I seldom get the opportunity to review an Aspen Comics issue. Let me take that back. I seldom seize the opportunity to review one of Aspen’s comics and I honestly do not know why. They are well-written, exquisitely drawn, and they really remind me of the way comics were a major focus in my life decades ago. I’m seriously going to have to carve out the necessary time to review more of these amazing monthlies.
But let’s get down to brass tacks, shall we? Let me tell you why this comic, Santeria: The Goddess Kiss #1, has rekindled the fire I had for Aspen Comics.
Bear witness to the power of the old gods. The ones forsaken with the coming of the One True God. Weakened, the deity known as Oonna, can no longer exist with mere gifts of ritual dancing and adulation. Now the goddess demands the most powerful of sacrifices, human life. But she gives as well as takes, bestowing the power to heal upon those she has chosen. But even this gift comes with a price.
We watch as the man known as Tio Fernando Velez falls victim to his own good deed. Begging the paramedic who is tending to him to let him die, he also bestows upon her the healing gift at the behest of Oonna. EMT Naomi Clarke uses her power, albeit unknowingly, to heal a young man who would have been better off dead. This accident leads to a macabre ending for a large group of people with no immediate end in sight. And though the comic ends with death and mayhem, we know that this won’t be the last time the reader sees this kind of wanton destruction.
Having edited and written some of my favorite comics, David Wohl has a pedigree of the finest quality. The work he has done in the past is reflected in the high quality story he has put forth here. Collaborating with the creative talents of artist Giuseppe Cafaro and colorist Wes Hartman, Wohl is able to bring his dark vision to life (or should that be death?). Using washed colors to portray moods and blunted, indistinct linework to convey emotion, this artistic team seems perfect for our story of a dark goddess reviving her faith.
You will get hooked to Santeria: The Goddess Kiss almost instantly; the character development alone is amazing. You really feel empathy for them and the dialogue helps to root you into the plot. I cannot wait for the second issue, this first one has all the earmarks of a great story arc. Ask your local comic or book store for this one, I bet you’ll end up adding it to your monthly pull list after the first read. And when you do, just remember that I felt just as passionate about it as you will soon.