Each week we take a critical look at some of the best books on the stands, courtesy of Big Guy's Comics (the unofficial comic book store of FanboyPlanet.com). If you publish a book that you want us to be covering, contact us. Or contact Derek. He doesn't have enough to do.

CrossGen Reviews 3-14-02

Negation #4
writer: Tony Bedard, artists: Paul Pelletier and Dave Meikis

Komptin manages to avoid the death sentence he was given for letting Obregon Kaine and the other prisoners escape. Komptin is now assigned to hunt the prisoners down, and in this role he seems to be the main villain of the series.

Kaine's brief alliance with Captain Fluxor comes to a quick end as Komptin tracks them down and damages Fluxor's ship beyond repair. Kaine's group crash-lands on an icy world. The Saurian warrior woman reveals to Kaine that she did recon work in the Saurian army, and she sneaks into a city to gather information in a way that only a Saurian can.

Interesting conflicts are being set up for the future. The prisoners are dividing into two factions with some of them loyal to Kaine and the rest supporting Evinlea. Then there is the third group lead by Mercer Drake. All of these survivors are greatly overmatched by the Negation, and yet they aren't even working together. My guess is that this will soon change as events grow more desperate.

After five months, this fast-paced action adventure has yet to slow down or disappoint.


Sigil #22
writer: Chuck Dixon, artists: Scot Eaton and Andrew Hennessy

Chuck Dixon's second issue is much better than his first.

After six months of bouncing around space, Sam has finally returned home. He arrives just in the nick of time to prevent a bomb from doing substantial damage. Unfortunately, he spends the rest of his time moping that he wasn't able to save Roiya back in issue #1, because his meeting with Sephie from Meridian gave him some knowledge of the healing abilities contained in his sigil.

I wish Sam would be more of the focus of this series. As the main character, there should be nothing wrong with giving him 16 or 18 pages each month. The other characters work best when they interact with Sam rather than being on their own.

Last month I compared Dixon's version of Sigil to Star Wars. Another similarity becomes evident when the bad guys get a weapon that can destroy planets. The closer this series comes to Star Wars, the better off it will be.

Scot Eaton's art is really starting to grow on me. Either that or it's getting better. Either way I have no complaints.


Sojourn #9
writer: Ron Marz, artists: Greg Land and Drew Geraci

The first half of this issue is Gareth versus the dragon while Arwyn lies unconscious. The battle itself is well done. We learn why Gareth wasn't given Ayden's bow despite the fact that he's a better archer than Arwyn. Gareth comes into possession of a sword called Serpent's Bane. I always like fantasy stories where the swords have names.

After the fight is over it is revealed, to the surprise of no one, that the dragon is actually Shiara. Arwyn finds the arrow fragment that she was looking for. Then things start to get interesting as Arwyn and Shiara strike a surprising deal.

Gareth is easily the more interesting of the two main characters, and this whole story is being filtered through his narration. As in prior months, the story is standard fantasy but it still seems fresh. Greg Land's beautiful artwork is the main attraction. Arwyn's short dream sequence is striking in its simple beauty.


For alternate views and more books, check out Daryl Tay's site, Unique Frequencies.

Charlie Wentling




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