Suspended Animation: The Metabarons

Wednesday, October 11th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Review by Mark Allen

What do you get when you combine aspects of a space opera with symbols from ancient Japan and the middle ages, along with solid storytelling, fantastic characterization, and eye-popping artwork? You get something that keeps a reader anxiously coming back to his local comic shop for more. You get a project which, having had a somewhat quiet launch, causes readers jumping on at the latest issue (#7) to clamor excitedly after the previous six. In short, you get The Metabarons, one of the best science fiction stories to come down the pike, in any form in years.

Creators Alexandro Jodorowsky and Juan Gimenez have done something that many comic professionals have failed to do; they have created an extremely entertaining series that is a perfect example of the kind of material that brings new readers into the genre. The original Metabaron, created by Jean Giraud (Moebius), appeared in The Incal, a series published by the Swiss company Les Humanoides Associes, in the early '90's. Readers do not, however, have to know anything about those early appearances in order to enjoy this intelligent, beautifully rendered series.

As fresh as it is riveting The Metabarons should appeal to those who enjoy good sci-fi, as well as fans of great super-hero action. The story of a galaxy's greatest warrior caste unfolds for the reader through two robotic characters; Tonto and Lothar. As the former relates the past adventures of Metabarons to his robotic partner, an excited Lothar asks questions likely in the minds of readers. These interludes provide a sometimes comedic release of tension in the midst of what is basically a tragic story. According to writer Jodorowsky, this serves to connect readers to the story, "..because it's as if he's a party to secrets between two robots, one of them just as much in the dark as the reader is." (Issue #1) It works. Find out how well by checking out your local comic shop's back issue bin.

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