Crossgen Comics has chiseled out a niche of epic proportions for itself in
the highly competitive world of comics. At the very least, this new
publisher is uninterested in the very least. Crossgen is interested in BIG.
Their plots span eons. Settings are interplanetary or transdimensional.
Cities, nations, and planets wage massive wars.
Crossgen's Sojourn Prequel battles for market share.
Exhibit A: plot. Lord Mordath has subjugated five nations to his will, but a
mysterious warrior and 15,000 of his followers now besiege the walls of
Mordath's fortress, challenging his unjust and iron rule. The clash between
man and monster is huge, eating up almost every page of the first issue of
Crossgen's newest title.
Exhibit B: prose. The melodramatic and too grammatically correct dialog
spoken by both lords and grunts actually works. It does not distract from an
otherwise well-crafted "scene one" in this vast fantasy play yet to unfold.
That is no simple task.
This collision of flesh and resolve on a mammoth scale is linear, a
straightforward and exciting depiction of man and demon tottering on the
threshold of death. This expository crash is not meant to reveal or develop
character or establish history, and does no more than hint at events to
come. Sojourn Prequel simply sets the enormous stage.
Exhibit C: art. That stage is better set by the art than the story. That
art, precise and clear in its visual story telling, is reality-based. But it
still flirts with fantasy on every page. Demons and winged humans share
panels with costumes and buildings that are obviously medieval but not of
This first issue is a tease, poising more questions than it answers, and is
meant to leave readers sharing a question whispered at its end by an ominous
Sojourn priest, his cowled face hidden in shadows.
"I can't wait to see what happens," he hisses.
I agree. MV
Sojourn Prequel/32 pages/words: Ron Marz; pencils: Greg Land/available at
comics shops, by mail, or at www.crossgen.com
Shudder at Vance's Light's End stories at www.hawkpub.com.