The Sigilverse, also known as the CrossGen Universe, is a fictional shared universe which served as a setting for most titles published by CrossGen Comics. Except for El Cazador, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and a handful of flashbacks, all CrossGen Universe titles are set in the future (the 900th century to be precise). Recognizing that tightly interconnected shared universes such as the Marvel Universe and the DC Universe tended to confuse and alienate new readers, the creators of the CrossGen Universe set most titles on separate planets. That way, characters from different series wouldn't bump into each other on a regular basis (as often happens in other shared universes). Still, there were connections. Some of them were obvious. Others could only be found through careful observation.
CrossGen ultimately published 467 comics set in the Sigilverse (plus a few non-story promotional comics) before bankruptcy ended the company's publishing operations. Disney, which purchased CrossGen's intellectual property, has expressed little to no interest in reviving the Sigilverse, its settings or characters. However, Disney has licensed reprint rights to several Sigilverse titles to the Checker Book Publishing Group for publication starting in early 2007.
Beginnings of the Sigilverse
The basic set-up of the Sigilverse was sketched out in CrossGen's earliest releases, including the CrossGenesis one-shot and the initial issues of Crossgen Chronicles, Mystic, Sigil, Scion, and Meridian. These comics introduced several human-inhabited planets, each very different than the others. For instance, Mystic took place on Ciress, a world much like Earth during the Jazz Age, but where magic was common, while Scion was set on Avalon, a feudal society with fantastic technology. None of these worlds were aware of the others' existence.
In CrossGenesis, two unrevealed orange-eyed entities, later dubbed "Creator" and "Mentor," look over these worlds, which Creator claims to have created. She is despondent over what she perceives as stagnation throughout the universe. Mentor advises (or manipulates) Creator into changing a single individual on each world, giving them immense power in the hope that this will destabilize the moribund societies out of their torpor. Creator did this by taking corporeal form and touching a single individual; where she touched, she left her mark, the sigil. This was a red and yellow symbol not unlike the yin and yang; the CrossGen logo was also based on this sigil. Although these early titles concerned only the sigil-bearers for these four worlds, later CrossGen titles revealed that Creator had empowered dozens more, at least. The identities of Creator and Mentor were revealed much later.
In the following issues, each of these Sigil-Bearers did develop tremendous powers, although such power manifested in different ways. For instance, Samandahl Rey of Sigil could morph matter into different shapes while Giselle Villard of Mystic gained the powers of her world's magical spirits. Later-appearing sigil-bearers introduced in other titles had other powers, such as the ability to convince others to follow their suggestions or to understand any piece of technology merely by looking at it.
The appearance of the sigil-bearers is observed by the entities known as The First. These are the gods of the Sigilverse, not unlike the pantheons of human mythology. The First are separated into two philosophically-divided groups, House Dexter and House Sinister. They, falsely, believe that they created the Sigilverse and all its worlds, and they are shocked to discover the sigil-bearers, who draw their power from some other, older source. This leads to changes in the First's society as well, as various First try to learn more about the sigil-bearers and use their powers to the First's advantage.
Most of the first year's worth of Sigilverse titles concerns the Sigil-bearers dealing with the changes brought on by their sigils, sometimes assisted or harried by members of the First sent to learn more about them. Each sigil-bearer is also accompanied by a mentor, an orange-eyed companion who, like the Mentor from CrossGenesis, both assists and cajoles the sigil-bearer into pursuing various paths. Each mentor, however, is very different from the others both in appearance and personality. As revealed in later titles, similar mentors exist on many other planets, accompanying not only other sigil-bearers but other important individuals as well.
Secret history of the Sigilverse
- Main article: Timeline of the Sigilverse
The history of the Sigilverse begins hundreds of centuries ago on a small blue planet called Earth. Inhabiting this planet was a race of beings known as the Atlanteans with a long and distinguished history. Atlantean society, at the height of technological and spiritual enlightenment, performed 'transition' and ascended to a higher plane of existence. Staying behind were those that were unworthy to ascend and others who had volunteered to watch over the human race.
The ramifications of 'transition' were cataclysmic, leaving the remaining Atlanteans suspended in stasis and Atlantis in ruins at the bottom of the ocean. The Atlanteans, in stasis, could not watch over the human race as they had intended.
Humankind developed free of Atlantean guidance, at its own pace and in its own direction. 300 centuries later, humanity attempted a technology-based 'transition' initiated by Robert Charon and Nathan Appolyon; rather than a higher plane of existence, this threw most of humanity into the universe known as the Negation.
This did not necessarily initiate an era of calm spirituality.
- Arcadia (Ruse)
- Avalon (Scion)
- Ciress (Mystic)
- Delassia (Sigil)
- Demetria (Meridian)
- Earth (Crux, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, El Cazador)
- Elysia (The First)
- Erebus (Route 666)
- Gaia (Sigil)
- Han-Jin (The Path, Way of the Rat, Brath)
- Serevan (Chimera)
- Quin (Sojourn)
- Tanipal (Sigil)
- Tcharun (Sigil)
Major political groups
- The Chimeran Imperium (Chimera)
- House Dexter and House Sinister (The First)
- The Five Lands (Sojourn)
- The Island State of Cadador (Meridian)
- The Heron Dynasty (Scion)
- The Empire of Nayado (The Path)
- The Planetary Union (Sigil)
- The Raven Dynasty (Scion)
- The Saurian Hegemony (Sigil)
- The Seven Guilds of Ciress (Mystic)
- The August Empire of Shinacea (The Path)
Sentient races of the Sigilverse
- The First
- Human Beings
- "Lesser Races"
- Transcendent Atlanteans