reviews by Charlie Wentling
writer: Barbara Kesel
artists: June Brigman and Drew Geraci
has seized the opportunity provided her by her uncle Ilahn's
disappearance. Everyone believes that Sephie killed him. At
first she denied it, but now she is using the common misconception
to her advantage. Sephie goes to the island of Cadador, Ilahn's
former stronghold, tells everyone there that she is now in
charge, and when anyone disagrees with her proclamation she
uses her powers to force them to back down.
the obvious story direction would have been for Sephie to
finally take control of Meridian, seizing Cadador instead
makes an interesting twist. A surprising subplot has Sephie
finding one of her dead mother's art books. She gets to see
how her mother pictured that she would turn out as well as
the man her mother thought she would marry. It isn't Jad.
man starts spreading lies about Sephie, setting up conflict
for the future. Now that Ilahn is at least temporarily gone,
the future is wide open for Sephie and this book. This series
has improved since the showdown with its main villain.
writer: Ron Marz
artists: Bart Sears and Mark Pennington
and his companions are under siege in Obo-San's old monastery.
Then the emperor of neighboring country Shinacea sends in
one of his demonic agents to claim Obo-San's weapon of heaven.
Ripping through the monks of the monastery, the demon cannot
be harmed by normal weapons. Obo-San tries to use his sigil
against the demon, but that also proves ineffective.
must choose between using the weapon of heaven and keeping
the promise that he made to himself to only use it against
the gods. The darker artwork that Sears uses on this series
is radically different than his normal style. While it may
not be to all tastes, the colorful two-page spread that shows
Obo-San making his decision is nothing short of spectacular.
direction of this series seems to be shifting. Rather than
Obo-San versus the world, at least in the next few months
it seems like there will be clashing armies and large-scale
death and destruction as Shinacea once again invades Nayado.
writers: Mark Waid and Scott Beatty
artists: Paul Ryan and Mike Perkins
the disappointment of Ruse #10, this latest issue is
an improvement. The story of how Simon met Malcolm Lightbourne
is told in a flashback that takes the entire issue.
Lightbourne was the famous detective and Simon merely a college
student. After helping the police with a murder investigation,
Simon is approached by Lightbourne, who then offers to take
Simon as his apprentice. The relationship takes a turn for
the worse when the two of them are hired to recover a gem
called the enigmatic prism.
the younger Simon Archard adds a lot to his character. He
was not originally quite as aloof as he is today. Over a period
of time, Lightbourne's influence changed Simon in different
ways, some good and some bad.
nice touch is the clever use of Simon's cane. Although a lot
of background about Simon is given, some new mysteries are
does a better job with the dialogue in his second issue. Guest
art comes from Paul Ryan, in his second CrossGen appearance
in two weeks. As with Crux last week, his work is excellent.
If he's available and interested, CrossGen should hire him