serenity_abrin: (Capricia)
[personal profile] serenity_abrin
So, I just found out what was supposedly going to happen in Negation War.


BASIC SYNOPSIS
The First vs Lawbringers and Ligis-bearers.  All the First except for Ingra, Trenin, and Altwaal are killed.  Danik must stay with Capricia, who is going into labor.  Sam has gathered many of the Sigil-bearers.  Danik sends Sam (and Kaine) to Elysia to help the First.  There's a big fight.  Afterwards, Sam approaches a body that he thinks is one of the First so he can help this person.  It turns out that this is Evinlea.  With the last of her power, she kills herself and takes Sam with her.

Danik feels Sam's death and is upset.  He goes to Elysia and gathers more of the Sigil-bearers as well as Solusandra.  He restores the sigils Solusandra took and leaves Kaine in charge.  He tells Kaine to take the troops to a safe-place: Partington.  Geromi (from Crux) arrives and tells Danik that after he left, Charon attacked and took Capricia's baby girl.  All the other Crux-main-characters are slaughtered.  Danik arrives in time to stop Charon from killing Capricia.  Capricia is very upset (and so is Danik).  He mind-wipes her of all the terrible stuff that happens (from Transition on), and sends her to a remote planet where she can live out her days in peace.

Charon investigates Capricia's daughter, who has a sigil on her chest.  "Touching the special child's sigil would allow a person to travel either in consciousness or in body to any place in any of the universes, even those out of the Negation's reach."  Charon will discover this soon enough to spy on Danik when he talks to the Sigil-bearers on Partington.

Danik has made a deal with Appolyon to let him rule Negation space if/when Charon is defeated.  He initially intends to take the group of Sigil-bearers to Earth and move through the portal there to Negation space, but Cassie says if they can lure Charon to Perdition, he would be stripped of all power (as would anyone who followed him through).  She also notes she blew up the entrance.  Danik determines to make their last stand in Perdition.

Everyone boards Sara Jennings' ship (from Chimera).  A Negation ship blocks them from reaching Cassie's planet.  Solusandra and Appolyon attack and she is killed.  The resulting energy envelopes Sara's ship but Sephie manages to put up a force field to protect it.  Appolyon becomes human again because of the blast and cannot remember anything.

The plan is to ram the ship into the destroyed portal to Perdition with Sephie healing the ship as it goes.  Danik and Kaine will lure Charon through the portal while everyone else goes out the back of the ship and keeps anyone else from entering to help Charon.  Danik will lose his powers the same as Charon but he's willing to take that chance.

When they get to Peridition, they find Charon waiting.  They ram the ship into him but he teleports away.  The remaining Antlanteans are called for and a huge battle ensues where many of our heroes are killed.

Charon follows Danik and Kaine into Perdition with the baby.  He loses his powers but manages to knock Danik out.  Kaine then takes a toilet and beats Charon to death with it.  Kompton arrives and manages to get through the portal to Perdition where he attacks Kaine.  Danik comes to and attacks Kompton, bidding Kaine to take the child and close the gate behind him.  Kaine does so, leaving Danik there.

Kaine calls victory, having Mordath destroy the Perdition gate.  The Negation warriors turn to goo with the death of Charon.  The Sigil-bearer survivors get on a ship and end up on the prison world from the Negation Prequel.  Kaine uses the baby to send each person to where they most want to end up.  Kaine ends up with the baby, and the last word spoken is Kaine's, "BOHICA."

ALTERNATIVELY
There was an interview where one of the writers described the ending a little differently.  He said:
"Most of the cast struck out on their own before NEGATION WAR. I envisioned them settling down happily on some backwater planet in Negation Space and living in peace. I figured Mercer Drake was shacking up with Shassa and Corrin while Westin and Captain Fluxor fought over Thustra, only to lost out to Monchito. Meanwhile, in the Bright Universe, Kaine and Lizard Lady recruit the Saurians, and Liz hooks up with Tchlusarud, who, although he was nicknamed "Loser", was the best character in SIGIL. Kaine and Komptin team up again when Kaine gives Komptin his Kaliman retriever puppy Chomper to replace Komptin's dead dog. The war would end when they lure Charon and Danik to that hellish corner of Negation Space known as Perdition (yes, the same Perdition from ROUTE 666). They set off Appolyon's "soul bomb", which turns Charon and Danik back into ordinary humans. Kaine then beats them both senseless with a toilet (it's part of the space debris glimpsed in NEGATION WAR after that superhero guy's world is destroyed). Kaine then leaves Danik and Charon to Komptin's tender mercies. If any publishing had resumed after the war, Kaine would've tracked down the other guys and they would've had to free Negation Space from an unleashed Appolyon."

When I first read this, I didn't take it that seriously because of the tone of the interview but the recurring element of the toilet-attack makes me wonder if this doesn't have some truth to it.

REACTION/ANALYSIS

So, my first reaction is surprise that they were actually really close to wrapping up the whole universe.  I don't know why I'm surprised that Negation War was only going to be 6 issues.  Solus and Mark of Charon were pretty short.  I just had this sense that they were building to this huge event and stopping a bunch of their other titles so they were going to spend considerable time on the War.  There were so many characters and so much you could do; I'm just surprised that all of that would've been over so quickly.

I think some of that is the conditioning of the rest of the comics.  I've noticed going through the older issues that a lot of people complained that the storylines weren't moving very quickly.  I was okay with that and used to it.  By contrast, a 6-issue Negation War arc is really brisk.  It also makes me feel even more how much of a bummer it is that they went bankrupt when they did.  Only four more months and everything would've wrapped up rather neatly.

I've also heard rumors that CrossGen decided to kill off so many characters in an attempt to reboot.  Many people wanted to try CrossGen when it was still publishing but were daunting by the huge universe.  So, the company was going to slim down to their most popular titles.  Considering who was left alive, it looks like they were going to go ahead with Scion, Meridian, Mystic, Ruse, and maybe Brath.  I wouldn't have been surprised if El Cazardor also went on as it was so popular and it didn't really seem to have anything to do with the rest of the CrossGen universe.  I'm surprised by Scion surviving and Sigil not but then I really have no idea what were the really popular titles.

