Epic fantasy on the comic page, brought to light by CrossGen. If
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General Information

Title: Sojourn Vol. 1: From The Ashes

Author: Ron Marz

Illustrator: Ben Land

Original Publication Date: 2002 reprint of material first published
from 2001-2002

ISBN: 1-931484-15-5

Cover Price: $19.95 US

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Premise

An evil wizard rules the known world, but a young warrior and her
lovable rogue accomplice have undertaken a quest to obtain a
very
powerful magical object that will set the world to rights.

In other words, stock fantasy plot #1, with variants C (hero is
female) and F (powerful object is broken, and must be assembled
from
parts.) It’s hardly original, but it’s done very, very well.

High Point

“Did you SEE that?”

Low Point

The dog comes along for the quest. So far, I like the fact that he
hasn’t been thrown in for the “cute” factor, but it’s only been used
to get out of sticky situations. The dog’s survival also seems to
undermine the whole “she’s lost everything she ever had” aspect
of the
character.

The Scores

As I said above, the premise and much of the execution is hardly
original. It’s done well, but it’s been done. I give it 2
out of 6.

The artwork is amazing. Ben Land has created
some very
detailed people and environments for this story to take place in.
Anyone who has ever bought a comic for the art alone should
take a
good, long look at this series. I wouldn’t change a panel. I give it
6 out of 6.

The story is well told, which is fortunate given how
many
times it’s been told before. If it wasn’t done well, it would be
fatal. That’s not a problem; this held my interest from start to
finish, even though the state of affairs at the end of this collection
was in no way surprising. I give it 5 out of 6.



The characterization works well, partly due to the
immediate
recognition of certain character types. We can look at Mordath
(at
least, after the prequel) and say “Oh, there’s the evil wizard that
rules the known world.” Even without the narrative text, we’d
have
known exactly how Gareth fit into the story the first time we saw
him.
My only complaint is a big one: nobody has really shown any
depth thus
far, with the possible exception of Ardyn. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced was very
positive,
despite the near total lack of surprises. It’s a whole lot of fun.
Trolls get slaughtered despite overwhelming odds, the “rogue
adventurer” lets out some good wisecracks, and the hero has
some
traumatic experiences that make sure the reader wants her to
succeed
for reasons that are more personal than “good must triumph over
evil.”
I give it 5 out of 6.

The flow is very good, particularly when you consider
how
much archery goes on in these battles. It’s still very smooth, and
quickly paced, particularly considering the characters don’t get a
break at all in those first six issues. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a collection I would strongly recommend
to
anyone who enjoys fantasy on the epic, “Lord of the Rings” type
of
scale. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Sojourn Vol. 1: From The Ashes receives
32 out of 42.

Additional Notes and Comments

It’ll be a long time before I can afford to add another title to my
monthly pull list. You can rest assured that this will be the next
one I add. I may not be able to catch up on the trades until next
spring or summer, but it’ll happen.