After the mildly disappointing first arc, I found this 7 issue run much more enjoyable. We learn a little more about all of the characters, which was something that was lacking in the first arc. All we knew then was that Sam had a sigil and was in the army. Roi was a living hologram. JeMerick was slightly superpowered but you didn't know exactly to what extent or why. Zanni was a runaway wife of a sultan. Loser was the enemy lizard foe. That was it. The story took center stage over any real character development. Each character, throughout this arc, however is given a little more depth.
Besides there being a further emphasis on characters, the plot also moves along nicely, setting the stage for a showdown between Sam & the human military and the Saurian forces. After returning to Delassia, Zanni's home planet, the sultan and the Saurians find out that the humans know of the sultan's dealings. Along with this, Sam with the help of Roi, crafts a new starship drive from the spaceship that Sam managed to secure from one of The First. These combined facts lead to a major skirmish above Delassia where Sam, using his sigil granted powers, staves off most of the attack. While taking the new drive back to Gaia, Sam is appointed as leader of the human earth forces as they prepare to assault the Saurians.
Now in the character development department, Kessel and later Waid, bring about a lot of growth. It turns out that Zanni wasn't just a wife of the sultan--she was planted there in order to spy on the sultan's underhanded dealings with the Saurians. She is also falling for Sam, who in turn has fallen for her. It's nice to see some romance in the middle of a galactic war, isn't it? Roi's body is destroyed so she is forced to be a living hologram for good... or so it seems. JeMerick's powers are explored a little further and it is hinted at that he might possibly be a sigil bearer himself. Sam's military history is explored and it is shown why he has such disdain for some members of the military and vice versa. Loser, in being disgraced by his defeat at Sam's hands, is removed from the royal family line. His mentor, at the same time, is give superpowers (possibly a sigil) that make him crazy. Loser, seeing his mentor kill his family line in front of his eyes, turns to Sam for help.
As you can see, a lot happens in this arc, and it all unfolds rather well and keep me engaged throughout. The trasition from Kessel writing to Waid writing was very transparent to the reader and I wouldn't have known there was a writing change if I hadn't read the credits. The art hasn't changed at all from the first arc. It's still a very manga inspired style with very bright colors that is appealing, but at the same time can be a little too much. All in all, this arc makes up for some of the disappointment of the first and I will hope that the upward trend of gaining quality continues into the next set of issues.