The Four Points #1 (Aspen)


CREDIT: Aspen Comics

Rating: 3/5 – Ambitious Elemental Team-Up Concept Does Not Weather Well
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Amy Okamoto.

Four Points is writer Scott Lobdell’s new adventure series for Aspen Comics. According to an Aspen press release, the concept behind the story is a team of four women each with a classic elemental power: earth, air, fire, and water, who will stand against the Four Horsemen of the apocalypse. It’s an interesting idea and always refreshing to see a team of powerful women, but the script suffers from lack of clarity.

The time sequence of the story was easy to follow, but the content was sometimes confusing. Part of the problem with the script was that the story felt too compact. The character introductions were brief, and while this allowed Lobdell to move the story forward quickly, it made for jarring reading. For instance, on the first page we are introduced to the main protagonist Gia Sorentino. She’s been locked away under psychiatric care in her wealthy parents’ home for the last 12 years. She’s muttering to herself, and it appears that she’s speaking out thoughts and conversations like an empath might, but her “range” is very great. We’re told she’s heavily sedated, barely eats and sleeps, and nothing can be done to help her. Then out of the blue, she’s fully functioning, announces the death of her parents, and issues coherent commands as if she wasn’t a trembling mess a few minutes prior. Within days she’s buried her parents and taken over their secret company that investigates and catalogues the curiosities and mysteries of the earth. Other than a brief mention that her parents believed a darkness was coming, we are given no impetus as to why Gia is looking for women with other elemental powers until the end of the book.

There were some slips in editing as well, the most noticeable being the timestamp. An early sequence shows horrific melted bodies in the Middle East. This panel appears prior to a dated panel that says “3 days later”. The next several pages depict more time passage as she travels to Russia and then the South Pacific, yet during a meeting between the team at the end of the book, Gia states that the horrible melted body incidents occurred in the last 48 hours. It doesn’t add up.

Jordan Gunderson illustrates very attractive women, and overall the line work was clean. My only quibble was the depiction of action in the scenes involving the air chase – it was unclear from where the new character Ivana came from. She suddenly appeared in the sky amid falling wreckage. I’m still not sure how she caused the plane to explode or was captured.

I think Four Points has potential to be a good story but could benefit from a bit of decompression to help solidify the characters and action. Elemental powers, beautiful women, and fast-paced action will appeal to readers looking for something beyond the classic bad guy approach. It hasn’t yet been revealed why the attacks are happening in random locations around the world or who the chosen horsemen are. I’m wondering if the classical fifth element will be incorporated into the storyline. The book ended on a high note, giving a peek at the final member of the team, one who is known to Aspen readers. I’m new to Aspen and didn’t recognize the character, but it didn’t prevent me from following along. There’s lots of potential here. Fans of compressed stories will likely find this book a satisfactory read.

Reviewed by: Amy Okamoto
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