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The CrossGen Report
reviews by Charlie Wentling

Crux #19
writer: Chuck Dixon
artists: Steve Epting and Rick Magyar

Crux takes a turn to the Old West. While Tug and Galvan continue trying to revive the slumbering Atlanteans, Zephyre and Verityn join Geromi at a simulation of an old western town. Remember? The far future Earth has been turned into a theme park with different areas representing different eras of Earth history.

Good idea, perhaps, but the western bits don't work. All of the characters know that what they are seeing is not real. Soon Yala and Gannish of The First arrive in cowboy garb. They appear to be working with Danik to administer some sort of test on the Atlanteans, but what the test is remains unclear. The problem is that there is no sense on danger for the characters and no resolution in this issue.

Bringing Geromi back into the action is a good move, and including Aztecs as the "Indians" works well in context. On the whole though, this issue feels like a failed attempt to do a western comic.


Route 666 #5
writer: Tony Bedard
artists: Cliff Richards and Roland Paris

Cassie continues to be on the run. Hopping a train with a group of vagrants, she is recognized as a murder suspect and has to flee the train. A drifter named Berkely joins her and soon wins her confidence, persuading her to tell him her entire story, including the black ghosts, the werewolves and the deaths at mental hospital. Surprisingly, Berkely appears to believe her.

Along the way, Cassie sees a delivery worker that is actually a werewolf. When she points him out to Berkely, he just sees a normal man. But the two of them follow the worker in hopes of finding some incriminating evidence. When events take a turn for the worse, Berkely helps Cassie and shows his fighting prowess.

The issue ends on an ominous note as Berkely's motives are brought into question. This is another good issue in a chilling series.


Scion #29

writer: Ron Marz
artists: Jim Fern and Don Hillsman II

This is another quiet issue as Ethan and Ashleigh go to visit Ethan's family. Ethan is not on the best of terms with them, especially his brother Kai who views Ethan as a traitor. King Dane, Ethan's father, behaves more coldly than he had the last time they parted. Because of the bad blood between the Herons and Ravens, the visit makes Ashleigh nervous.

Despite the fact that there is no villain, the tension level remains high throughout. These characters have complex relationships with each other, much like any real family. Even though he did turn his back on his family, Ethan comes off a lot better than Kai, who acts like a spoiled child. There is a nice sequence that contrasts the ways that the men and women deal with their problems.

Jim Fern is back with another decent guest appearance, but he has a hard time filling Jim Cheung's big shoes. Luckily, Cheung will return in December.


Charlie Wentling

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