I'm not sure if I would've been happy with the storyline laid out or not.  I think overall I would've been disappointed if for no other reason than how quickly so many storylines were wrapped up (and rather pathetically too in some cases).  It is good to know why the baby was important (I thought for some reason their kid would be important as a grown up not as a baby herself).  Not having read the information surrounding Negation War, I would've been blindsided by the deaths of pretty much everyone, though I think that fits the tone of what they were doing.  In particular, I was unimpressed with Solusandra.  I was hoping there would be more from her now that she remembers what/who she is.  She clearly understood what Danik was doing and she had her own agenda to that end (Mordath) so it would've been interesting to see her contributing some real power to the cause.  I would've liked to see her show some wisdom too.  She was a bit of a brat in Atlantis but she has Transitioned and I felt that she had evolved in understanding too.  But it seems they reduced her to her hot-headed nature, having her attack Charon and be easily dispatched.  That's a bummer.

As the outline doesn't say what people say to each other, I have no idea if she gets to talk to Altwaal, Ingra, and Trenin.  I would've loved to see that conversation.  It is a little weird that Charon's forces turn to goo but Solusandra's don't.  The outline doesn't specify if the Negation warriors are all Lawbringers or not.  If they are, then it makes some sense that they would be destroyed with Charon, as they are a product of him and a part of him in a sense.  When the gate is destroyed, any link to Charon is gone so they would disintegrate.  Maybe because Solusandra was killed in the Bright Universe and her energies would still be around, it didn't affect the First the same way.  Still, if the humans under Charon's command went through Transition, then they should have still remained alive to fight.  The outline isn't clear on this point.  Anyway, I was disappointed with how her storyline wrapped up (as well as others).

Charon was another who sort of goes out with a whimper.  Maybe it makes more sense in the outline but the fact that he just goes through the portal and is beaten to death with a toilet seems stupid.  He was such a cool bad guy in Negation.  I would be curious how his characterization would continue in the rest of Negation War.  I wasn't sold on his storyline with Evinlea, and I started to feel like his character was taking a turn out of left field.  I would be very curious to see him with Capricia's child, as I loved watching him with Danik when he was a baby.

I was also super surprised by Sam's sudden death so early on.  While I would've hated it because Sam's one of my favorite characters (and Evinlea is one of my least so it would suck to see her do it), it would be a great twist.  We've seen Danik grooming Sam for leadership since the very beginning.  This is the culmination of everything we've waited to see, and then it's abruptly and brutally upended.  I do like that Kaine is the second-choice.  I like that a non-powered human becomes to important.

Appolyon
The two versions of the Negation War outcomes have one really big difference: the fate of Appolyon.  In the one version, he turns human and retires to Tampa.  In the other, he takes over for Charon as the universe-spanning bad guy.  My reading of Appolyon puts him more in the latter camp.  He was always untrustworthy.  Yeah, he gets his sanity back a little bit after he Transitions but he's at heart a scientist who can't help tinkering.  In Route 666, he's basically the devil.  There should be a reckoning for what he's done to all the souls on Cassie's world.

Another thing is that I'm surprised that Appolyon's soul-bomb is a real thing.  I was absolutely sure that it would turn out to either be a dud or it would be destroyed and some other means of defeating Charon would have to be found.  It just seems too easy.  I assume that the soul-bomb is the reason Appolyon is stealing souls in Route 666.  He must need them to power it or he's using them to figure out how to make it work or something like that.  It's curious that Cassie is so knowledgeable about Perdition and the soul-bomb when she speaks up in Negation WarRoute 666 was still being published during Negation War.  Cassie is transported to the other Sigil-bearers in NW issue 4 and talks about what she knows in NW5.  This makes me think that issue 23 of Route 666 really would've wrapped up the entire series (maybe issue 24 if they had the timelines be slightly off).  This is another maddening idea -- that we were just one issue away from finding out everything.  The next issue's cover does show Cassie riding a bomb.  It could be an allusion to her destroying the Perdition gate.  Still, I'm not sure how she would learn about the soul-bomb.  I guess Suvorov could've mentioned it.  They do show a different kind of monster-bomb in Route 666 so he might know about those.  Explaining everything about Negation, revealing the soul-bomb, and destroying the gate to Perdition is a lot for one issue.  I wonder if Cassie is the one who unleashes the soul-bond and Appolyon escapes to our world before she manages to blow the gates (although he does have the scroll from Way of the Rat to get through if he needs to).  Seeing him lose his powers would give her knowledge of what the soul-bomb could do.

But we do see Appolyon in NW4 so he seems to be in Perdition after Cassie blows the gate.  I'm just really confused by how going through the gate steals everyone's power.  Appolyon lives in Perdition and Danik travels there a few times.  The outline doesn't say when the soul-bomb is unleashed -- just that the effects are present just by going through the gate on Cassie's world.  It must have something to do with that gate then, which makes me think that Cassie is the one who unleashed it.

Back to Appolyon, it seems incongruous that he turns into a "good" guy or at least a powerless guy.  I mean, they could have him again turn to evil again at some later point -- turning Tampa into a new base of operations where he gets his memories back and manages to redo the Transition machine he initially made.  But it seems like he is being shelved.  If they are trying to streamline the universe, then it makes sense to get rid of all the big universe-spanning stuff.  It doesn't really fit with Appolyon's character, and I would personally think he would be good to have floating around as a villain they could bring back when they again reestablished CG as a profitable company.  I mean, you could definitely have him swear he's going to leave the bright universe alone and only focus on Negation space, but he totally seems like the type who would go back on his word, especially if he thought Danik was de-powered/dead and there was no one else to challenge him.  He takes a few years to cement his hold on Negation space and come up with new experiments and unleashes them on the bright universe, again allowing for a universe-spanning storyline and crossover potential.

I feel like that makes Appolyon-as-good-guy a later addition to the storyline.  It's kind of a weak ending for him.

