Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Valerian & Laureline In: Ambassador Of The Shadows

Y'know, as much as the world is waiting with baited breath for Guardians vol. 2, there is another jokey, trippy way out space opera about to hit the screens. And it's this one:

So howabout a little of the literally fantastic French strip it's based on. Like the reviewers are already lining up to point out, you may not have seen Valerian, but you've certainly seen the million things it's influenced.
For those who haven't seen it, Valerian & Laureline are spatio-temporal agents for Galaxity, capital of Earth's empire in the future ( except Laureline's actually from 11th century France ), who travel the universe and space-time continuum, putting things right whenever they go merde.
Occasionally, the duo are joined in their adventures by their contact on 20th century Earth, Mr. Albert, who being French, sees no reason why the imminent destruction of all space-time should get in the way of a good lunch.

I first read Valerian in Heavy Metal, when they serialized this story, Ambassador Of The Shadows, at least some of which seems to have made it into the movie, so it's a good place to start if you've never read the strip before.
It's weird, it's whimsical, it's charming and mind bending, in short everything you'd want from a space opera. Here's the first couple of installments.


  1. To my shame I bought one of these graphic novels about 6 years ago, scanned through the pages and put it away never to look at it again until last year when I was clearing out my old comics, CDs and books for the charity shop. I only decided to hold onto it as I was travelling and it fitted snuggly into my bag (it’s a thin book) I have to say your spot on it’s a fantastically weird book and very entertaining. Ironically I was in Perth on a wee weekend break with my other half and came across 3 editions of “Valerian” in a Charity shop for £1 each all equally as good. I will look out for the film no doubt when its out on DVD (unless it plays at the Glasgow Film Theatre).

  2. I've got all the english language versions so far, Paul, and think it's a truly great strip. Can't wait for the film, tho' slightly annoyed that Laureline isn't a redhead, as attractive as the actress in the movie is.
    Mind you, I'm still annoyed Emily Blunt isn't Black Widow, so that's just me.

  3. From the director of The Fifth Element... and the artist who designed Star Wars!