Sojourn to Desolation?

September 7, 2004

Sojourn #31-34

By Avi Green

With the cancellation of this title, and the apparent demise of CrossGen, this isn’t going to be something easy for me to review. And the ending is certainly not going to be happy to deal with. So here goes. And at the end, I’m going to write an eulogy, asking questions about if there’s any luck for this in the future.

Sojourn #31
Writer: Ian Edington
Artist: Greg Land

Following the encounter they had with female humanoid dragons in the previous issue, the trio of Arwyn, Gareth and Cassie now arrive at a village in Skarnhime populated by a tribe of friendly trolls, which has been slaughtered by a vicious beast called a berserker, that was bred of the trolls themselves.

Well, this was an interesting setup for a story involving some good trolls who aren’t under the reign of Mordath, who as usual, is trying to figure out also how to deal with the threat as imposed by the crooked mage Lord Pallias and his forced assistant, Dodona, the former who’s trying to take over the power of Quinn for himself.

Sojourn #32
Writer: Ian Edington
Artist: Greg Land

After a burial of all the women and children who were murdered by the berserker beast, the trolls left and Arwyn’s group go off to look for the monster, and, as seen here, it’s one that’s got an endurance to withstand the power of the bow of Ayden.

Now here’s certainly a challenge for the team, to be dealing with a monster that can endure blows of the kind that Ayden’s bow can offer. And which is very sneaky in attacking some of the trolls themselves as well. But as you’ll soon see, this isn’t going to go as well as we’d like it to. And by that, I mean in story resolution.

Sojourn #33
Writer: Ian Edington
Artist: Greg Land

Arwyn and company continue fighting the giant berserker beast, which proves to be as cunning as it’s hard to blast, and then, it comes up close to her and knocks her over with its shoulder, and then tries to break the bow, resulting in a colossal explosion all over the forest area they’re in. Meanwhile, Lord Pallias and Dodona have a quarrel over how Mordath’s gang must have detected them, and Pallias burns his hand on one of his magic chesspieces (presumably, Dodona caused that to happen).

Let me guess. This is part of a plan to get Pallias out of the way, right? Which would be good, I suppose, since Mordath is decidedly the one who should be the real enemy in this story, and Pallias’ appearance certainly undermined Mordath’s part. Unfortunately, as the last part here will show…what good will it do now?

Sojourn #34
Writers: Ian Edington, Chuck Dixon
Artist: Sergio Carriello

Mordath goes to see the troll witch who’d helped him to retake power, mainly because he’d like to be able to regain his human status. Meanwhile, over at the snowy mountain of Skarnhime, it looks like a whole atomic explosion erupted there, but while the berserker beast may have taken his toll by breaking the bow of Ayden, where’s Arwyn now? As Gareth, Cassidy, and the troll tribe leader, who’s also still around discover, there does not appear to be a trace of her anywhere in the area.

This isn’t something I’m going to enjoy writing, certainly not if it’s the “end” of the series, but I must say that while Carriello’s artwork isn’t all that bad, it’s a real shame that things had to end this way (mainly because of how I’ve got a penchant for reviewing mainly the good stuff).

With CrossGen now having filed for bankruptcy, and no writer available to continue it regularly, the title was unable to continue, and it’s a shame that it had to end this way, without being able to really comprehend what’s going on. The scene with Mordath travelling to meet his mentor here is peculiar, since I cannot tell if it’s meant to reflect the present or not. Is this supposed to be the troll who helped him to heal when he was dying of battle wounds inflicted upon him by his own kind? I don’t know. You’ll note that part there that says at the end, “to be continued?” plus the fact that the following coverscan this time has no actual logo or any next month announcements on it.

From future solicits that I’d seen, I can see that yes, Arwyn does survive, but now, there’s no telling if we’ll ever see the story ended naturally.

And that’s the really disappointing part about this.

The Unfinished Trek?

It’s not something I’m happy to have to contemplate, that here, just when there was a company that people could look forward to, and many actually did, so now, it’s all coming to a close, and with some books, this one included, unfinished.

Will we ever get to see CrossGen’s books and characters again? Even Sojourn? For now, there’s simply no telling, and only if there’s an actual announcement will we ever know. It’s just a shame that they had to take so many rushed steps that as a result, they only ended up botching themselves, and ruining their chances of being able to finish even this series.

So for now, it’s either a question of  “to be continued,” or not.

If anything, I'll certainly miss Arwyn, one of the finest babes - and archers - to grace the pages of comics.

Copyright 2004 Avi Green. All rights reserved.

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