Danik
I intended to write-up my own thoughts of what would happen during Negation War before reading this outline.  In it, I rather thought that Danik would end up being killed but that if he was, it would have to be near the end of the NW run because then all of the avatars of Danik would be killed too, which is a lot of really good characters to get rid of.  It's interesting what they've got going in NW.  He loses his powers and is apparently stuck in Perdition with Kompton.  Charon knocking him out as soon as they both lose powers makes me wonder how good Danik would fair powerless.  But he also taunted Charon into it and he's been around a long time.  I wouldn't bet against him.

I also don't think he's actually trapped.  There's still the gateway to Way of the Rat's scroll and Danik knows all about it.  Po-Po is probably still on the other side of the scroll and waiting.  As I don't know how exactly the soul-bomb de-powered Danik, I'm not sure if going back into the Bright Universe would bring his powers back but I'm pretty sure he could merge back with Po-Po and all the other Avatars and get his mojo back.  I think that their presence (Skink and Skitter particularly) when the other Sigil-bearers go home at the end proves that Danik does survive on the other side of the gate.  Even if "Danik" dies by Kompton, aspects of him are running around and I would think they could merge and he would still be Danik again.  So, he's safe.

It does give an interesting plot-point in possibly letting someone like Appolyon believe Danik is gone and he therefore has the run of the universe with no one on his level to challenge him.  Or there could be a storyline to find the missing Danik (for whatever reason).  I'm curious about Skitter and Skink.  Would Ethan and Giselle now know who they are?  That's something I've always wanted to see: their reaction to their low-powered friend being this superbeing.  Would Skitter and Skink then explain how they are and are not Danik, which means that Danik could die but they could keep going?  I think all of that would be really interesting.

For Negation War itself, it does seem like we're going to see more of Danik the character.  A lot of the character-shading is not present in the outline, so some of the nuances of the character-arcs are missing.  But it does say that Danik is upset to learn Sam dies (which gets me shipper heart going) and he also clearly cares about Capricia.  I call bullshit on wiping her memory.  I can't really think of how they could present it in the comics as being okay unless he explicitly asks her if he can do that, which I don't think he would.  But it is keeping with his asshole character traits.

She is alive though, and I hope that Kaine's stop after sending everyone home is to find Capricia and reunite her with her daughter.  She's a powerful Atantean; I wouldn't be surprised if she could get her memories back from whatever Danik did.  Maybe it's even in her daughter's powers to do.  I could see Kaine staying to protect the kid, and Capricia could raise her daughter.  None of this is said though, so it does seem like Capricia is just shelved like Appolyon is.  But unlike him, she's lost everything.  She's said not to remember Transition or anything after it, so I wonder what she makes of her new home.  Maybe she fights tooth and nail to get back to Earth.  She was so concerned with helping humanity and she feels the responsibility of leadership.  I can't see her just giving up to chill for the rest of her life.  I wonder if Danik gave her some sense of what happened so she knew not to look.  I feel like she would keep at it until her memories were restored, and then be pissed at Danik for what he did.  And, of course, then she would go look for him -- to save him because he's her friend and she loves him but also to kick his ass as he deserved.

I always felt that Capricia was the key to Danik.  They were a ying/yang -- stronger as a whole.  Looking at their solution for the scorpion, it's clear that they can come up with the right answer when they work together.  Danik is much more powerful and knowledgeable than she is but she has always had a clear sense of the heart of a moment.  He realizes that Solusandra was right about the need for emotions.  Danik always keeps an eye on earthly concerns (I wonder if he doesn't do this because the last conversation he has before Transition is with Capricia where she's upset that he didn't even ask her to Transition).  He makes it seem like he's above such emotions and cares, and yet I think his actions prove differently.  He pays attention to Solusandra, and he shows that he cares about his charges.  He's a cold-ass strategist, and yet when Sam dies, he comes running.  (I mean it could be partly that he has to salvage his plans with the Sigil-bearers but the outline says he is visibly upset.)  He also wastes time protecting Capricia.  He has moments in NW that show he isn't the cold-hearted bastard that he projects.

And then he basically writes off Emma by saying she's no more use to him.  I wonder what the tone of this conversation is.  I could see him saying that to allow her to live and be safe but I could also see him being a dick about it too.  (Conveniently this allows Ruse to keep on trucking.  I wonder how the title would've continued now that Miranda's role has been solved; would it just be a bunch of crime-solving?  I feel like that changes the tone from what people reading the story were enjoying about it.  And I also don't think Simon would necessarily be happy to go on with life as usual now that he knows all these awesome things are out there.  Further, I think Emma could get her powers back.  Danik seems to unlock people's innate powers.  In Solus, it's shown that the powers the Sigil-bearers wield are still available once the sigil is gone.  I wonder if it wouldn't be similar for Emma, even though she's Danik's pupil, not Solusandra's.  It's a thing they could look into at least.)

In the end, Danik does sacrifice himself for the universe (and for Capricia's baby in particular).  I like that there's definitely a way to bring him back.  If they weren't going to do some universe-spanning stuff again, then it would be nice to see him freed and returning to be with Capricia (as a friend or lover).  They could raise the baby girl together.

If they were going to again try the big universe-spanning stuff after a few years of fewer titles, then I think Danik could definitely bring back to life everyone who died (maybe not Solusandra or anyone of such great power).  We see Charon bring back Javi.  If Appolyon is still around, then I think Danik would want to resurrect his sigil-bearers in preparation for anything Appolyon or the Negation could throw at them.  I also think that Danik has been swayed by Capricia's reasoning (seeing how everything turned out when the Atlanteans weren't there to shepherd humanity).  I think the sigils are definitely a step towards Transitioning the right way and he might just keep challenging and guiding his sigil-bearers to help them be all that they could be.

Titles
So, the titles that seem to be affected by Negation War.

