I enjoyed Sigil #1, but having never read the original series – published by CrossGen from 2000 to 2003 – I found the comic’s plot a bit thin and somewhat confusing. Still, Leonard Kirk’s attention-grabbing artistic style more than made up this, and has me eagerly awaiting issue #2.
Sigil was one of the flagship titles of CrossGen Comics, a company known for their visually stunning comics. Following a meteoric rise, the company surprised many when they declared bankruptcy in 2003, abandoning their books and characters in the middle of story arcs.
In 2004, Disney acquired the rights to the company’s properties, but unfortunately for fans, nothing materialized from this. Fast-forward to 2011, and Disney now owns Marvel Comics. It should come as no surprise then that a select number of CrossGen titles are now being revived.
Clearly the CrossGen logo that adorns the cover of Sigil #1 is meant to signal to long time readers that these favoured series have returned. As new reader though, I’m taking Sigil #1 at face value. The book is a fun, fast moving read that, while thin on ‘explaining’ what is happening, features breathtaking art that keeps you turning the pages.
Writer Mike Carey does a good job setting up what could become a richly detailed world. While the protagonist Samantha “Sam” Rey is your standard issue strong female lead – good looking with a good heart, and just as fast on her feet as with her snappy dialogue – this didn’t detract from the book for me.
Leonard Kirk, with his signature sparse and smooth pencil style, once again succeeds in conveying such rich detail and expressive characters with his art. To me, it’s Kirk’s art that makes Sigil #1 such a worthwhile read. He shows what Samantha thinks and feels, so the text and dialogue doesn’t have to. It is this visual skill, more than the plot so far, that connected me into the comic and its protagonist.
Incidentally, Kirk is an Ontario-based, and will be appearing at the Wizard World Toronto Comic Con on March 18-19-20. I can speak from personal experience that he does incredible sketches at conventions.
Marvel/Disney are testing the comic market with this re-launch of Sigil, and if it does well, I am sure fans can expect to see further CrossGen characters returning over the next year.