A Distant Soil

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A Distant Soil is an epic comic book series by Colleen Doran. It is a combination of science fiction and fantasy, combining Arthurian elements with a space story about a highly advanced alien society, from a world called Ovanan. Ovanan is inhabited by immortal, androgynous, psychic beauties, and ruled by a corrupt council called the Hierarchy. The Hierarchy draws it's power from a being called the Avatar, who is connected to what is called the Collective, and through it, every Ovanan mind. They control the Avatar, forcing him to kill or exile any children with power that could threaten the Hierarchy and the empire built and ruled by Ovanan.

One Ovanan man, Aeren, was exiled by the current Avatar, Seren, for being a Disruptor, which is the opposite of the Avatar in that while the Avatar manipulates the flow of energy through the world around them, a Disruptor disrupts the flow of energy. This power can be used to kill with a touch, short out machinery, or unlock any lock. Aeren was allowed to live, and escaped to Earth, where he married a human woman and had several children. Only two survived.

Liana and Jason, 15 and 17, have powers they don't understand and can't control. They are locked up in an institute for study. Liana has epilepsy, and her seizures appear to be linked to her powers. Together, they escape the institute, but are quickly separated. Liana is confronted by an Ovanan man who introduces himself as Rieken, and his companion, a mortal named D'mer, from a world conquered by Ovanan. Rieken explains that Liana has the powers of an Avatar, and as such is interfering with the current Avatar's ability to access and draw upon the power of the Collective. When Liana accidentally touched the Collective, the Hierarchy became aware of her existence, and sent a battleship, the Siovansin, to find and eliminate her. Rieken and D'mer are members of the Resistance, and want to overthrow the oppressive Hierarchy. They have come to Liana for help, and to protect her from the Hierarchy. She agrees to help, and Rieken and D'mer set off in search of more people to help them on their quest. Rieken is revealed to be the Avatar, Seren, who wishes to be free of the Hierarchy's control and remove them from power. He is keeping this a secret from his allies, believing they would not trust him if they knew.

Meanwhile, the Hierarchy has captured Jason, who is a Disruptor with a psychic link to his sister. He is tortured and nearly killed by Sere, a sadistic pedophile and a member of the Hierarchy. The Hierarchy believes him to be dead, and he is rescued by the Resistance, who recruit him and convince him to help them kill the Avatar. They are unaware that their leader, Rieken, is really the Avatar.

Rieken, D'mer, Liana, and their allies are taken aboard the Siovansin, the humans passing as new members of Rieken's household. Beys, a member of the Resistance, seduces Jason during his initiation, and uses crystals containing information about the mission to control his mind and actions. The two groups rush towards confrontation, with Liana and Jason caught in the middle.

Tropes used in A Distant Soil include:
  • Adult Child: Seren is at least a few centuries old, but retains a childlike personality and worldview in many situations. This tends to irritate his companions, especially D'mer.
  • Bi the Way: Seren and Aeren, and the rest of the Ovanan, really, but it isn't as apparent as with these two, who are actually shown in relationships with both genders.
  • Creepy Twins: Jason describes Liana and his twin older siblings as this. They were intentionally drawn to look very similar and have a creepy looking face.
  • Deadpan Snarker: D'mer, much to Seren's amusement.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: With the Ovanans.
  • Depraved Bisexual:
    • SERE. And possibly Emeris, but since the only person he's really shown interest in so far is D'Mer, he might just be a Depraved Homosexual.
    • Emeris has a Kimarian GIRL hanging off his legs.
  • Dirty Mind Reading: Poor Liana is mindlinked to both Seren and Jason. She sings "Mary Had A Little Lamb" to block out the thoughts she doesn't want to hear.


  • Everyone Is Bi: The Ovanan don't seem to care one way or the other about the gender of their lovers. This actually comes across as part of Humans Through Alien Eyes. (elaborated below)
  • Fair Folk: Dunstan, see below.
  • Geas: Dunstan mentions that he's under a Geas, he cannot reveal he's one of the Fair Folk while on mortal soil.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: A different example, where Rieken (undercover as a botanist) is amazed at a beautiful flower that grows on Earth. Liana meanwhile is surprised at this because it's a dandelion.
    • Likewise, Liana gets angry at Rieken for a rather intense night with Bast, and Rieken finds it weird that humans choose just one partner in their lifetimes.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Liana and Seren are hundreds of years apart.
  • Mayfly-December Romance: Seren and D'mer, Aeren and his human wife.
  • Nightmare Fuel: In-Universe -- Liana mentions destroying something and Jason wouldn't tell her what it was. These were unfertilized egg cells, implied to have been from Liana.
  • Papa Wolf: Sgt. Minetti.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Seren, Liana, and Jason, as well as every other Avatar and Disruptor that existed before them.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Could possibly have been a Trope Namer given its prevalence!