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 6-21-02

Negation #7
writer: Tony Bedard
artists: Paul Pelletier and Dave Meikis

For the first time since the jailbreak, both groups of former prisoners come together in one place. Evinlea is not happy about being abandoned on the prison planet, and she means to take out her aggressions on sigil-bearer Mercer Drake. We meet a bunch of new cast members as the battle rages, and Obregon Kaine uses Evinlea's impulsive behavior as a way to drive a wedge between her and Javi.

The Lawbringer Qztr tracks down the group and quickly begins to thin out their ranks. Qztr is very alien and very sinister, and he (it?) will do a lot of damage. There will be a high body-count next month, which is okay since nearly twenty characters is too many for one series to feature. Other than Kaine, I have no idea who will survive.

The prisoners are becoming a suspiciously well-rounded group, with at least one character from each world of the known CrossGen universe. Among them are four sigil-bearers, so this is a powerful group. We also get a glimpse of things to come as Charon, the god of the Negation universe, tortures a captive whose identity is withheld from the reader. I'm guessing it is Gammid from Crux.


Sigil #25
writer: Chuck Dixon
artists: Scot Eaton and Andrew Hennessy

Tchlusarud escaped from captivity last month, only to be recaptured by a rebel group of Saurians with a slightly avian appearance. Saurians have the interesting ability to take on the physical characteristics of what they eat, so this group must have been eating some type of bird-creatures. Tchlusarud convinces them to join him against their common enemy, Khyradon. Their first step is to free the prisoners at the Kholyma outpost.

This is a disappointing issue. Once again, Samandahl Rey doesn't appear and the story suffers as a result. Chuck Dixon has written five issues of Sigil so far, and two of them have been missing the main character. The supporting cast is not engaging enough to sustain the series on their own. I'd almost say you could skip this whole issue without missing anything important, but right at the end a minor character is killed off in what is meant to be a shocking twist.

The pacing is particularly bad. Almost half of the art is done in splash pages. This just adds to the feeling that not much is happening. Scot Eaton is a good artist, but all these splash pages serve to weaken the story when used in an arbitrary way like this. For a good use of splash pages, check out Scion #24.


Sojourn #12
writer: Ron Marz
artists: June Brigman and Drew Geraci

Arwyn and Gareth try to recuperate after the events of last issue. Their dragon ally Shiara was killed by Mordath, and in escaping, Arwyn broke her arm. Not a good situation for an archer. As the two seek refuge in a hidden glade, Neven returns and tells Arwyn that she wants back Arwyn's magic bow. She says that Arwyn not is worthy to carry the bow since she tried to cut short her quest with the dragon's help.

This issue serves as a bridge between the story arc that ended last month and the one that will start next. For the first time, Arwyn's dog Kreeg gets his own little subplot, and it works surprisingly well. Like Arwyn, Mordath took some damage last time, and he begins work rebuilding his castle. He shows some unexpected mercy to one of his soldiers. Ayden (also known as Altwaal, the former ruler of the First) makes another appearance.

Guest artist June Brigman does quite well. She has a much more cartoony style than regular artist Greg Land, but it fits with the pixies that arrive to cause mischief.


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

Charlie Wentling




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