With the Spatio-Temporal Service no more, Valerian and Laureline are forced into taking on other paid work in order to get by, and one such task has them delivering a package to the Orpher system. The planet is beset by warring tribes constantly at one-another’s throats, although the first people they encounter are a travelling band of players who use their individual alien abilities to entertain audiences. Abandoned by their patron, they’re grateful for the protection Valerian and Laureline can offer, although it’s not long before they’re all besieged by the natives and are forced into a direct confrontation, and capture. Fortunately their captors are the intended recipients of the package Valerian carries, but to their dismay the delivery seems to be just the start, not the end, of their problems.
Although this is a planet of war caught in a cycle of destruction, the natives never quite feel aggressive enough, presumably because their blinkered outlook and self-destructive nature is underscored by their mild stupidity. Consequently you never really feel anyone’s at threat and this one’s being played slightly more for the laughs, and none more so than the alien performers, of which the nigh-indestructible rock-eating Doum A’Goum being the most enjoyable of them all.
Mézières and Christin again show us an imaginative corner of their broad and colourful universe which can’t help but fuel the anticipation for the forthcoming movie. Their adventures in space are quite unlike anyone else’s, and it’s for this reason alone that you should give them your attention.
And if you liked that: Plenty more Valerian and Laureline at www.cinebook.com