ASPEN VISIONS Vol. 1 #1: Executive Assistant: Iris: The Midst of Chaos

Alright, here is a book that I’ve been looking forward to for a while. My first exposure to the Executive Assistant: Iris character was through the miniseries that Blake Northcott wrote last year, which I thoroughly enjoyed. And ever since that series ended, I’d hoped to see Blake write the character again. And here she has again in this special one-shot, which tells an imaginary story (aren’t they all?), similar to Marvel’s What If? series’, which drastically changes the status quo of the character.

This story is set in ancient feudal China, Iris here is a General, in charge of an army that protects the Northern Wei Dynasty. Their man opponents are the Huns, lead by a man named Nestor, who wears a heart-shaped jewel around his neck which is known as The Heart of Eternity. This jewel gives him command of fire-breathing winged beasts, which he uses along with his army of soldiers to attempt to invade the Wei Dynasty. Their attacks are ongoing, and Iris always leads her army in defense against them and always manages to drive them off, only for the Huns to return and attack again. Growing tired of these repetitive battles, Iris decides to go on her own solo mission to reach the heart of Nestor’s kingdom and assassinate him herself, despite her advisors thinking this would be suicide for her.

Trekking through the forest and then sailing across the sea to Blackwater Hall, Nestor’s private island, Iris makes a shocking discovery…

This is an exciting story, Iris is pretty much the same person as we’ve known her, despite the new surroundings. Brave and capable, we get to see her in action against seemingly impossible odds. A couple of times throughout the book Iris has some strange visions, which hint at a different reality and tie into the next upcoming book. I’ll admit that that surprised me, as I knew that Blake was writing three of these one-shots, but I thought that each one would be a separate story, but it appears that this is a connected three-part miniseries. That’s fine with me, as I was planning to get them all anyway.

Also thankfully Blake is partnered with her collaborator from the previous Iris miniseries, Donny Tran, who once again does a beautiful job with the artwork here. So a good job all around.




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