SCION VOL. 3: Divided Loyalties

Ron Marz, Author, Jim Cheung, Illustrator, Ron Merz, Joint Author , illus. by Jim Cheung, Don Hillsman and Justin Ponsor. CrossGen $15.95 (160p) ISBN 978-1-931484-26-8

If readers can manage to wrestle their disbelief into submission, they'll find this series enjoyable. The story's basic premise is monumentally silly, presenting a society where futuristic science lurks underneath a medieval surface; as the publisher says, it's a hybrid of Star Wars and Prince Valiant (which worked for the 1930s' Flash Gordon comics).The CrossGen Sigils, glowing chest brands that convey enormous, almost uncontrollable powers, have been portioned out to two young princes. Blonde Ethan of the West, a dutiful, loving son and intelligent, empathetic ruler-in-training, gets to use his Sigil's powers for good. Representing evil is swarthy, scarred Bron of the East, who's just killed his father so he can become king. Ethan has become tangled in the plots of Ashleigh, Bron's fiery renegade sister, to help the kingdom's oppressed, who happen to be superscientifically engineered mutants. Some are cute, like Ethan's Yoda-like friend, Skink; some are intimidating, like the towering bounty hunter, Exeter; and all are considered convenient but disposable products rather than people. Naturally, Ethan has always treated the Lesser Races decently, but now he's a full-fledged rebel forced to do unpleasant things that test his innocent ideals. Despite lots of sword-swinging action, the story moves slowly enough to accommodate Ethan's growing realization of his commitment to the cause. The book's moody, anime-influenced artwork makes the story's world vividly real. Proving that comics stand outside the rules of mathematics, Scion is more than the sum of its parts. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 08/26/2002
Release date: 09/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
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