cover image CRUX: Strangers in Atlantis

CRUX: Strangers in Atlantis

Chuck Dixon, . . CrossGen, $15.95 (160pp) ISBN 978-1-931484-63-3

This title's strength, besides CrossGen's usual superior artwork, is its unpredictability. That irregularity, however, is also a weakness, especially when readers don't get enough clues to know if they should feel tension building or not. The story's basic situation remains interesting: six superpowered survivors of Atlantis reawaken to find a near-future Earth empty of people and overrun with menacing alien creatures. Furthermore, the other surviving Atlanteans can't be roused from hibernation. Writer Dixon tantalizes readers but blatantly avoids answering major questions. At one point, one of the Atlanteans has a conversation with the enigmatic Danik, who claims to be an Atlantean who's stayed awake throughout human history—someone, in other words, who should at least have some of the answers. Alas, Dixon doesn't make readers privy to any clarifying information. As the story proceeds, things get even more perplexing; instead of tying up loose ends, Dixon unravels a few more (e.g., introducing a pair of combatants from the distant past). It's doubtful every issue of this monthly comic could contribute equally to the overall story, and loyal CrossGen comics buyers will be aware that some of the unexplained events in this installment of Crux are explained by what's going on simultaneously in another CrossGen series, Negation. Nevertheless, readers could do with a few more explanations and fewer apparently irrelevant distractions as the plot spins its wheels. (July)