XIII   (Alias, 2005)

™ and ©2005 Dabel Brothers Production

A man washes up on shore with amnesia; the only clue to his identity, a XIII tattoo. Briefly, he finds peace with a retired couple that takes him in; then mysterious men attempt to kill him and everyone around him. His only friends dead, he decides to use his newly discovered talent for violence to avenge them—and the only way to do that is find out who he is. Soon, he’s on the trail of a deadly international conspiracy.

With a plot like that, you’d think the title would have Bourne in it—but, no, this English translation (though not, as the publisher claims, the first; in the ’90s, Catalan Communications published it under its short-lived Comcat imprint) of a best-selling European graphic album series. Previous attempts to transfer album-sized comics to American comic-book size has been less than successful, resulting in squished, hard-to-read lettering. But XIII reads just fine, and Vance’s beautiful, meticulously realistic art looks fine, too.

Hopefully, we’ll see more European reprints this good.

— S. A. Bennett

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4 copies available from $0.93
Includes preview of Imperial DragonsJean Van HammeW. Vance


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Book #1

1 copy available for $14.25
Collects XIII #1–6Jean Van HammeW. Vance