Tuesday, 15 March 2011

XIII Vol 6: The Jason Fly Case

I’m sure that if you are not familiar with the comic, you will at least be aware for the name of this series through the video game and television mini-series.
Briefly- our hero is an amnesiac with a tattoo reading XIII- and that’s pretty much all he knows. He soon finds himself embroiled in a conspiracy, as people in fiction in this situation almost always do.
Anyway, we’re picking up in volume six, which is a good place for new readers to begin, as it begins a new story arc, one where XIII is starting to pick up the threads of his past life- threads that bring him, in this episode, to the snowbound town of Green Falls.
As this is the first in a new arc, a lot of what is going on is set-up, with a new conspiracy being hinted at in the town and a whole new cast of characters being introduced. Of course the writing, by Jean Van Hamme, is brilliant, and we flash between the present and the past- without captions to tell the reader we’re doing so- with consummate ease.
As for the art… what can I say? I lost count of how many times I slowed down, or even stopped reading the dialogue altogether just so I could drink in the splendour of William Vance’s art.
My only complaint, if this could even be called a complaint, is that the book ends on a great cliff-hanger that leaves the reader desperate for more.

 XIII is published in the UK by Cinebook.

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