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Ythaq, Marvel/Soleil
written by Christophe Arleston, pencils by Adrien Floch
GCD; Marvel.com; Marvel Database; official French website; TV Tropes; Wikipedia (French)

An English-language adaptation of a French comic, from Soleil Comics, brought to the States by Marvel. Before this they've done a few other things, including Sky Doll. That one I liked better than this. They also did "Samurai: Legend," which I read but just found... it was okay, but a bit too meh to inspire me to even do a review. I dunno if I'll even keep those comics. Marvel's also brought over some Soleil comics that I haven't read, including "Universal War One" and "Scourge of the Gods," though I'm sure if I read either of those series I'd like them. Kind of. I dunno.

Anyway, this is a 3-issue limited series called "Ythaq: The Forsaken World." I thought that'd be it, but in the final issue, I see that it'll just be a couple months before they start the next limited series, "No Escape" (GCD; Marvel; Marvel Database). Which I don't think is even really a new story, it just continues this one, so I don't even see the point in calling them separate series. But whatevs. I may or may not collect that... but I suppose it'd just be a few more issues, might as well check it out.

Um, but in "The Forsaken World," we see there is this space cruiser called Comet's Mist, of the White Star Lines. It's basically on a pleasure cruise, I guess. And they crash on a savage planet called Ythaq. The main characters include Astronavigation Lieutenant Granite Welgoat, a maintenance technician named Narvarth Bodyssey, and one of the wealthy and snobby passengers, Callista DeSargamore, who escaped together in a lifepod. The first thing I want to get out of the way about the plot is that Narvarth thinks he's in love with Callista, apparently for no better reason than that she's beautiful. Meanwhile, Granite has a thing for Narvarth, of which he is quite oblivious. I can't really see why she's into him, either, though I suppose he's good enough looking, and a much nicer person than Callista is. Callista seems to genuinely care about no one but herself, though she is attracted to Granite (she's into women, but would marry a man, even Narvarth, if he were rich enough). So, there's this whole ridiculous love-triangle going on, but it seems a minor enough substory.

There are a number of sentient species on Ythaq, as well as all sorts of strange and often dangerous wild creatures. Granite, Narvarth, and Callista are joined by a Banfoo named Krurgor (a species with large tusks that apparently cause them to pronounce "s" sounds as "f" sounds, which is kind of goofy or annoying at first, but you get used to it after awhile), and a Feng named Tao (a species that mostly seems to be dedicated to collecting information about pretty much everything). The three survivors of the crash would like to find a way off Ythaq, and perhaps see if they can find any other survivors from their ship. But they get caught up in a number of perilous events along the way. They run afoul of a warlord named Margrave Ophyde, as well as Dhokas, who is apparently Ophyde's top warrior. Or whatever.

Anyway, there's a surprising twist at the end of the first book, which I won't spoil for you. But in any event, Callista was separated for a time from the rest of the group. Book One is largely set in the city of Bridmoth, which is, I guess, within Ophyde's province. Book Two is largely set in Kreac'h, the province's capital. Granite and her friends team up with a troupe of traveling entertainers, led by Master Zompar. Eventually Callista is reunited with the others, and they leave Kreac'h, but continue to be pursued by Dhokas and his troops. In the course of all their adventures, they learn that there's some very old, mysterious connection between this world and White Star Lines. In Book Three, Tao leads his friends to a hidden Feng city called Wettra. After another adventure there, they recover an old White Star logbook.

And... I've left out a great many details, of course, and as I've said, the story isn't over yet. They still have to try to find their crashed ship, and there's the great mystery to be solved about... the whole connection between this world and White Star Lines. And everything. I dunno. It's kinda interesting and there's pretty pictures. Heh. So... yeah, I'd like to see how it all ends. Assuming it actually does. I get the impression there might be at least a third limited series at some point, but we'll just see if the second series can hold my interest....


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