Cold Cut Distribution's Feature Spotlight #44 - October/November 2000


Saga of the Metabarons

Publisher: Les Humanoids Publishing
Writer: Alexandro Jodorowsky
Artist: Juan Gimenez
Cover Price:$2.95
Format:32 full-color pages
Frequency:Monthly
Issues Available:7
This review by:Jon Roth

Storyline:

Othon and his family only wished to live as peaceful stonecutters. Instead, their secret brought the greed of the galaxy down on their heads. Over the next several generations, Othon and his descendants establish the lineage of the Metabarons. With cybernetic body replacements and ritualistic mutilation, each Metabaron's father and son must battle to the death as a necessary element of this unforgivingly severe martial discipline.

This comic book series follows each Baron and their battles to preserve the family and the Empire. These struggles involve space pirates kidnapping the royal heir, evil mystics attempting to usurp the throne in the name of their dark god, and trusted friends and unknown enemies consumed by their greed for the Metabarons' wealth and technology.

Writing Review:

The key word for this story is "epic". With only seven issues published at the time of this review, Jodorowsky has managed to craft a generation-spanning story of heroism and sacrifice. The intense emotion each character displays forms an immediate bond with the reader. Each death (and there are plenty in this brutal saga!) is keenly felt. Even when there is no physical conflict, the verbal outbursts seem ready to tear holes in the page. Our cast is shown to be not a bunch of one-dimensional heroes and villians, but multi-layered, impassioned individuals whose desires force them to cling to each other one minute, and brawl to the death the next. If you are looking for a story with tangible emotional impact, this comic is for you. The Saga of the Metabarons exemplifies some of the best comic storytelling that Europe has to offer.

[ panels from Metabarons ]
Art ©1999 by Juan Gimenez

Art Review:

This comic is worth its price tag for the artwork alone! In today's market, where many readers are reluctant to spend three dollars on a comic book, each issue of the Metabarons provides 32 pages of richly-colored artwork. Gimenez' command of the human form is sublime. The portrayals of action and motion are cleanly rendered, without being cluttered by an overdose of speed lines. Whether illustrating a giant spaceship, block of marble, alien floating ape, bio-engineered monster/deity, a haunting landscape or a technical marvel, each panel combines form and color into a painted delight for the eye while moving the story to its dramatic finale. The high-quality paper and inks used to present this painted artwork makes this package a bargain!

Audience:

Naming a single comparison for this comic is difficult. If you like the epic human dramas of Beowulf or Age of Bronze, or if Greek and Norse mythology is your cup of tea, give Saga of the Metabarons a try. Much like the media mega-epic Star Wars, the crucial elements of myth-meets-space-fantasy are abundant here. The Operatic relationships make the story kin to P. Craig Russell's Niebelung series while the technical monstrosities and tough, hard-bitten, out-numbered heroes should please fans of Wolverine, Robocop, the Terminator, or Tarzan.

This comic book is also a perfect starting-point into the vast and greatly underappreciated (at least in America) world of European comics. If you find you like Metabarons, be sure to check out some of the other critically-acclaimed books now being published by Les Humanoids, including The Nikopol Trilogy, Dormant Beast, and The Technopriests.

If you like Metabarons, take a look at:


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