Michael Turner's Soulfire series at Aspen is getting a new fire -- one who, in a way, is a lot like you.
Aspen is launching a new series, Eternal Soulfire, on May 2 as part of Free Comic Book Day inside their title Worlds of Aspen. The new series, by J.T. Krul and Alex Conat, follows a fresh-faced young girl named Cassidy whose life is changed when she realizes she has magic powers inside the tech-heavy world of Soulfire. Whereas previous series focused on the adept Malikai who had a destiny for greatness, Eternal Soulfire's Cassidy is just a normal girl pulled into something much larger than herself.
After debuting in May 2's Worlds of Aspen 2015, the series launches on its own July 8 with Eternal Soulfire #1. Newsarama talked with Krul about relaunching Michael Turner's series, creating this new avenue -- and new guide -- into the Soulfire universe, and what he's doing to make this a fresh entry point for new readers.
Newsarama: J.T., for people who may not know about Soulfire -- what can you tell us about it?
J.T. Krul: Soulfire is a futuristic fantasy adventure where the ancient power of magic returns amidst a world dominated by technology. Sort of a Lord of the Rings meets Blade Runner. The magic has affected some people but not others, and it largely stays hidden in the shadows, but with winged-warriors, dragons, and monstrosities that merge the magic and the technology - it's getting harder and harder for the world to ignore the truth.
Nrama: And what is going on in this new series, Eternal Soulfire?
Krul: Eternal Soulfire is something of a fresh starting point in which we explore a new corner of the Soulfire Universe. Whereas the story up until now in the main Soulfire book has focused on Malikai, a unique spirit that was destined to spark the return of magic in this new age, for Eternal Soulfire, we are telling a different kind of story as we introduce a new character - Cassidy.
Nrama: What can you tell us about Cassidy, and how you came up with her?
Krul: Sure. Like I said, so much of Soulfire has focused on Malikai and his special destiny in the grand scheme of the Soulfire mythos. Other books have delved into the rich mythology of the universe, touching upon everything from the last age of magic eons ago to the very elder gods responsible for all creation itself. With Cassidy, I wanted to tell a story about a person, an average ordinary girl who is just trying to live her life, but things go a bit crazy when she discovers that she has the magic inside of her. And because these powers partially manifest themselves in wings on her back, it's not something she can hide. How it changes her and the decisions she is forced to make because of the magic really propels the story forward. Magic is wonderful and super and powerful, but it can also be terrifying and isolating.
Nrama: And she's working with the relatively more experienced Miya. What's her story?
Krul:Miya is the main familiar face from the Soulfire universe that appears in the book. She has been around for ages, going all the way back to the very early wild times of magic. Over the centuries, she has remained hidden away as she focuses all her energy on fighting the chaos of magic. In the Soulfire Universe, there are two primary parts of the magic. The chaos and the order. She's seen firsthand the destructive nature of the chaos and does everything she can to combat it. She's very Amazonian in a way and has amassed a small tribe of magical females to both protect and use in her battle. She's intense and brutal and very driven.
Nrama: And what are these two up against?
Krul: Even though the notion of magic existing in the world is still something of an urban legend, certain figures in positions of authority have been smart enough to see the truth. And, it terrifies them. A special military unit has been established to fight this emerging threat in all the forms it takes - even if that means a frightened and confused teenage girl.
Nrama: What can people expect in the Free Comic Book Day issue coming out May 2?
Krul: For FCBD, we've crafted an original 12 -page tale that really sets the stage for the larger story to come. It's the perfect place to jump into the Soulfire Universe. And, heck, it's free!
Nrama: And if they like it, where should they go to read next?
Krul: Eternal Soulfire #1 will be out July 8.
Nrama: Working with you on this is your Mindfield collaborator, Alex Konat. What's it like having someone you know, specifically Alex, on this project?
Krul: I cannot say enough about Alex and his art. We've known each other for years now, going back to way before we even partnered up on Mindfield. I was thrilled when I found out that he was joining Eternal Soulfire. His work reminds me a lot of Gary Frank - very realistic and grounded. Which actually serves a story about magic quite well. It makes everything seem more genuine and tangible. And his ability to convey emotion through facial expressions is critical for this story. I am lucky to have him. I really think people are going to love his work.
Nrama: Since Eternal Soulfire kicks off at FCBD, will you be doing a signing on May 2?
Krul: Sadly, this will be the first year in many that I have not taken part in FCBD. I have a family commitment that conflicted and could not be rescheduled. A lot of the Aspen guys will be at the Comic Bug in Culver City, but wherever you are, find a shop nearby and check it out. It's such a fantastic celebration of all things comics.