Friday 27 March 2015

Megalex: The Complete Story by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Fred Beltran | review by Stephen Theaker

Megalex: The Complete Story (Humanoids), by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Fred Beltran, takes us to a world where the rich literally bathe in the blood of the hoi polloi, the clones who gather for their appointment with death at the age of forty. The children left behind are told to watch out for the magical food parcels that fall from the sky. The ruling family are an ancient wizened magican, his sorceress wife, and their vampire daughter. Only two parts of the world escape their dominion: the haunted forest and the deadly sea.

This bizarre world is of course ripe for disruption, and it comes in the gangly form of an overgrown clone soldier who escapes his routine termination and meets up with an improbably and presumably uncomfortably buxom member of the revolution. She’ll take him to their leader, get him trained up, and maybe even give him a nice cuddle if he’s a good boy.

The writer is Alexandro Jodorowsky, and it’s as wild and woolly as anyone who has read The Incal or The Metabarons would expect. His work for French publishers is much more mystical than we’re used to seeing in science fiction, his science fiction following the logic of dreams instead of the rules of physics. This collects all three volumes of the story, a fairly short run for a French graphic novel series, and there is definitely a sense of things being wrapped up swiftly in the latter third.

The art style changes too, moving from computer-generated to hand-drawn backgrounds and objects, though it’s quite possible I wouldn’t have noticed if the artist Fred Beltran hadn’t brought it up in the introduction. ***

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