Scion #6: Royal Wedding |
by Ron Marz, Jim Cheung (Checker, 2007)
In the now-defunct Crossgen Comics universe, characters of different worlds and times suddenly presented amazing abilities with the appearance of the Crossgen symbol, the Sigil. Each title took on a particular blend of literary genres/themes, be they martial arts, fantasy, sci-fi, western, etc. The rise and fall of Crossgen Comics and its publishing history is almost as interesting as the stories in its comic book universe; however, that's a story for someone else to write and someone else to review. Many series abruptly ended and were never collected, but thanks to Checker Publishing, Crossgen fans can at least get the extant catalogue.
Scion took on the odd mixture of "sci-fi gothic romance," combining sword and sorcery with feuding kingdoms and anthropomorphic animals and the occasional futuristic technology. Basically, the premise is an odd melange of Excalibur, Dynasty, The Island of Dr. Moreau and a sprinkle of sci-fi/tech just to throw the reader off the temporal trail.
OK, I'll say it -- Scion is pretty much Star Wars lite, with more emphasis on fantasy and less on sci-fi. There's a blonde-haired boy with a magic sword and daddy issues, a sister in peril and even an evil disfigured enemy in black. Don't let the fact that this series is a reiteration of a property that reiterates what had already been reiterated (would that make this a re-re-reiteration?) keep you from sampling this series.
Scion is a lot of fun and has a dramatic pace that sets up and maintains intensity. I have not read the previous five volumes of Scion, yet found the characters very intriguing and the plot very accessible (a rarity for serial comics in their mid-thirties). The only downside to this volume is it has an ending more chopped-off than Luke Skywalker's hand (sorry, I couldn't resist). The looming threat from the distant kingdom of Tigris is set up for future stories that will sadly never (probably?) see fruition. The last chapter of this volume attempts to produce somewhat of an ending, complete with a Victorian-style many-years-later parting image, but it's an unfair resolution to the chapters that precede it. (And I can't imagine how disappointing it must be to anyone that has read all the previous volumes.) And of course that's no fault of Ron Marz, Jim Cheung, Jim Fern or the other talented creators that produced this book, just to the unfortunate economic reality of creative endeavors.
Perhaps the closing of the story will ring true, that "there are tales yet to be told" to ensure this "story goes ever on" for its fans.
C. Nathan Coyle
26 January 2008