No more dragons: here, when fire spouts out, it’s from the mouth of a flamethrower. The stars of French indie comics Joann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim have relaunched their pharaonic project Donjon (forty albums already published) in 2019, signing new scripts for the main series and developing two new ones. The first one, Antipodes –, is a kind of prehistory of the fantasy world of Donjon, where mutts follow elves and orcs. The second, Antipodes +, whose first volume has just been released, reveals on the contrary a futuristic world.
In a metropolis guarded by big robots that look like Goldorak, the law is made by pig-cops assisted by long-nosed Gestapoists. Here, we risk ending up in mines or in prison for simple threats. One of the barons of the place is an extremely rich duck, rather crooked. The hero is his nephew, and this relationship is anything but a coincidence: the wink from the side of the Scrooge-Donald tandem is supported. Trondheim frequents the universe of Disney for some time, he who signed covers of Mickey and Donald at Glénat. The young snarling duck, drawn here by Vince, in any case clearly resembles the atrabilary hero of Disney. But in red.
Read also Series Donjon told by its craftsmen
The red hero is also one of the hallmarks of Donjon : after Marvin (a warrior dragon who ends up a wise monk) and Marvin (a warrior rabbit), here is Robert de Vaucanson. By name he would therefore be the descendant of Herbert, the main character of the series of Sfar and Trondheim. The link is thus woven with the previous volumes. But Robert opts for a much more badass nickname, which gives the album its title: Rubéus Khan.
From explosions to bloody fights, from gags to twists (a demon comes out of a seismic fault), Rubéus Khan is a rather successful cocktail of comics for teenagers. We particularly like the character of Jo, a violent big bear addicted to the ass.
According to the dogma of the series, each narrative arc has its own ending: the titles of the albums of Potron-Minet all end in “ui”, those of Zenith in “ar”, etc. Here, therefore, it is “an”: hey, like for the titles ofAntipodes – (the first volume of which is entitled skull army). Let us dare a hypothesis: and if this indicates that the prehistory and the future of Donjon end up joining? What if the crazy timeline of the two screenwriters made a loop? We will eventually find out: the Trondheim site indicates that twelve new albums are already scheduled.
Donjon Antipodes +, Rubéus Khan, by Joann Sfar, Lewis Trondheim and Vince, Delcourt, 48 pp., € 11.95.