Valerian & Laureline Vol 8: Heroes Of The Equinox

By Mézières & ChristinValerian_8
Publisher: Cinebook
ISBN: 9781849182133

The people of Simlane are barren so the only way for them to obtain another generation is for them to partake in a trial at the time of the equinox where theie champions travel to a sacred island, and, if successful, return with a new horde of children. However, they’ve not been particularly successful of late, and worse, the population is so aged that they’re unable to take part any more. They must now rely on the best from other worlds, and of the four chosen on this occasion one is Earth, so it’s Valerian who must take the trial. Not that Laureline is particularly impressed with it all.

The other champions are hulking great brutes of heroic stature and prowess, each with their own talent and ideology. Valerian is somewhat dwarfed by their size and their magnificence, and by the end of the opening ceremony looks very much the puny human. Once on the island none of the heroes is faring well, although bombast and brute force push them through with Valerian finding his own way to beat the challenges. It’s not until the deciding task, though, that their true worth is tested.

There are two good reasons for buying this book. One is to enjoy Mézières artwork, from his grand temples and majestic buildings to his playful and experimental page layouts to chart the adversaries progress. The other is to appreciate Christin’s retort to the mindless, muscled heroes who only ever get a job done by fist, sword or gun. He’s clearly having fun with it, and the results are everything they should be.

Because of the very nature of the tale Laureline is very much sidelined in this one until the final act, but within the context of the story that’s fine. Possibly my favourite in the series so far.

And if you liked that: Volume 9 is coming soon

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