erasing clouds

by tony doug wright

Ellium: Sword of the Dragon, Jason Moser and Dave Reynolds (Genome Studios)

A supernatural sword, a secretive governmental agency and a few cyber-gorillas are all part of Jason Moser and Dave Reynolds work Ellium: Sword of the Dragon. This graphic novel release from Genome Studios is an action-paced blend of Alias and The Matrix.

Ellium follows the adventures of a young woman named Angelica Cain. Her life changes drastically when she receives a package containing a legendary sword that belongs to her father. Angelica also discovers a letter in the package written by her father. He writes that his life is in grave danger and she must protect the sword at all costs. Angelica begins a journey to find her father or at least find out what happened to him. She knows nothing about the sword or her father.

Angelica soon discovers that there are two groups fighting for possession of the sword. The first group is a bizarre army of demons and ghouls led by a female demi-god named Riel. They will do anything to gain possession of the sword, even killing Angelica or her father. But Riel and her cronies must deal with Ellium, a mysterious agency that is sworn to protect humanity and the sword. Angelica reluctantly joins the ranks of Ellium and does what she can to fight Riel and find her father.

While the plot of Ellium sounds interesting, the story has a few flaws along the way. First, some of Angelica's dialogue is somewhat basic creating a one-dimensional character. A main character should have depth and it is hard to find that when their wittiest of retorts are "You stupid bitch" and "Christ, will you just die already!"

Secondly, the character development for some of the others in Ellium is a tad bit disappointing. Two intriguing characters (who will remain unnamed to avoid running the story) with tremendous potential for development are killed off rather quickly. It almost seems that these people are sacrificed for the sake of action.

Finally, it seems that the action sequences in Ellium are taken to the point of overkill. There is nothing wrong with a great battle but character and plot development are essential. Ellium does have some great action sequences but they are overshadowed by other unnecessary action sequences.

Moser and Reynolds have a good story with Ellium: Sword of the Dragon. Writers and artists must capture the readers' attention but it does not take pages upon pages of gun and sword battles to turn the page to the next sequence of events. It is filled with action and plot twists making an entertaining story for those who enjoy a fast-paced graphic novel. Angelica Cain is a strong main character and hopefully Moser and Reynolds will give her more development in future issues.

Issue 25, July 2004

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