Sunday, April 03, 2011

Crossgen

The first two mini-series to launch through Marvel's Crossgen imprint are Ruse and Sigil, the first issue of each having already arrived in comic shops over the past few weeks.  These titles resurrect two more well-known books from the company Crossgen from before they went bankrupt years ago, and their catalogue was purchased by Disney.  When Marvel was purchased by Disney as well, Marvel had access to their material, and have begun to reimagine these titles enough to satisfy long-time fans, but different enough to make them seem fresh and attractive to new readers.

Sigil #1 (of 4)
Mike Carey & Leonard Kirk

The first title to ship was Sigil, originally a science fiction title that saw a seasoned soldier partake in pulse-pounding galactic battle with his sentient spaceship.  The new Sigil wipes that slate clean, the only ties to that former title seemingly the symbol, or sigil, that the main character wears that many individuals throughout the original Crossgen universe had that imbued them with powers.  The sigil in this new universe under Marvel's care seems to be just as powerful, but Sigil actually begins in a modern world, where an ordinary girl, Samantha, is struggling to keep up her grades and fend off bullies while she's having dreams of a ship and a man in need of her powers.  The ship that she sees in these dreams is El Cazador, which also had its own popular pirate title shortly before Crossgen's demise.  So, while it doesn't seem to have any ties to the original Sigil title, this new Sigil definitely has ties to the Crossgen universe overall, although so far nothing has made it stand out from typical fantasy fare.

Ruse #1 (of 4)
Mark Waid & Mirco Pierfederici

And while Mike Carey has obviously taken a drastic departure from Sigil, it seems that Ruse is a more faithful reinterpretation of the popular Victorian mystery series, which is no surprise really, as Mark Waid was part of the original Crossgen's creative team.  Starring Simon Archard, celebrity detective, and his "assistant," the clever Emma Bishop, who makes things go smoothly for the eccentric sleuth, this title is set up perfectly, beginning with a classic murder that Simon quickly makes sense of, followed by a daring pursuit, before the mini-series' larger mystery is revealed.  The characters are just as lively and likable here as they ever were, Waid easily recapturing the spirit of the title from its glory days.  This is the title that most exemplifies the potential of Crossgen, and I hope that this is the sort of material we continue to see from the imprint.

1 comment:

HexiJosh said...

I nearly peed my pants when I happened to scroll down your blog and find this. I had no idea what the fate of Crossgen had been and I'm so excited to see the title resurrected in some way. I have a huge box in my closet filled with everything the company made in their first year and a half. Now I have an excuse to visit the new comic shop in town!