Sigil: Mark of Power
by Barbara Kesel, Ben Lai
(CrossGen, 2002)

Average. It is not a description that any creative person covets.

As example, in an editorial section of the comic book Sigil, someone wrote: So what started out as a nice homage to science fiction and classic film stereotypes ends with just about every preconceived notion turned upside down and inside out. "Ask Mark Alessi," Barbara [Kesel] joked. "I'm allergic to doing anything exactly the same way it's been done before."

That sounds like Barbara doesn't like average.

But Sigil is nothing but a nice homage to science fiction, full of stereotypes, and it turns nothing upside down or inside out.

Sigil is average.

Sigil is about two races in an intergalactic battle with gigantic spaceships and heavily armored human and alien warriors. Boy, that's original. One of the warriors gets an odd brand on his chest that gives him a superpower. Well, at least it isn't a ring and a green lantern.

Enough about words. What, ancient reviewer, is earth-shattering and revolutionary about the art?

Do you like Japanese comics art? Then you'll like Sigil. Once again, there is nothing wrong with Japanese comics art, and certainly nothing deficient in this variation of that national style. It is vibrant, due to excellent coloring, visually energetic and wholly entertaining. It tells the story. It is above average. It will not adorn the ceiling of any Italian chapels or the walls of any art gallery.

Enough about art. Enough nit-picking. Enough, already.

Apparently, this publisher bragging about originality and excellence brings out the worst in me. So, after the harsh, negative comments, it is important to remember that Sigil is not a poor comic book. It just isn't the powerhouse claimed.

Although CrossGen has not realized its hype of creative superiority, Sigil is entertaining and worth a read.

[ by Michael Vance ]
Rambles: 2 November 2002

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