Crux: Test of Time
by Mark Waid, Steve Epting
(CrossGen, 2002)

Collecting issues 7-12 of the ongoing series, Test of Time is even better than Atlantis Rising. One of the reasons I've grown to love this series so much is that each character has a distinct personality and that aspect comes across very well.

The scene where the Atlantean group reveals one of its storytelling rituals is a great touch by Mark Waid and his team. Not only does it reveal something of the culture of Atlantis but it gives added clues to each character's personality and the way they view their current situation -- fighting for their survival against a foe they can neither understand nor communicate with. The question of what happened to species homo sapiens is answered only partially. And those questions that are answered lead to yet more mysteries.

Moral and ethical questions are also raised. If you could go back in time would you try to avert a disaster if you could? Would you still do so knowing that while you might save some people it would mean a much greater number would suffer and possibly die in the future that would not have done so before? These are only some of the dilemmas confronting the Atlanteans. And it is very interesting to see that the mysterious stranger is not the over-arching god-like being Atlantis Rising at first implies. Even he is surprised when some things do not turn out quite as he planned.

Crux is a science fiction and fantasy fan's tale and comes highly recommended, particularly for people who enjoy character-driven stories.

- Rambles
written by Dana Fletcher
published 22 March 2003

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