When a civilization falls, something must take it’s place. This time a man has arisen to fill that void. Khaal has the ambition and the drive. Does he have the ability?
Titan has collected and is releasing the four issues of the French comics classic: Khaal as a trade. This is a great translation that is on point and features some amazing art.
Civilization across the galaxy crashed as the Empyreon fell in a civil war that wiped out planets and who survivors were reduced to such a primitive state that their history was lost to myths and forgotten. There is one last remnant of the empire, a prison ship drifting through space, where the great-great grandchildren continue to serve out their ancestors sentences. So many generation have served that they no longer know that they are on a spaceship.
The ship is divided into three section each under control of one of the empire’s primary races. Khaal controls the human part and has ambitions on the rest of his artificial world. His enemies fear that he is ruthless enough to try to take over their sections and their armies fear the quick breeding multitudes of humans.
But they think they may have discovered Khaal’s weakness. Can they exploit it before it is too late?
One of the things that they don’t know is that something beyond their spaceship world is calling Khaal and feeding his ambition. What will happen when they meet? Will they join forces or will one conqueror devour another? What does that mean for any survivors?
Stephane Louis and Valentin Sécher have taken many familiar elements and crafted a new story from them. They don’t feed the cliches. They smartly subvert them to tell a new kind of story. Khaal is initially presented as some sort of Conan stand in, but they quickly show him to be something more. He has hidden depths of sophistication, but he never lets that get in the way of his brutal ambitions. In fact, he uses that as one of many tools to get his way.
Sécher’s arty remains consistently gorgeous throughout the story. His art is a high fantasy-style familiar to anyone who ever read an issue of Heavy Metal, but is is also grounded in the reality that he creates.
This is a really great story. If you love space operas and Conan, but missed the individual issues that Titan put out earlier this year, than this trade was made for you.
Writer: Stephane Louis
Artist: Valentin Sécher
Colors: Delphine Rieu
Publisher: Titan Comics