Brath -- He survives the war and is said to be reunited with his family.  Just like Route 666, I wonder if Brath would've had one additional issue that wrapped up stuff.  I always felt like it just needed one more issue to reunite mom and kid.  And, if memory serves, Brath was getting away from "Rome".  I wonder if he was stolen from the boat to fight the Negation War.  Then he could be plopped back down to be with his family again.  It sounds like he returns to a peaceful world, so that makes it seem like this title would've been cancelled.  But, he did survive, and that seems rather random to me.  Why him and not someone else, especially if they were just going to cancel his title anyway?  Or was it just to wrap up his title nicely and because he has a family and a world, he should get a happily-ever-after?  I mean, I can see him being returned to his family and that being happy, but I can't buy that his world is peaceful now.  "Rome" is still huge and gunning for Brath's lands.  He has his sigil back now so I wonder what that would do for him.  I wonder if Danik's guide would still be helping him.  It didn't seem to do that much for him or be as involved as other Avatars, and Brath's sigil did let him know way more than he should've.  It would be curious to see what became of the title if it were to go on after Negation War, and if that would've ever been mentioned.  He certainly would have a ton of new tactics and perhaps high-tech solutions to problems on his home world now.

The Path/Way of the Rat - Also, Brath would know about Po-Po.  Way of the Rat and The Path are set on the same world as Brath.  If he needed to, he could travel to visit Po-Po so he could speak to "Danik".  Nothing in the outline suggests Boon was part of Negation War.  Obi-san is killed, so The Path is pretty much finished.  I do wonder if his supporting characters couldn't have had a cameo in Way of the Rat.  It's been a while since I read either of these titles but I feel like there was quite a bit left for Obi-san to do.  Isn't his emperor possessed or something?  At least Obi-san's war on the gods would definitely be over after Negation War, since they were pretty much wiped out.  I do think that the war with "Japan" could still be a plot point in Way of the Rat, allowing for cameos or even the moving of characters from The Path to Way of the Rat.  However, tonally, they are very different.  I would actually think that the characters of The Path would fit better with Brath's world.  It's not so humorous and Brath need's warriors.  There's at least crossover potential between these three titles, though I think in all likelihood, only Way of the Rat would actually have kept going, and I'm not entirely sure of that.  I feel like the only connection between Way of the Rat and the larger sigil storyline was the gateway to hell, and that's been used.  So, they can tell other stories set in the world that have nothing to do with sigil-verse without too much trouble.  I'm not sure if Way of the Rat had the numbers to keep going.  The cliffhanger for this title was Tei Su thinking Boon was with another girl; you could solve that in one more issue and then be done.  It could keep going or be wrapped up easily.

The First - The title was almost certainly going to be cancelled but I'm curious about what would've happened to Ingra and Trenin, the only survivors.  I'm not surprised that Ingra survived (clearly the most popular First character) but I didn't realize how popular Trenin was.  My faves were Yala and Gannish, but I'm not surprised they were killed early on.  Altwaal, Ingra, and Trenin survive the initial assault on Elysium, and Altwaal is killed later on in the Negation War.  Their whole world has been upended.  Not only is Elysium torn apart, but so is their view of themselves.  They were nothing more than playthings for Solusandra that the other Atlanteans had her create to keep her entertained.  They are not the actual First creatures in the universe and they did not create everything.  They don't really deserve to be worshipped by less powerful beings.  Regular humans have the capacity to be just as powerful as sigil-bearers, who are more powerful than the First.

On a personal level, Ingra's daughter and lover are dead.  All of her minions are dead so she has no one to lord over (no one worthy anyway).  Her home is in ruins.  Even Altwaal the powerful is gone.  Would Ingra and Trenin manage to create a working relationship of some sorts?  They must have a sense of Solusandra's view of the world: how the selfish and the selfless each had a role to play.  They can embody that and teach it to others.  They can be Solusandra's legacy.  But I don't think Trenin and Ingra actually like each other that much.  I wonder if Ingra can help herself in trying to rule over him and reestablish a kingdom of some kind -- of trying to reclaim Elysium and force it back into existence.  I can see her wasting a huge amount of energy on that, while I think Trenin would be more practical.

However, Trenin is a hunter.  He could hunt down all the First who fled when Solusandra first showed up and revealed they were a lie.  And I think some powerful First were elsewhere.  So, it might be that there are some First to be found.  But it could also be that there are none.  All of this is academic as The First was surely going to cancel.  However, I wouldn't be surprised if Ingra and/or Trenin showed up in other titles.  I could see Ingra hanging out in Mystic.  She would certainly turn things upside down and she would like all the magic.  And Trenin might like Scion or Brath's worlds.  Certainly, after a few years of concentrating on the remaining individual titles, you could use Ingra and Trenin popping in here and there to hint at a larger universe-spanning story in development.

It's also interesting to consider Seahn and Persha.  I remember hearing (though I don't know where anymore) that the writers did intend to bring them back, or that they weren't really dead.  I wonder if the Negation War storyline put the kibosh on that or if it was still possible.  It would be interesting to see Ingra and Trenin return and find Persha and Seahn still alive.  It could be Altwaal's attempt to keep the First going by making sure these two survive.  They are both born leaders and are natural opposites.  There's a lot they could do with this; it presents a lot of conflict.  Also, the outline doesn't say what happened to Wyture and Enson.  It says all the First except 3 died but these two aren't First so it would be interesting if they survived too and worked with Ingra, Trenin, Seahn, and Persha to rebuild their people.

Meridian - This is an interesting one in that Sephie survives but Ilahn doesn't.  I feel like Meridian was fairly popular so I could see them keeping it going.  But what remaining conflict is there?  With Ilahn gone, Sephie is the major powerhouse and she was already on her way to creating her own trade union (if I remember correctly).  On the other hand, there would be a lot of pieces to pick up.  Ilahn's pupil seems ripe to jump into the power vacuum he left and she has some power (unless she's dead already? I don't remember what happened to her).  If not her, then there's going to be a power struggle, and that would be a good thing for Sephie to have to figure out how to deal with -- it keeps with the themes of the book and the challenges she faces.  However, unless another antagonist appears, then there's not likely to be any action-fights.

