Friday, August 05, 2011

Graphic Novel Review: Scion vol 4 – Sanctuary

With Marvel having started to revive the CrossGen comics properties, I had decided to review some of the titles I didn’t catch the first time around. But one of my favorites from back when CrossGen was still publishing was a title called Scion. Though I never got the chance to read beyond vol 3, it was easily my favorite title from the company. And is it any wonder – it’s basically Star Wars meets Lord of the Rings. As it turns out my library had the fourth volume in this series, and while it isn’t the last, it does provide a nice ending to the story that I’ve been following from the beginning (and since we’re talking about a comic company that went out of business, it’s not like I’m going to get a more complete ending by continuing onward from this point – I’m more likely to be disappointed by a cliff-hanger that never gets resolved). To summarize the story of Scion prior to this volume, two kingdoms across the sea from each other have lived under a tentative peace for many years. Each year, they meet on an island between their two lands, and one champion from each side battles the other, thereby satisfying their old rivalry without resorting to outright war. Except at this most recent tournament Ethan the youngest prince of the Heron dynasty winds up scarring Bron of the Raven empire when Ethan aquires the power of the Sigil in the middle of their match. War breaks out between the two sides again. Ethan travels to the Raven lands to give himself up and avoid more bloodshed, but the Ravens intend to use this excuse to invade Heron lands, they want no peace. Except for Ashleigh Raven, who frees Ethan and shows him how the non-humans of their world are treated as slaves – and enlists Ethan into the cause of earning their freedom. Leading these non-humans back to the island where the tournament has traditionally been held, Ethan claims it as a sanctuary for all people seeking to be free of Raven or Heron rule. Neither family takes well to this betrayal, and both send their ships and armies on course to the island, setting up what will likely be their final battle. This book comes nicely full circle by bringing everyone back again to the island where the story began, and setting up a rematch between Ethan and Bron, who has himself acquired new powers via a mysterious advisor (with links to other CrossGen books, should you be a reader of more within this line). There are lots of secondary characters, the families of both characters as well as their servants, soldiers, and the non-humans fighting for their freedom. None are left behind in characterization, all become fully fleshed out characters in this world. The writing and art are both very strong in this book – unfortunately, I think Ron Marz currently writes for DC, but Jim Cheung (the artist) is working for Marvel and I’d love to see him return to do a new Scion mini-series after he completes his current story arc in Avengers: Children’s Crusade. Meanwhile though, I’ll just appreciate the fact that this was as good of an ending as I could have hoped for to this series – and I’m not going to outstay my welcome and seek out the remaining issues. I’m pleased with how this story ended and highly recommend seeking it out to anyone looking for a scifi/fantasy mix in their graphic novel reading.


Charles Gramlich said...

Star Wars meets Lord of the Rings sounds awesome. I've not heard of this series but I need to have a look at it.

pixymagic said...

Nice man. Extremely informative post. I'll be sure to pass this along to my friends.
Audi A6 Turbocharger