Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Ice Age #1-4, part deux

This is the conclusion of my look at the Ice Age comic. You can find the summary and review of the story here. In this installment I'll cover the continuity and timeline issues associated with it.

Let's start with the really big question: Is this comic even still in continuity? Two weeks ago we looked at the comics telling the story of Antiquities and I said they were no longer canon because the novel The Brothers' War replaced them. This isn't a controversial statement. The novel says as much in its introduction, it covers exactly the same things as the comics, and later stories are build upon the novel, not the comic. The replacement is thus complete and neatly done.

The situation surrounding Ice Age is a bit more complex. Wizards released the novel The Eternal Ice, but it only tells the story of Kjeldor's battle against Lim-Dûl. It does so in a way that completely contradicts issue two of the comic. The Summit of the Null Moon is not shown, but Freyalise does pop in every now and again and in the end she casts the World Spell and there are allusions to the events of the comic. For example, at the casting of the World Spell Kolbjörn and a girl the main characters think must be his adopted daughter show up, a clear reference to Kaysa. Tevesh Szat's plan to freeze Dominaria isn't shown either, but at one point Arcum Dagson turns up with his magical weathervane, which foretells the winter lasting forever, a hint that Szat's plan still happened behind the scenes. Later, in Invasion, Szat confirms this.

My preference is to say that The Eternal Ice just replaced issue two of Ice Age, and that the other three issues are still in continuity. Mostly this works out fine. Unfortunately Lim-Dûl has a few cameo appearances in issues three and four, and becomes a main character again in the Shandalar comic. Those appearances can't be squared with The Eternal Ice in any way, so we're caught between a rock and a hard place here. Either we say the last two issues of Ice Age are still in continuity, but riddled with continuity errors, or we strike them from continuity, but then we're left with the bizarre situation where some of the most important events in the canon are not told in any in-continuity stories.

For my project I have decided the first is the lesser of two evils. Thus I've still put the Ice Age comics on my timeline, except for issue two, and in this entry I'll list which parts of them are contradicted by The Eternal Ice.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Ice Age #1-4, part one

Ice Age #1-4
This review turned out waaaaaay longer than I planned, so I've decided to cut it in two. Today you'll get my review and all the trivia. Monday I'll put up the continuity and timeline discussion.

"Feast of Kjeld was a short story which appeared in The Duelist #5. We'll get to that eventually.

Issue One
We start smack bang in the middle of the Ice Age, with the kingdom of Storgard about to be swallowed by glaciers. Really only the capital is still standing. The white and green clans (because every Magic society worth its salt is structured around the color wheel, obviously) want to leave and set up shop elsewhere. Unfortunately the king worships the living god Tevesh Szat, who advises him to stage a duel between champions of those who are in favor of leaving, and those who believe heading out through the wastes is suicide. Two childhood friends, Freyalise of Clan Ruby and Jason Carthalion of Clan Emerald, are chosen. Szat manipulates the fight, so that it causes massive destruction to Storgard itself. Freyalise apparently dies (though we know she’ll actually ascend, and take up the use of green mana, like Jason) and the white and green clans head southwards. King Miko heads back inside the ruined Storgard, ironically thinking it’s the leavers that are fools.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Fallen Empires #1-2

Fallen Empires #1-2

We open in medias res, with orcs and goblins slaughtering their way through the last stronghold of the dwarves. Their leader, Kaylen, is killed. His human lover, Tymolin Loneglade, flees to her planeswalker brother Tev. She wants him to remove the spells that keep her young. He refuses, convincing her that at the very least they must first journey to Icatia to warn them of the orc/goblin threat.

Meanwhile, Oliver Farrel, who apparently was once spurned by Tymolin, is whipping up crowds against the Ebon Hand, and convinces them that the immortally young Tym is Tourach, incarnate. When the Farrelites attack Tym and Tev the two escape, but get separated. Tev, perhaps due to hearing of his sisters liaisons with Farrel, perhaps due to seeing parallels between the warmongering Empires and the Brothers' War... goes a bit coo coo.

Funny, Sarkhan develops scales after going sane, Tev goes the other way!

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Antiquities War #1-4, Urza-Mishra War #1-2

Antiquities War #1-4
Urza-Mishra War #1-2

Writer - Jerry Prosser
Penciller - Paul Smith (AW #1), Phil Hester (AW #2, 3, 4), J. Dekker (AW #3), Tom Mandrake (U-MW #1,2), Bill Sienkiewicz (U-MW #1,2)
Finisher/Inks - Tom Ryder (AW #1-4)
Color - Michael Tuccinard (AW #1-4), Atomic Paintbrush (U-MW #1, 2)
Letterer - Adam Niedzwiecki (AW #1-4), Kenny Martinez (U-MW #1, 2)
Covers - George Pratt (AW #1-4), Bill Sienkiewicz (U-MW #1, 2)

Phew... after all that, let's quickly get into the story itself!

Urza and Mishra are raised by the archaeologist Tocasia, hunting the desert for artifacts of the ancient Thran empire. In the Caves of Koilos they find a big machine that creates two powerstones, the Mightstone and the Weakstone. (Not to be confused, as I sometimes do, with the Meekstone, despite its alliterative appeal.) The brothers each get one, but grow obsessed with having the other. A few years later they fight it out by shooting energy beams at each other from their stones, but the resulting explosion kills Tocasia. The brothers each go their own way. Urza marries the princess of Kroog, becoming that kingdom’s royal artificer. Mishra is made a slave to the Fallaji desert nomads, but after a trippy dream three Dragon Engines from Phyrexia appear. With those under his command, he quickly rises through the ranks of the Fallaji. As both Kroog and the Fallaji learn of the power of Thran artifacts from the brothers, tensions between them rise over who is allowed into the desert where they are buried.After the king of Kroog tries to kill the Fallaji delegation during a conference in Korlis, the conflict flares into actual war.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Elder Dragons #1-2

Elder Dragons #1-2


In issue 2 Jessica Kindziersko is credits for "Colors" alongside Digital Chameleon

We start in the town of Mors Ridge, where a warlord, Red Donald, demands to station his troops. The locals are apprehensive about this, since “The Tickery” must not be interfered with. It is explained to Donald that 80 years ago a small girl wandered into a cave and found two dragons: Palladia-Mors and Chromium Rhuell. Chromium befriended her, but Palladia was just annoyed. When the locals came looking for the kid, they thought the dragons were evil and attacked, which was all the excuse Palladia needed to go on a rampage. Nothing could stop her, until a mysterious passing stranger cast a spell that put her to sleep. Ever since, the townsfolk have been keeping Palladia down with their Tickery. Donald doesn't believe the story. When a magical storm picks up his Dragon Whelp familiar convinces him to start digging canals in the ridge.  You can probably guess where this is going…

Let sleeping dragons lie, don't start digging canals on their back.