We have reached the end of Sovereign‘s first arc and, if I had to guess, this will ultimately be the end of the book for quite a while. The trade doesn’t hit until December according to artist Paul Maybury (which is when we’ll probably get more news, from what I’ve heard), and Maybury is being pulled away to draw Valhalla Mad with Joe Casey. The future of this title is up in the air, so all we can do now is look at the most revent issue. After all these months of slow, plodding pacing to get to this point, is it good?
Sovereign #5 (Image Comics)
Now, you know all of those people we have been following? All of their stories and subplots? Well, forget all about them because they aren’t important. What is an important now is this unnamed woman and the situation she is in. She is a part of this long caravan run by the Brigands, who have kidnapped her and several other women from villages that they have wiped out. Our unnamed woman is getting madder and madder, and she’s about to explode.
If that’s the case, you should be burning up right now.
I must admit, I was not remotely expecting this. I was not expecting the main story to be tossed aside for this random one-shot about a character we never seen before and does not appear like it’ll be affecting the story in any way. It seems more like it’s supposed to build up the mythology of the world and other aspects of it. In a way, that’s a good idea, but unfortunately the story here is rather weak. We don’t really learn anything new about this world until the very end, and even then we just get a bunch of extra terms tossed around so that we learn them. It all just feels like filler at this point.
The story here is pretty straightforward and there are really no surprises to it. You can probably guess what’ll happen from just reading the first few pages of the comic (the only thing that was surprising was that it didn’t happen sooner). There’s no real characterization outside of the unnamed lead, who can be summed up as, “all that matters is survival and I’m mad as hell.” Not much else beyond that or even many glimpses into her past, since she seems intent on forgetting it. There’s not a whole of depth for us to really dive into here with the story or the characters.
Chris Roberson’s writing is alright otherwise. The pacing is decent, the storytelling works, and the narration and dialogue work perfectly well. The ending is pretty bland and unremarkable though, as a character just gives this generic speech about forging their own destinies and making it on their own. I think that’s ultimately the biggest problem with the issue itself: it’s just so unremarkable. We don’t know when the next issue will be coming out, especially with the artist now committed to a completely different project. To end the story for the foreseeable future with such a boring issue after a big cliffhanger last issue is pretty weak. It feels like the book is going to lose any momentum and just fizzle out at the rate this story is moving in.
Maybury’s artwork works just fine, feeling a bit more polished and refined than previous issues, but doesn’t get to stretch as much as usual. There’s no real creative or unique idea, story element, or such here that allows the artist to do something visually interesting (besides the climax and one monster design). The characters are the same as usual, the layouts are merely okay, and the coloring is fine. Just not much here to really get into. Just so… lackluster.
Is It Good?
Sovereign #5 is a simple one-shot that’s honestly forgettable and not exciting or engaging. It’s generic, doesn’t progress the story or add much to the universe, and ultimately leaves the series on a rather boring note for now. There’s just nothing here to really recommend unless you’re a true diehard fan of the series.