1555506_579149838845048_1845306778_n.jpgJuventas is a character created for a fan fiction crossover story written (and reposted with permission) by Sarah Driffill of Princess Chroma fame. She wrote the story for the Webcomic Underdogs forum's "Valentines' Day Love Children" contest, which involved genetic mash-ups between the webcartoonists' creators. Juventas is the daughter of Queen Juno (a prominent background character in Princess Chroma) and Jens Larson (whose role since Ruby's World has been largely minor).


Analysis


Due to its nature as crossover fan fiction, Juventas is not in the canon of either the Ruby Saga or Princess Chroma, but it offers an interesting comparison between the two series. Where Ruby Nation is a deconstruction of Kid Hero stories, Princess Chroma is a more affectionate parody of the Magical Girl genre. Prior to the attack of the Monochromes within the series, the world of Elysium is a straightforward utopia, as opposed to the often-bleak world of the Ruby Saga, or even the cold-hearted, authoritarian utopian ideals behind Beagle Labs. The story examines this through the eyes of Jens, who is not a post-human self but an important witness to (and victim of) his world's excesses.

Jens' conflict in the story is largely internal, between his desire for Juno and his loyalties towards Ruby Harrison (even though Ruby has long since stopped seeing Jens as a romantic match, in favor of Jiro Sasaki). Unfortunately for Juno, Jens' experience means that his loyalties lie with what he knows as real, and the purpose that gives him. A particularly poignant line has Jens resenting his magical replacement leg in Elysium, preferring the obvious prosthetic he had in his own world. That fake leg, "earned" for saving the stray cat Colt from the monsters in Ruby's World Finale, is a badge of honor for him, unmistakeable evidence of one of his good deeds (in his opinion, one of his few good deeds), and part of his identity. Because disability is such a key thematic component of the Ruby Saga, this sums up the series' (unfortunately) unique take on identity and heroism in a nutshell.

The whole story can be read Here. It requires minimal to no prior knowledge of Princess Chroma, but you should be reading that comic anyway, because it is always engaging and hilarious, and offers some of the best uses of color and greyscale effects in webcomics.

Trivia


  • The kitten the infant Juventas plays with may be a reference to the artist's other comic, Poet Kitties. Or it may just be a reference to the fact that good people tend to love cats, and people who don't like cats tend not to be worth anyone's time.
  • This is the first Ruby Nation crossover story, followed by The M9 State by Rulo Potamo and the Author.