Occasionally I get the chance to read foreign language books, and while my French and Spanish are nothing to write home about they are good enough to enjoy some of the amazing work that is out there. However, until I recently received Warship Jolly Roger – Revenge, I had not had the pleasure of enjoying this series. Luckily for my strained French language skills, the copy I received was also translated into English.
In Book 2 of Warship Jolly Roger; the crew of the Valkyrie, under the command of Colonel Jon Munro, are on the run from the government and the rebels who oppose them. Their exile status is a result of events which occurred in book 1. Munro, one of the governments most able captains, was framed for the wholesale slaughter and genocide of several rebel settlements by elements within the government. While the government enjoyed the destruction of these rebel outposts, they blamed the slaughter on Munro to shift blame from them and avoid the political fallout from the massacre. Munro and his crew are now outcasts, on the run from everyone as they seek a way out of their predicament. However, Munro’s crew is small and they are unable to adequately man the ship’s systems. That crew consists of Kowalski (A rogue and scavenger), Rinaldi (the captured daughter of the rebel leader who has grown loyal to Munro), and Thirteen (a mute teenage wunderkin with a preternatural gift for robotics).
As the story progresses, Munro resolves to find more crew-members in a bid to fully staff his ship. Meanwhile, Rinaldi’s mother has vowed to hunt Munro and his ship, The Valkyrie, to the ends of the universe. Finally, the corrupt government president of the confederation has started a new love affair. This affair, with a well-known holo-vid star, distracts the president from affairs of state. These affairs, including the little matter of an active rebellion, continue to escalate as Munro and his dysfunctional band trek towards a watery planet in search of crew. The President’s chief of staff, Rebecca, is particularly dissatisfied with this situation and in a surprise betrayal decides to run in the next presidential election. However, far from being a reformer, she proves to be just as manipulative and immoral as her mentor.
The Valkyrie eventually arrives at the research outpost of Djema and Roberto Touaref on the Planet Woss. The Touaref’s are renowned robotic’s experts and are conducting research on this remote planet. To aid them in their cause, they have brought along their greatest invention to date, humanotronics. Extremely powerful programmable androids, humanotronics were a military project that was eventually cancelled. Years previously, Munro had helped the couple of escape the military though the Touaref’s are not pleased to see him when The Valkyrie arrives. Eventually, Munro and the crew win the support if not the friendship of the Touaref’s. More importantly they get control of the humanotronics. Munro then unveils his grand plan, he intends to attack the presidential palace. While the humanotronics pilot and crew the ship, the human members of the crew will take that moment to escape and hopefully restart their lives. With the destruction of The Valkyrie almost assured, he hopes that they will be able to disappear. At the same time, the rebel forces also plan on attacking the president. What follows is an epic showdown with profound consequences for the various members of the crew as well as the fictional universe they inhabit.
Warship Jolly Roger is one of those book that you ask yourself how you missed after you read it. The story is engrossing and entertaining; combining moments of humor, passion, anger, hatred, love, lust and revenge. Meanwhile, the art is incredibly rendered and colored with precision and artistic excellence. The art style has a decidedly Gallic tone to it with its strong features and impeccable mustaches. Think a more mature, nuanced and refined version of Asterix the Gaul. In short, this book was utterly enjoyable and not one to be missed.
Writing – 5 of 5 Stars
Art – 5 of 5 Stars
Writing – Sylvain Runberg
Illustration – Miquel Montillo
Translation – Jeremy Melloul
Localization – Mike Kennedy