Plus, the NW seems to have wrapped up Sephie's storyline by marrying her off to Jad as soon as she goes home.  I was a little unimpressed that Sephie and Ilahn made up simply because Obi-san told them to.  It sounds like they're the only ones who he does this to (not even Mordath?).  I think that undermines a lot of character growth that could've happened.  But, on the other hand, I don't think it's unreasonable that they could've given into suggestion.  I feel like as Sigil-bearers, they should've been able to ignore Obi-san's orders if they wished but if it conformed to something inside them, then they could.  Ilahn sacrifices himself for Sephie.  I've always felt that he did love her at least a little.  He was selfish and power-hungry and creepily devoted to her mom, but she was family and all.  And Sephie was learning the hard truths of politics -- of having to ally with someone you don't like.  And he too is family.  So, I can see them eventually finding common ground, especially in the face of a war.  They're too different not to have sustaining conflict but I think they could have put that aside for the war.

I am curious though because if memory serves, Danik asked Sephie to join the war and she refused.  It seemed like when last we saw her, she was very focused on Meridian while Ilahn was looking beyond his homeworld.  So, it's weird that she now accepted to be part of the war.  I wonder if they would've done anything like a PTSD storyline for all the terrible things we saw, or if seeing war makes her a tougher character and she has to reclaim her innocence.  She was also after something in the final issues of her title, wasn't she?  I wonder if she returns to look for that.  They could still explore that storyline and find whatever her parents were after.

But, if memory serves, she thought Jad was dead.  So, returning her to him and having them marry seems to tie up things very nicely.  It would be curious if they continued the story.  I wouldn't be surprised if they managed to resurrect Ilahn somehow as he's the best foil for Sephie.  I wonder if there would've been additional mentions of the Negation War in a post-Negation War storyline.  Would she talk about the other worlds and peoples she saw?  Would the Muse still be around to help her?  Looking at it, though, it does seem that they wrapped up this story too and discontinued it.

Sigil - Clearly this one was going to be canceled because they killed off Sam.  And yet, I wouldn't be surprised if JeMerik showed up in a reboot by bringing Sam to life.  However, Sam's title was always more involved with the Negation and larger storylines.  I'm not sure what else they could do with him that wasn't tied to those.  Granted, they do have loose ends with Tchlusarud.  It makes sense now why the last issue given to us was about Tchlusarud, as Sam was busy with the other Sigil-bearers.  I wonder if Tchlusarud would've discovered something useful that tied into Negation War or if he just goes out in a blaze of glory and they end the title that way.  There is the alternate Negation War outline where he hooks up with Lizard Lady, but I'm not sure I buy that.  It feels like pairing the spares a bit, not that I wouldn't put that past them.  And they do seem to love Tchlusarud so I'm not sure they'd get rid of him.  I wonder if all of the Negation soldiers would've turned to goo the way the Lawbringers do after Charon dies.  If so, then would there have been a race to get Negation technology?  Would they have gone into Negation territory to expand their empires, look for allies, etc.?  Or would these soldiers have survived and there would always be a hole in the universes that the Sigil empires had to deal with?  That would've given some interesting plotlines but there's really no drive if Sam's not there.

I wonder about Roiya and Zanni now.  I'm not sure if JeMerik would still be around.  He loves Roiya, yes, but he morphed into Danik when he was talking to Sam -- there's no reason to pretend to be anything but Danik now, not to Sam who needs to know what's going on.  So, maybe that aspect of JeMerik went with Danik and is now lost until he comes back from Perdition (which would really suck as he's my favorite Avatar).  However, I could also see Danik sending JeMerik back to monitor the war.  The Negation are flooding through the hole in the universe in this area, and the Sigil empires are fighting it.  It would be wise to keep an eye on it so he could be around (although I could also see him getting snuffed out because that's a lot of power being unleashed from Negation space).  So, if he and Sam just disappear, do Zanni and Roiya even know what happened to them?  What happens to the war-effort after Sam dies?  He was instrumental in leading the forces against the Negation.  I could see Roiya again pretending to be him but that can only last so long.  Surely someone should tell them what happened to them (maybe Trenin?  That would be a good place to put him).  Of course, none of this would see the light of day as it's pretty clear this title was canceled.

Sojourn - Really weak ending.  According to the outline, Mordath helps out until the end and when he is returned home, he returns just in time to be shot by Arwyn with Ayden's arrow and killed.  So, the last we see of Mordath in the comics is he has a baby he's about to sacrifice to get his youth/humanity back.  But in Negation War, Sam finds him still a wraith and at his castle, looking for Neven.  Arwyn has disappeared after an explosion (??? - it's been awhile for this title too).  I could see them publishing four more issues as Negation War continues.  Arwyn could be found and achieve her goal of getting the last arrow-fragments.  So, then maybe it wouldn't be such an ass-pull to have Mordath return and her shooting him out of nowhere.  There are a few titles that didn't seem to be clued into the oncoming Negation War and what was going to happen, and this was one of them.  But, maybe like Route 666, there was a quick wrap-up plan for another issue or two.  I'm not sure how that would've worked considering the trajectory of the comics, but they could've done a bandaid I guess.  It still wouldn't have been satisfying.  What about that weird blind girl and the magician manipulating things behind the scenes?  And even if Arwyn is shown killing Mordath, does she end up with Gareth?  Does Cassidy?  Does Arwyn find peace?  I suppose, given that they appeared to be going to cancel this, it's good that we at least get to see her kill Mordath.  But, overall, a really weak ending.

Mystic - There's a lot that could keep this title going.  The thing I'm most curious about is what happened to the dead spirits when Giselle lost her sigil.  Did they just keep hanging with her or could they finally return to their respective Guild Masters?  On the one hand, I think it neatly wraps up things to finally let them return to who they needed to be with (with the exception that Alain probably stayed with Giselle).  On the other hand, after everything they witnessed with Giselle, they might think it's worthwhile to keep training her.  If they were still around during the Negation War, that certainly might've had an impact on them regarding the wider universe and the dangers present.

But it seems like the company was going to go small-scale, so there might not be that much mention of the effects of the War.  Giselle gets to go back to her family.  The only mentions of Giselle during the war are some of the magic she performs and that she flirts with Brath (which really made me roll my eyes.  Giselle has grown so much over the course of her title; it would really suck to see her thrown back to just being a pretty party-girl who doesn't realize or care about the stakes of what she's fighting for.  Again, it depends on how it happens, as I could see her trying to distract herself from the terrible fight but it's still cringe-worthy, especially as Brath is a happily "married" man).  I'm not sure how affected she would be by the war if she didn't take it as seriously as it seems she might not have.  But, on the other hand, there were a lot of brutal deaths.  Someone should have PTSD.

And, as I said before, I really want to see Giselle interact with Skitter now that she knows he's Danik.  Or to see Skitter turn into Danik.  How does that change their relationship?  Do they explain it away somehow so that he's not Danik anymore?  Or did she manage to go through all of Negation War and not realize Skitter is Danik, and how does that work?

Anyway, there are a lot of conflicts inherent in the guild-system, and the dark-guild-guy got his master back so he's probably going to continue to be a thorn in her side.  And she still has mafia crime she can clean up.  Surely they could come up with a compelling new villain to pit her against.  And she has no love interest.  So there's definitely a lot of room to explore and keep going.

On the other hand, Giselle was in a pretty good spot when we left her.  She's grown so much as a character.  What's really left for her character arc?  She's learned responsibility and is now determined to be a good mage.  They could set her back on a power level (making her lose the guild-spirits and her sigil would mean she would have to start over a little bit) but Danik restored her sigil and she shouldn't just be able to unlearn all the magic she's been spending the entire title learning.  So, that would leave putting her back to being emotionally immature, which I would hate to see.  It would feel like cheap drama and not a realistic place for her to go.  And I'm glad she didn't end up with a love interest.  For a character who was so focused on guys and shallow things, to see her sister end up with the guy and it not be a big thing was a great turn.  I really liked that she was focusing on her magic and on herself.  They could introduce a great guy for her but I really liked Thierry and if he's not going to be her guy, then I'm glad to see her focus on her relationship with her sister instead.  Emotionally, it felt like there was definitely an ending to this comic as well.  She was in a good place.  I think the big obstacles had been overcome.  So, they could end it or keep it going either way.

Scion -- Pretty much the same as a lot of the above.  I'm surprised Ethan is one of the ones who survived.  I want to see him talk to Skink now that he knows he's Danik.  And the ending seemed to be pretty closed.  It sounds like Ethan goes back to rebuild and be with a pregnant Ashleigh.  Just like I said in my Scion review, it does feel like they've wrapped up the title.  Bron is still around and so is Tigris but pretty much all of the conflicts that were raised in the title so far have been overcome.  I guess Ethan and Ashleigh could finally have a wedding but that hardly seems worth keeping the title going.  Certainly they could do something with it but it does feel fairly complete.

Crux, Negation, Ruse, Route 666 - I've pretty much covered these.  I think all but Ruse are pretty much over.  Certainly Crux killed off everyone but Capricia and a few Atlanteans, and Capricia was shelved.  As I said, there is a storyline for her but not if they're going small-scale and shrinking the size of the comic universe.  I'm curious about Route 666.  The outline doesn't say what happens to Cassie but she's not mentioned among the survivors.  But, I'm also not sure if she left Partington.  Why would she?  Unless she suddenly learned a way to use her psychic powers in an offensive manner, there's not much she could do in a war.  So, maybe she stayed in Partington or found another way home.  (It would be cool if she learned to create portals -- I always maintained there was a lot more she could do with her powers.)  Either way, it's clear her title was pretty much over.  If she managed to blow up the gate, then she's probably completed her task of taking on Perdition (and I hope that in unleashing the soul-bomb, she managed to free Helene and the other souls).

There is a mess on her homeworld though.  It would be focused in Rodina but maybe it spilled over to other parts of the world.  I'm curious how the political tensions that were developing in the later issues were resolved.  Maybe Cassie gets a hold of a nuclear bomb somehow and that was how she destroyed the gate.  In that case, it's likely that the Cold War did heat up at least enough for some missiles to be deployed.  And now there's a huge-ass spaceship that just cratered into her planet.  People are going to notice that.

While I think that pretty much ends her run, I do think that this opens up some interesting possibilities.  We're set in 1950s "America" and a huge-ass UFO just flew into the world but into "Russia" where they can control some of the press getting out.  It would be in line with the humor of Route 666 to play up the aliens/UFO hype that I often think of being around that era.  And there are probably still dozens of monsters running around.  Did Cassie expose them all or would her stunt in congress be handwaved by the PTB?  You can see them talking about spirit-bombs being a possibility for Rodina but they could also go the route of Area 51, where whatever they learn will be shoved into a deep hole and people won't have any idea.  Cassie and Cisco could be out to uncover the remaining demons or maybe there are some Negation soldiers who survived.  They might end up even working with the government or being on the run from them.  There are a lot of possibilities for things they could do, but it also sounds like the initial problems Cassie was trying to solve were fixed for the most part.  I do hope she survived and that maybe the reason she's not with the other survivors who fled is because it was her homeworld they invaded and she was already where she wanted to be.

Considering it's the Negation War, it seems like a no-brainer that Negation would fold.  And yet, a surprising number of survivors were from the Negation title.  It might just be that Negation was a popular title for the writers and they liked the characters.  Certainly, I'm not sure what kind of story there would be in any of the survivors.  The only one would be Kaine.  If he doesn't find Capricia (and I could see why he wouldn't; he doesn't know her from anyone and he has no reason to look for her or to mess up her chance at happiness), then he likely bums around the universe raising the little girl.  That could be an interesting storyline as he, a powerless human, tries to teach this powerful little girl.  They could pop in here and there.  He would also be on the lookout for anything that would endanger the little girl and the universe as a whole.  Danik's not a big player anymore.  As far as Kaine knows, Danik is dead.  And I wouldn't put it past Kompton to find a way to survive and keep his vendetta against Kaine alive (or there's always that other possibility of them becoming BFFs).  In the alternative outline, Kaine would've still been fighting in Negation space to free it from Appolyon.  While interesting, I tend to lean on the side of them going small-scale, which means no more Negation.  The storyline was too dependant on the universe-spanning storyline.  You could bring it back eventually (and I would love to see that) but it would have to have a different focus and be a bit of a reboot as Kaine infiltrated Negation space instead of trying to escape it.  Lots of potential but definitely pretty well wrapped up.

And I talked about Ruse.  This one would be weird without the bigger issues of Sigil-verse but it was also a bit removed from them so I could see them going back to just solving crimes and being more of a Victorian-era book without the magic.  They could still add magic of a different kind.  There are still dragons and gargoyles on the world, and Miranda is technically still alive (or did she too turn to goo when the other Lawbringers died?).  You could definitely start fresh.  But this one also had a satisfying ending in that Emma finally came clean to Simon and had the recognition she deserved from him.  I would've loved to see her get her powers back and learn more about it, learn more about what Simon was needed for.  And yet, it seems like figuring out the Lawbringer was the big thing.  Once Charon is defeated, they don't really need to know anything more about Miranda and her plans; it wouldn't matter anymore.  I am curious how Partington ended up being the "safe-house" they retreated to.  Was that why Miranda was drawn to their world?  How did it get on her radar and how did she get there?  That would be an interesting line to follow but, again, that would just expand the universe rather than shrink it.  And, I feel like the "safe-house" was just to include Emma and Simon into Negation War somehow.  I was wondering how a lot of the disparate characters would be involved, and they did seem to just mash them together.

Looking back at all the titles, it does seem like all of them were wrapped up.  I could see El Cazador and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang still going on because they hadn't been tied to the Sigil-verse yet (same with Code 6, which had no association at all).  But it feels like they were going to start completely fresh.  The rumor was they would keep the popular characters but maybe they were just saving them from dying, and they were going to start brand new titles.  I've seen concept art of two Sigil-bearers with half of the Sigil on their arms (likely they have to combine them to work their magic) and apparently being pursued by someone that made me think the government was after them.  I'm not sure were this concept art is from (shoot me a line if you know!).  It could just be background art for some of the additional Sigil-bearers that are in some of the group shots.  Or maybe it was something for a new title.  I'm not sure if that's a good idea or what.  If there was nothing from the time I invested in the Sigil-verse, I'm not sure how much I'd want to start something new, not if they were just going to ignore everything that happened before.  I want to see consequences from Negation War.  I want to see the characters I'd grown so attached to.

We'll likely never know now.  It was such wasted potential.  :(

MY IDEAS
So, as I said, I was thinking about making a few essays exploring how the Negation War could've gone and what would've happened after that.  When I first considered what would happen -- way back when they were gearing up for the War -- for some reason I latched onto the idea that they would take the war to Negation space.  I think I had some notion that it would be a lot like Negation.  Sam would lead a bunch of Sigil-bearers from world to world, sometimes hiding and trying to go covertly and sometimes having all-out war.  I thought it would be brutal but it would also last a long time (I think this thought came from my idea that Sam's kid was going to be instrumental to the war, and s/he should probably be an adult to do that.)

I had a sense that the scope of the war was going to be much bigger than it appeared to be.  I mean, if the outline is correct, then they throw everyone into the war but it's just a lot of scenes of action with a ton of characters.  There's probably very little development for character arcs, even for some of the larger names.  I figured Ethan, Giselle, Pyrem, Yala -- the characters we've spent a lot of time with -- would have much bigger roles.

I did hear about the soul-bomb thing before I had the last issues.  I remember thinking it was a great idea to take down Charon.  But then I read Mark of Charon, and thought that was where the soul-bomb thing came from and it was disproved in that.  It's weird that they would go through the trouble of having Appolyon fake a soul-bomb and then go ahead and use the same plot device anyway.  Was he trying to fake Charon out?  Like, oh you can hear me thinking about a soul-bomb?  That was just a trick I was playing on you and there's no such thing, neener-neener.

It was just a bit weird to me.  After reading about Appolyon, I definitely didn't trust him.  It just doesn't feel true that he would create the soul-bomb and there wouldn't be a big price to pay for using it or it wouldn't have something hinky about it.

My thoughts circle around the soul-bomb and Transition.  The series has hammered home how genetics play a role in the sigils and how the Atlanteans had evolved as far as they could go before Transition.  So, what if Danik urged Solusandra to create the Sigils as a way to evolve humans who were close to reaching that evolutionary plateau?  Then he gathers a bunch of them to perform Transition.  It's clear that humans are more powerful than Atlanteans (or could be at least).  It might be that Transition was focused on Charon and Appolyon rather than dispersed equally like with the Atlanteans, and that's why they're more powerful than Danik and Solusandra.  But let's say that humans would be more powerful.  Transition as Charon and Appolyon did it seemed like cheating.  It wasn't a spiritual perfection; it was a shortcut and it seems to have messed with the humans who went through it (and I'm super curious about them and what their lives were like and where they fit on the power-scale).  So, what if Danik then taught his hand-picked humans how to Transition the right way?  Then Sam could arguably be more powerful than Charon and take him out.  And he would have dozens of other really powerful Sigil-bearers to help him out.  Or maybe Transition would unleash enough energy to take out Negation space, Charon, or whoever.

Of course, as cool as it would be to see Sam wail on Charon in an equal fight, I also don't think Transition would've happened.  I think Danik would've intended for it to happen but when it came down to it, the Sigil-bearers couldn't do it.  You have the likes of Mordath and Ilahn, who could certainly put a wrench in the works.  But, also, I think Sam would balk when the time came.  He is tied to Zanni and his humanity.  That seems to be a big part of him.  So, I could see him being convinced this is the thing to do but not being able to do it in the end.  It would be interesting if there's such a thing as a half-Transition.  But probably it's a total failure.

I then think that they would go back to the soul-bomb idea but I definitely thought there would be roadblocks.  Appolyon wouldn't just hand it over.  Or if he does, he's modified it so that it messes things up somehow.  Or Charon discovers the soul-bomb and steals it away; the Sigil-bearers have to find a way to get it back.  Or find a missing part to make the soul-bomb work.  What if that part was Capricia and Sam's baby?  I feel like they were hinting at a moral dilemma that was never delivered, so this could certainly be that.  Then they'd have to find a way to get the soul-bomb to work and save the child.  (Another thing I really wanted was for Sam to learn about Danik's deception regarding Capricia and the baby.)

I actually wanted Charon to survive but as a human.  I thought he was actually kind of fun, and it would be interesting to see him as human again.  I also thought there would be more time spent on taking out Negation warriors.  There are Lawbringers and Negation soldiers who have some characterization and they could certainly introduce more.  It's more than enough to allow for some drawn-out fight-scenes.  Certainly, I really liked the parallel between the First and the Lawbringers.  We've spent a lot of time with the First so it would've been nice to see more of an actual war with them -- a series of battles where tactics are needed and there's downtime to figure stuff out.

Given that more time was needed, I figured that the war would come to different planets and at least one of our heroes' planets should be wiped out.  I wasn't sure how they would include the Sigil-bearers from the less technological worlds -- not when it appeared there would be highly skilled invasions like the one we saw on Earth.  It sounds like they were doing that on other worlds.  The Negation warriors would have blasters or guns and high speed transports, and an entire army against one or two Sigil-bearers per world.  I figured maybe Sam would have to grab them and get them all up to speed.  I actually thought more of them would have a problem with finding out about other worlds and high technology and all of that but it seems that they just handwave these difficulties.

I also figured that one of our heroes had to die.  Negation has set the tone of killing off characters but I still figured that they would save a lot of the deaths for later and that they would be big-impact moments.  I also figured that many would survive because I didn't realize they were going to do a scorched earth policy where they were rebooting everything.  Given the premise that they were going to continue the titles they had (sans one or two to steamline things), I figured they wouldn't kill off too many but I also figured they definitely would kill a few important characters.  Like I said, I was pretty sure Danik would die but also unsure about this because he represents so many interesting characters across the Sigil-verse.  I figured that Solusandra would pick up the slack from where he left off.  And I did figure that Appolyon would likely still be out there as a big bad to be dealt with at some future time (if he wasn't taken care of after he became an impediment during the attempt to get the soul-bomb).

Then the characters leftover would go back to their titles and continue on with more knowledge of the universe but their own problems still waiting to be fixed.  That does seem a little lame.  I was never entirely sure what the purpose of Negation War was when it was published and I didn't know about the stuff going on behind the scenes.  I think I would've been blindsided by the 4 remaining issues.  It doesn't seem like any of the characters I'd invested my time and emotions in would really get a proper send-off.  That would make it feel more like a war -- casualties and messiness and no good wrap-up -- but I don't think they really made clear what they were going for.

Still, the possibility of a different kind of war is out there.  Regardless of what they intended, the only issues published show that only Raamia was killed.  I would be really curious to see Sam as the leader he was groomed for.  And to see Kaine trying to get one over on Appolyon, as I feel like Kaine is the only one who takes his threat seriously and Appolyon seems to go with the Negation setup.  I thought it would be interesting to see Ethan's world getting invaded.  They're high tech enough to figure out what's going on but they've just fought two devastating wars.  It would be good for Ethan to mobilize his world and show his leadership skills, which seems to be what he was being groomed for.

Like I said, I thought Sephie wasn't going to participate, which made me think that some other Sigil-bearers might also bow out of the big event.  I figured Cassie would have something to do with Appolyon and the soul-bomb thing.  Crux and the Atlanteans would be on the front lines of the fighting as a distraction or they would help with the Transition of the Sigil-bearers.  I figured Ruse would have a bigger role.  There's a portal there that I felt might end up being useful somehow.  Or there's information Simon could figure out.  I figured Simon would have more of a role getting information but that it would still somehow be set in a Victorian-age and not on a spaceship (though that would be gold to see) and he would figure out something about Lawbringers, Charon, or the soul-bomb that would prove useful in bringing down Charon and his forces.

That's kind of what I had so far.  I've been going through my old issues a title at a time so I might come up with more as I read them.  Some of them are a little fuzzy.  I wanted to go over these ideas once I'd read everything and had it all down in my head.  All the information about Danik and Charon is scattered throughout all the titles so I wanted to get to them all (and make primers for all of them).  Now, I'm not sure what to think with this new information of what was intended.  I guess, it's nice to know how things would've panned out.

And then I would've ignored it because the Negation War outline looks like it's in desperate need of fix-it fic. ^_^

PENCILS for NEGATION WAR #3

PAGE 23



PAGE 7


PAGE 9



PAGE 10


PAGE 11


PAGE 15


PAGE 17


PAGE 19


PAGE 22



According to these, it looks like issue 3 spends a lot of time with the Sigil-bearers (probably getting them on board with the war and getting them up to speed).  That's nice to see, as there's probably some more character development than was in the Outline.  I've put page "23" in the beginning because it looks more like page 2 and 3 to me.  Negation War appears to have 22 pages and Negation War 2 has 23.  Page 22 of the pencils looks more like a good punch ending for an issue (and more in line with the Outline).  If Evinlea is supposed to die with Sam, then "23" must happen before page 22 and it looks like a good place near the beginning, especially given how issue 2 ended.

Anyway, it appears that Ilahn and Mordath are disputing with Sam (perhaps challening his right to rule?).  Kaine is part of the group (and I wonder if it's an issue here that he's not a Sigil-bearer).  Clearly Danik merges with his Negation Avatar, so that suggests that he explains who he is and Giselle, Ethan, and the others now know about their Avatars.  Danik then clearly leaves Sam in charge and goes to talk to Appolyon.  The Sigil-bearers then are shown teleporting to Elysium and entering the fight (but this is fairly late in the issue).  Sam isn't fighting and approaches a First (who looks like Evinlea when she made herself into a guy to temp Charon).  So, that's probably Evinlea, who then takes him out.  I would imagine a lot of the missing pages are battle-scenes.

Assuming I'm right about page 23, then this pretty much confirms at least the first part of the Outline.


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