Saturday, February 19, 2005

Sigil 22 - 35

This is a big chunk of issues to review, but when I think about it, over the course of these 14 issues, there really wasn't any large thematic changes or writing changes or and other series shattering changes. These 14 issues are simply the continuing space opera of Sam, his allies, and his Saurian foes. Chuck Dixon writes the entire arc so there is a consitency in the characters and writing style and the art is done, for the most part, by Scot Eaton with a few fill in issues by other artists with much the same style as Eaton.

I thought I'd have a lot to write since this is such a large span of issues, but I really don't. As much as there is that happens throughout the course of this long arc, there also isn't a lot that happens. That sounds paradoxical, I know, but let me explain.

So through this run, the human homeworld of Gaia is destroyed, the physical Roiya returns from the dead so there are now two versions of her, the Saurian leader is killed, the Saurian race tumbles into a civil war, the Bitterluck and her crew mysteriously land on an alien world only for Sam to save the day, and there's also an entire issue devoted to a flashback of Sam and Roiya's days in the military.

Yeah, so that sounds like a lot, doesn't it? Well there's also a lot of other things that go on, but those were simply the major items. Oddly enough, as much as there is going on, it often feels somewhat rushed. I would have liked more exploration of some of these subplots, but it seemed like as soon as a subplot was getting deep, Dixon would wrap it up with a couple of huge splash pages detailing a grand scene and then the reader would be moved along to the next big thing.

I really liked this style of grandiose writing, but at times it got to be too much and I just wanted things to settle down for a bit so we could focus on the characters again instead of these big plot devices. With worlds exploding and matriarchs dying and ships getting lost in wormholes, there's not a lot of time left to devote to character development. True, there was a lot of development done in the first 20 or so issues of the series, but that doesn't mean you can't develop the characters further. There were a few issues that were so filled with splash pages that I could read through them in 5 minutes or so. Now don't get me wrong, the art by Eaton was pretty darn good and Dixon's plots gave him more of a chance to draw big, awesome stuff as opposed to when Kessel and Waid were writing it, but it just felt like the depth of the story was severely missing in spots.

I shouldn't complain too much, however, as it's hard to find any good space opera styled comics today. Sigil has been a very refreshing read for me and is a nice break from the majority of the superhero stuff I've been trying to wean myself off of. With CrossGen's demise, it's pretty easy to get their titles on the cheap now, so I'd heartily suggest if you haven't given this series a shot, go grab what issues you can and dig it. It's fun, light, sci-fi comics that'll easily keep you interested for a while.

Art: 3.75
Story: 3.25
Overall: 3.5

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