A Comic Book company that flourished briefly in the early oughties, then crashed and burned rather spectacularly. Its conceit was a Shared Universe comprised of books in many different genres, all fitting together to create a huge Myth Arc that early Word of God insisted would be at least five years in the making.Founded sometime in 1998, CrossGen started publishing four comics series (dubbed by fans the "four core" books) in early 2000:
- Mystic, a story of magic and mysticism drawn in a conspicuously Art Nouveau style.
- Sigil, a Space Opera humans vs. aliens story starring embittered ex-soldiers rediscovering their ideals.
- Scion, a sci-fantasy story set in a techno-feudal world.
- Meridian, a Coming-of-Age Story set in a Renaissance-style world with naturally buoyant islands.
- The First, the extraordinarily powerful beings who consider themselves the Sigilverse's gods, who discover that these new Sigil-Bearers can siphon off their power and set out to destroy them.
- Crux, set on Earth and thereby revealing the Sigilverse to be taking place roughly a hundred thousand years in the future.
- Sojourn, a Heroic Fantasy title exploring the idea of an evil, tyrannical Sigil-Bearer.
- Ruse, a Victorian-style Detective Drama whose connection to the overarching mystery is...well, mysterious.
- Negation, a Mirror Universe that does not obey the rules of physics, where a Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits kidnapped from the Sigilverse are chased by the Big Bad of the Myth Arc.
- The Path, a Sigil-Bearer story set on a Samurai world.
- Way Of The Rat, a Kung-Fu story featuring mythological weapons and described as a "book-end" of The Path.
- Route 666, a horror story related to Negation in an initially obscure way.
- Brath, a Sigil-Bearer Captain Ersatz of, not Conan the Barbarian, but Robert E. Howard's similar character Bran Mak Morn.
- Solus, the title meant to expose the mysteries behind the Sigilverse and reward loyal fans with some concrete answers.
- El Cazador and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, both books set in the Sigilverse's "past."
Tropes found in the Sigilverse as a whole include:
- Call to Adventure: All the Sigil-bearers get a glowy tattoo and strange powers foisted on them without warning. Adventure ensues.
- Comes Great Responsibility: With glowy tattoo comes glowy responsibility, whether you want it or not.
- Crisis Crossover: The last two comics of the original Sigilverse were Negation War, which was going to consist of all the sigil-powered heroes fighting the villains of the anti-sigil-verse. Alas, the company went under at that point.
- Negation War itself was rushed into print prematurely when it became clear the company wasn't going to last much longer. Literal (meta) crisis crossover?
- Cut Short: One of the most infamous examples. The company's financial collapse meant the sprawling, epic Myth Arc went unresolved. This example is so bad that even a short miniseries meant to give some semblance of an ending ended up getting nipped before it could finish.
- Evil Chancellor: Many of the sigil-bearers acquired enemies. Those enemies often then acquired mysterious advisors with strange powers. These advisors were usually members of The First, who didn't trust this whole sigil-giving thing.
- Fanservice: The early issues of the core four were rife with it, including PantyShots and Absolute Cleavage. However, a few months in, the creators convinced the senior editor that the books would sell on their innate strengths, and didn't need to pander. You can identify this moment, because all the main female characters suddenly put more clothes on.
- Fanwork Ban: Enacted because of Rule 34. Not always obeyed.
- Power Tattoo: The sigil itself, a yellow/red yin/yang-ish symbol that grants great power. Some people get variants, such as the double-tailed orange sigil in Crux, or the negative-space "N" symbol of the Negation.
- What Could Have Been: Plans were made for a pair of tabletop roleplaying games set in the Sigilverse, one d20, one GURPS. They both bogged down in contract negotiations.