Of all the series that died when Speakeasy Comics went under, the one I missed the most was Of Bitter Souls. OBS was a unique series that combined supernatural threats with super-heroic action. More than that, the heroes had real complexity and flaws, and really working to improve their lives. The main characters grew and changed as the series went on, and thus it was hard to see that change come to a sudden stop.
Thankfully Markosia has picked up OBS, and readers get to be reacquainted with the characters. As the story begins, one year has passed since the group’s last case, when they actually found themselves fighting Satan himself. That event has changed each of the five main characters in different ways, and it’s wonderful to see that such a traumatic event really has changed people. These aren’t standard super-heroes who can shrug off anything that happens to them. These are complex and severely flawed characters that react the way that normal people might react to traumatic events.
I don’t think you need to have read any of the first volume of this series to get a lot out of this comic. Satterlee does a fine job of introducing the characters and showing their dilemmas. A new reader shouldn’t have much trouble getting up to speed on the bizarre world of these characters. By the time that this issue’s threat is shown – a whole city full of zombies – it’s as if the comic had never stopped its original run.
Norm Breyfogle does a terrific job with the artwork in this comic. You may be familiar with Breyfogle from his long run on Detective in the 1990s. In this comic he shows that his artwork is still as nice as it was ten years ago, presenting wonderfully thoughtful and interesting artwork. Maybe most importantly, Breyfogle shows that he’s terrific at conveying characters’ moods and emotions through faces and body language. Much of the success of this issue depends on effectively showing characters’ thoughts and moods; Breyfogle does a nice job of using intelligent layouts and character designs to do so.
Of Bitter Souls is a comic that consistently surprises me with its intelligence and passion. I’m thrilled to see it return.