This is the Sojourn that we know.

General Information

Title: Sojourn Vol. 4: The Thief’s Tale

Author: Ron Marz

Illustrator(s): Greg Land for most, and Luke Ross for
a fill-in

Original Publication Date: The copyright date spans
2001-2004. I
suspect the original issues shipped starting in late
2001 and into
2003 (since it includes up to #24, and #25 came out
last summer.)
This collection was originally solicited for October
2003, but
CrossGen’s financial troubles slowed things down, and
it only made it
to press for a Wednesday, Feb. 18 release.

ISBN: 1-931484-65-1

Cover Price: $15.95 US

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Past comic reviews can be found here.

Premise

While tracking down the third fragment, Arwyn
encounters a thief with
valuable information and a history with Gareth.

As usual, the trade collection has some extras, this
time in an
interview with Ron Marz and Greg Land. I flipped
through it enough to
know that they refer to Issue 25 in the past tense,
so it could well
have spoilers for those who follow this title in the
trades.
Therefore, once again, I’m not reading the extra
material just yet.

High Point

The situation at the end of the collection. The last
two volumes were
getting formulaic, but this is a nice break from that
pattern. It
revived the series from the slump found in the
previous collection.

Low Point

The first issue. It was a nice little piece, but I
don’t really see
how it moves the overall plot forward. It felt like
Marz only had a
five issue story in mind, and rather than stretching
it like he did
last time, he created a one issue filler to fill out
a six issue trade
paperback.

The Scores

The originality of this is probably better
than the rest of
the series. We still have stereotypes and
predictability, but it’s
got some new directions for the series, and some more
intelligent evil
minions. We’ve got some nice parallels between hero
and villain,
too. I give it 4 out of 6.

The artwork is amazing through most of the
collection, and
merely very good during the fill-in issue. I give it
5 out of 6.

The story is starting to move along. We
have a cliff-hanger
ending, which I find odd since this was Ron Marz’
last issue as
writer. The first issue drags things down a bit, but
the next five
move along well, dealing with character development
of the old, and
establishing the new. (It also looks like Gareth may
be related to
Teela Brown.) The intensity of the story is stepped
up a bit, too,
given the revelations that take place as the
implementations of them.
The only thing I don’t get is why the Trolls keep
telling Arwyn that her
companions are meaningless; wouldn’t that assessment
require more
knowledge than they have? I give it 4 out of 6,
dragged down by that
introductory story.



The characterization is bringing out
developments and new
details by including Cassidy in the group dynamic.
It’s nice to see
the leads show some depth, even if that depth is the
stereotypical
kind. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response is very positive. As
much as I
complain about getting stereotypes and cliches in
this series, they
are often so well executed that I don’t care. Part
of that is because
I get the sense that the writers recognize that
they’re just shilling
out cliches, so they strive to simply do them well.
It’s a lot of
fun. I give it 5 out of 6.

The flow is marred only by that first issue.
It’s a series
of full-page art plates telling a story about Arwyn’s
early days with
her future husband, so it reads like an illustrated
storybook instead
of a comic, and it doesn’t directly relate to the
story being told.
(At least, not yet.) The rest moves quite well. I
give it 4 out of
6.

Overall, it’s a nice recovery from the
volume three slump
that brings it back into form as a fun, if
predictable fantasy epic.
I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Sojourn Vol. 4: The Thief’s Tale
receives 31 out of 42.

Additional Notes and Comments

The fifth volume was originally solicited for
February 11, 2004.
However, as this one was originally due back in
October, I wouldn’t
bank on seeing volume five any time soon. I’ll keep
my eye out for
it, and let you all know if it’s ever resolicited.