Soulfire Volume 1: Return of the Light

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

Outside of the artwork, there's not much reason to check out this series. The characters are flat and lifeless with no individuality. There's no real purpose to why magic needs to be brought back other than the bad guy doesn't want it even though he's magical. Extraneous plot points are raised and never followed up, characters appear only to never be seen again. It sure does look pretty though.
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Loved the story and the artwork was amazing. I have been a long time fan of this series. The characters and the world were well fleshed out and seemed believable to me and I genuinely cared for the characters.
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I've decided to stop requesting works like this, as after finishing this volume, I have decided that both graphic novels and manga are just really not my thing. Going into this, I thought the story idea was cool and the art style looked interesting, however as I was reading through the volume, I lost my interest in the story and just did not have as great of a time reading this as I was hoping to.
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'Soulfire Vol. 1: Return of the Light' by Michael Turner, Jeph Loeb, J. T. Krul, Joe Benitez, Peter Steigerwald is about a young man with a legacy that he doesn't even know about.

In the year 2211, San Francisco is destroyed by a dragon attack.  A young boy named Malikai and his friends Sonia and P.J. find themselves in the middle of an attack.  Malikai is saved by a winged woman named Grace and he finds he is more than he thinks he is.  Now he is on the run and trying to find the 5 masters who will train him.  He better learn fast because the bad guys are right on his trail.

Aspen comics are known for a certain aesthetic and it's on display here.  The art is very much like other Aspen titles.  If you like that, then you'll like this art.  I've never been a big fan myself.  

The story is fine, but there are times when it feels like it jumps around or things end abruptly.  The group moves from Hawaii to Tokyo and are immediately in a fight with no continuity or explanation.

I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Aspen Comics, Diamond Book Distributors, and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.
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The art in this was a hit or miss for me. The dragons & main villain looked amazing but the rest of the characters looked like they were made of plastic.

The story was kinda boring, not gonna lie. It caught my interest in the beginning (come on it’s dragons in the future) but slowly lost me about half way through. The MC isn’t someone I could connect with personally but some of the other characters were cool.

There’s close to no world building and the story just expects you to be able to hop right in knowing nothing. It could add a bit of mystery to it but it just didn’t work for me
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Dragons! And dragon women! They really should be wearing more clothing. I love the style of art but not how obsessed the artist is with women’s bodies.
Formulaic but fast paced and colourful, a very quick and easy read. Perfect for a preteen boy.
I hope it’s easier to read in paper format because PDF is a pain as it flips between portrait and landscape so often.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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In the world of music, they put the album out – you know, a dozen tracks, for instance, then a few months later put it all out again with some extra stuff as a special edition.  If it's well known enough they'll put out a super deluxe edition with all the bumpf connected to the album you might have never wanted, but feel obliged to collect.  You're forever building up and up to the most supreme version, having bought it six times over by the end.  In comics, it seems, things are done differently – for having done the inverse with Fathom, these producers are going backwards with Soulfire too.  So, only a few months after the over-priced 'Definitive Edition', we get a straight vanilla reprint.  Here you too can see the pretty-but-slightly-empty comic, with the flying bits and the dragon bits and the militarised society commentary and the magic bits.  I found this book flowed a bit better without the extra bumpf, but that may have been due to what I remembered from reading it last time round.  But it's still not great – nothing really goes anywhere or ends up meaning much.  

This is the relevant comment I made when reading the full-on version, to save you clicking around:-

The art is a little too loose at times, meaning some of the action scenes are not easy to decipher, and some of the text is poor too – repetitive summaries of what we've just read, scenes that deserved a lot more elaboration but were just passed over, and the bluntest of hand-from-out-the-grave endings. The futuristic side of things really doesn't add anything, and the story of the boy with an unlikely destiny of trying to save the world is nothing exactly fresh. In fact, that may point to the biggest flaw in the piece – he arguably isn't saving the world, but bringing magic back to it, which would appear to allow some weird characters to fly on their angel wings, and an improvement to the weather, and not a lot else. You really don't see the average character we might align ourselves with gaining any benefit from the whole drama played out here – this future is something with too much media and privatised military, but isn't exactly a dystopia. That said, the narrative drive is fair enough, and if you are able to overlook how inconsequential a lot of it is, it's worth the time.
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I'm going to start this up by saying that the artwork is great. Someone said it had an adult Winx-vibe to it and I completely agree.
There's a lot going on in this story. Cool robots, magical mayhem, a super bad guy that owns a dragon, winged people, fire, fighting, technology. And it's cool. It's a totally fine story and I'm glad I read it. It's a bit hard to read the text at times and the landscaped scenes should be rotated - I bet it will look great in a printed edition. The time that has been put in to these illustrations shows!
What I don't like, with any graphic novel or TV-series or anything, though, is that the women has to be dressed in minimal clothing. Why? What's the point? I will never accept that, because it's not a valid part of any story if the men aren't doing the same.

If you're looking for an exciting read full of technology, magic and facing things you'd never thought possible, I suggest you read this.

Thank you, Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book!
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After being mildly interested in this and then having a rise in excitement once I realised there was dragons in this, it was quite a shame that I soon felt, early on, that this just wasn't going to be for me, unfortunately.

The plot didn't ever really interest me. I think it's the kind of sci fi that doesn't appeal to me, but I didn't realise that until I had started reading it.

I also found that sometimes landscape scenes but viewed in a portrait way and it's very off putting to try to read what it says like that, but please bear in mind that this is a review copy, being read on a PC so formating will most likely change. Just highlighting that as it affected my experience personally.

The character designs were giving me more adult Winx Club vibes. They were pretty cool but the style overall wasn't to my tastes, being a little too overally paying attention to curves and assets of the body, which I tend to find off putting most times, especially if the art style overall isn't my favourite, then to be paired with a story I'm not all that in to. Whilst on the topic of character designs, why was it only near the end that I noticed Sonia's hair changing when her mood changes? I noticed it a few pages before but I thought it was to signify an amount of time that had passed. A confusing feature that could have been explained or just left out.

Overall, unfortunately this just wasn't for me and I'm not interested in checking out any of the other volumes, although I'm sure others will adore this, if they enjoy this genre, etc.
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Soulfire Volume 1: Return of the Light is a cool graphic novel. It has strong visuals and a fun storyline throughout.
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Mecha robots, mega dragons, giant bad guys, and dragonfly warrior gals with little clothes on. In other words, sexy young adults get into troubles, and one of them may be a chosen one. As formulaic as it sounds (and is), the amazing artwork and juicy coloring make up for any plot flaws. It's a treat for the eyes.

Michael Turner had an eye for the details and a knack for creating memorable panels full of energy.
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Dragon, magic, evil, this comic book looked very intriguing and appealing to me. The story sure try to be epic, and achieve I that some point, but was definitely very teeny and that is where I was let down. I think, and it’s not an impression I often get reading comic, that this would have done a better video game, because some of it, the best part, remind me a little of some Final Fantasy games. Anyway, the story was fast pace which I like in comic, but it the lack of substance, it wasn’t deep enough, like I say too teeny in its theme, character, overall plotline, stereotypes, etc. I really think that children from 10-14 years old maybe could have a good time reading it, but as an adult, it just wasn’t solid enough to pass the test.
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Stunning artwork. Michael Turner was truly one of the great talents in comics illustration, it is a great sadness that he was taken too soon from this world. Soulfire was his own creation, a fantasy YA story about a young man who bridges the gap between magic and the technology of the world some 200 years into the future. This series continued for a time after Turner's death, but without his stunning artwork it lost something. This edition is well worth picking up if you've never experienced his art before.
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