Wednesday, June 23, 2004

[Scion Volume 2 cover]


This installment covers the sword and sorcery book of the CrossGen line, in Scion. Owing a lot of its roots to Prince Valiant, Scion follows a young prince named Ethan who when readying to take part in a ceremonial sword fight is unknowingly branded with the typical CrossGen sigil of power.

When the sigil activates during the sword fight and scars his opponent, it leads to an end to a long standing peace.

Thus leading to Ethan having to seek a way to rectify the situation. On his journey he meets the beautiful Ashleigh, who turns out to be the sister of the man he injured. The two start off roughly but over time build a bond between each other that leads to love.

When Ethan realizes that she is a proponent of a possible even more important struggle than the war, the freedom of a slave race that both sides have used and abused over centuries. The two join forces to try to resolve both problems.

The Ashleigh character is an interesting study of contrast of approaches. She is caring, compassionate and very emotional forward, that makes up part of very potentially great female character. Except that she is attired in very tight and revealing all leather outfits, that work to underscore a lot of her positives.

Ethan's is a basic all around good guy who always does what he feels is right. Yet when such actions put him at odds with his family. He must face the hard lessons of growing up about living his own life out of the shadow and framework of the family that had always been there for him.

The art when done by Jim Cheung did well in mixing the classic Arthurian era surface trapping with a high tech futuristic framework well. The battle scenes especially were very epic in feel.

In one respect this was probably one of the stronger CrossGen series, because it could stand very well on its own. While the sigil's presence does cause ties to the CG universe as a whole, it is pushed into the background and could have just as easily been ignored or done away with.

The core problem of the series was that its main storyline of the war between the various faction ended and had nowhere else to go. Even one of the characters realized this in an issue, asking its lead where they were going now that they had accomplished what they sought.

This is a problem in a lot of corporate owned series, the not knowing when is a good time to take a bow and leave the stage. Yet usually not to the extent that this series had.

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