue by Hernandez (and a few pointed illustrative cut-away scenes) that quickly gives us insight into each princess’ unique personality.  The final scene introduces the element of conflict we’ll be dealing with in the story and it certainly has me intrigued.  I’m looking forward to the series launch in July, this preview earns a solid 4/5 rating.

The Zoohunters has been teased in Aspen “upcoming series” announcements for what seems like years.  According to creator/writer/artist Peter Steigerwald at WonderCon 2014, this series is finally ready to roll, and the 11 page preview we get in this FCBD issue has me wishing it would come out sooner than Fall 2014!  The idea behind this series is that just like they have long had people whose job it is to capture exotic animals for zoos on Earth, we have a science-fiction story where that concept is expanded to a galactic scale.  The Zoohunters have the job of going out and obtaining rare and exotic species from strange and exotic planets for zoos all over the galaxy.  This gives Steigerwald an excuse to design all kinds of weird and wonderful creatures and use some exceptionally beautiful color palettes for these alien creatures and worlds.  In this story we get a brief introduction to zoohunter Minalara and in a few short pages Steigerwald has made me fall in love with her as a character.  I can’t wait for this series to debut, I just hope that when it does, we’re able to get the issues of the 1st story arc at a reasonable clip.  Zoohunters gets a 5/5 from me, beautiful art and a fascinating story hook.

Don’t let Worlds of Aspen 2014 slip by this FCBD.  Two great stories from a publisher that too many comic fans pass by.  Give this a try for free and see if you like it!  If you do make sure you get your local shop to order these series for you when they come out.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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