Wednesday, December 27, 2006

26. XIII written by Van Hamme drawn by Vance

XIII is one of Van Hamme (and Europe's) most succesful bande-dessinées. It is a story about a young man who wakes up on a New England beach with no memory, except for a fine physique, extreme skill at kicking ass and a tatoo of the roman numeral for XIII. It takes place during the 60s, mostly in the United States and each album peels back another layer in a conspiratorial onion surrounding a complex plot to assassinate the president. XIII is Van Hamme's fantastic interpretation of the Kennedy assassination.

XIII left me a bit cold. It has some cool storylines and captures that pre-Nixon paranoia quite nicely, but the conspiracy is so deep that it just started to become a bit preposterous. The main character, XIII, finds out that he is actually a totally different person than he previously thought he was at least 4 times! It's quite clever the way it all works, I think, because it seemed to hold together. But it just became too confusing and I started to stop caring, after the the third badguy leader of the conspiracy was revealed and vanquished.

They made a video game out of XIII and I think there might be a movie. If you are interested in the period and the conspiracy genre, than XIII definitely has to be included in your research. As a comic, I found it below the level of Van Hamme's best work such as Thorgal and Les Maitres de l'Orge.

XIII cover picture


Anonymous said...

I think I remember the video game as a fairly well reviewed first-person-shooter.

OlmanFeelyus said...

The videogame was one of the first games to use that 2-d illustration style, kind of like roto-scoping. So I don't think it was a first person shooter in the classic sense.

Unknown said...

You might be interested in this post regarding the wrapping up of XIII: