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Soul Stealer: The Collector's Edition


Soul Stealer: The Collector's Edition

For thousands of years, an ancient warrior has been searching for his missing wife. Soul Stealer—written by Michael Easton (who also wrote the excellent The Green Woman for Vertigo) and drawn by Christopher Shy (much more on the art in a bit)—is a mix of Spartacus-style swordplay, magic, mythology, heaven-and-hell theatrics, and, well, quite a bit more. Beginning with an epic battle in which our protagonist, Kalan, survives but loses the love of his life, his wife Oxania, Soul Stealer journeys to present day to find Kalan still searching for his lost love. Kalan has paid the ultimate price of losing his heart, but he’s gained the gift of being able to return souls from the dead.

Kalan must now do battle with many evil forces in a story that combines aspects of various mythologies and spiritualities. The ultimate, unyielding message, though, is that love leads to pain. Kalan’s anguish over losing Oxania is almost palpable. His pain bleeds off the page as much as the blood and gore do.
And while there certainly is blood and gore, it’s the vividly told story that packs the most punch. As the story begins, it’s hard not to feel that you’re read stories like this before, that this ground is familiar and well-tread. Yet if you stick with it—and you will, because the art is so mesmerizing that you’ll have to keep flipping pages—you’ll find yourself drawn in and becoming captivated by Easton’s raw emotionalism. The story is briskly told, and manages to solidly create its own original universe, one that is both compelling and creepily offputting at the same time.
The art is phenomenal, to say the least. Shy, the artist, mixes photography with digital painting, creating breathtaking landscapes. I can’t rave about it enough, except to say that it uniquely and powerfully matches the dark and twisted story of Soul Stealers without ever overpowering it or detracting from it. Easton and Shy’s talents meld perfectly.
The Collector’s Edition contains all three volumes of Soul Eaters (the original, plus Blood and Rain and Last to Die). At $59.99, this edition is a steal and a real treat for fans, including an afterword from the author and an intense gallery of beautiful covers from the artist.

Reviewed by John Hogan on March 23, 2012

Soul Stealer: The Collector's Edition
by Michael Easton and Christopher Shy

  • Publication Date: December 31, 1969
  • : pages
  • Publisher:
  • ISBN-10:
  • ISBN-13: