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by Thegreatmagnet on July 20, 2017

Sovereigns Written by Ray Fawkes
Sovereigns Art by Johnny Desjardins
Sovereigns Colos by Mohan
Turok Written by Chuck Wendig
Turok Art by Alvaro Sarraseca
Turok Colors by Triona T. Farrell
I will admit that I was getting slightly nervous while reading and evaluating the last issue of Sovereigns. While I certainly support the very ambitious and original story that they have chosen to tell with these characters, I found myself confused about the direction of the story and concerned about their ability to execute the intricate time travel narrative in an effective and satisfying manner. This issue feels like a big step forward in terms of revelations about the mysterious storyline, but also in terms of explaining the general premise, which was largely glossed over in the beginning of the series. And even though a big new element is added to the time travel narrative, the wealth of explanatory dialog leaves me less confused than the previous issue.
It’s fair to say that a pattern seems to be emerging in this series. In general, most of the issues have featured one of the Sovereigns on the “A” cover, who gets a significant character spotlight in the issue, wherein they discover or intuit significant revelations about the nature of their enemy, and each issue seems to conclude with the downfall of the featured character. This issue starts out with a fascinating passage relating Solar to Doctor Spektor using an analogy about the relationship between the sun and the moon, respectively. Solar’s scenes in this issue are extremely rewarding as she conducts a discussion with herself (Solar has kind of a weird hive mind type thing happening) and reasons her way through the growing mystery facing the Sovereigns. Although I’m still extremely curious about the nature of Solar’s identity and how she seems to conduct conversations with herself, I found this to be a very natural and effective way to roll out key tidbits to a confused reader. It’s now clear that Solar will embark on a journey back in time to deal with a threat that Magnus brought with him from the year 4000, which I would have to assume is connected with the primary antagonist of the series.
One of the most interesting aspects of this series is probably the relationship between the Sovereigns, at least those that coexist in the 2020 timeline. The initial characterizations of these relationships seemed to be one of mutual respect and the camaraderie of longtime allies. However, the deeper we get into this story, the more intrigue we seem to encounter. It seems that the Sovereigns largely don’t trust each other. Magnus wiped his own memory to obscure key information about his time travel (although we don’t yet know his motivation for doing so). We learn that Spektor was always hiding some secret knowledge about this situation, and delivered hints to Solar that were designed to evade Magnus. They make numerous references to the enemy being in their ranks, which may even apply to rogue elements within Solar’s hive consciousness. These characters stabilized a chaotic world years ago and assumed power for the collective good, but their alliance may have been fundamentally built on deception and subterfuge. I’m very excited to discover Magnus’ secret, which seems to be fundamental to the entire narrative, as if he brought the evil with him from the future.
In this issue, we also see Mighty Samson’s first spoken dialog, and it seems to support the theory that his storyline with the gold keys is somehow tied to the alternate versions of the characters that are featured in the various solo books (Magnus, Turok, Spektor). He explains that the world is sick and wrong and he is trying to fix things, and I would imagine that this is somehow connected to Magnus changing the course of history. It seems that once Samson delivers the final two keys to the bodies of Solar and Magnus, the mission will be complete, and they will have their intended effect. My assumption will be that they will use this narrative device to explain the even more different character adaptations in the forthcoming solo series, which makes me a bit sad: so far I’ve been much more interested in the Sovereigns iterations than in the three solo series, with the exception of Magnus. I’m digging Samson as a character, traveling through time on a mission to save all existence, and he’s tough to kill. Although it does make me nervous that he is featured on the cover of the next issue. Perhaps his new travel companion Andar will take up the quest if Samson falls.
The art in this series continues to be excellent. I was especially jazzed with Solar’s depictions, so her showcase in this issue was very welcome. Solar blazes on the page, especially thanks to Mohan’s colors. I love the choice to let the stunning reds and yellows glow around the character outlines, especially against the inky black of space. Samson and Andar also look great, and I enjoy the heavy, gloomy inks in these scenes. The art is clear and dynamic and very easy to follow.
I won’t waste too much time on the Turok back-up story. So far I just don’t see the point of this story, and it’s probably because they’ve made no effort to explain the premise. It seems like Planet of the Apes with dinosaurs, although I’m pretty sure that dinos have been extinct for hundreds of millions of years. I’m not really sure in what way this is Turok. Hopefully they will make a nominal attempt to explain the premise when they get to full-length issue, although I won’t hold my breath. But in fairness, the art is decent.
I think this issue was a big step in the right direction for this series, and I am hooked. Fawkes is doing a great job unveiling the many intriguing plot threads and backstories gradually and keeping the reader engaged, even if some elements remain unclear. Desjardins continues to deliver on the art. This is a solid book and I hope it doesn’t end anytime soon.

Our Score:


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