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La Flèche ardente by Jean Van Hamme, the dazzling sequel to Rayon U by Edgar P. Jacobs


REVIEW – Eighty years after its publication, the author is giving a follow-up to this mythical album created by the father of Blake and Mortimer in 1943. A little gem as romantic as it is “vintage”.


Here is a new album that nobody expected:

La Flèche ardente

, signed by the screenwriter of XIII, Largo Winch or Thorgal Jean Van Hamme, will be released in bookstores on Friday, under the pencils of Etienne Schréder and Christian Cailleaux.

Eighty years after the publication of the album

Le Rayon U

, created by Edgar P. Jacobs, the author of Le

Grand Pouvoir du Chninkel

is following up on this substitute for

Flash Gordon

, created in 1943 for the newspaper


, while the German occupier had banned American comics.

So what about this album against the grain of all fashions?

First of all, it is worth re-reading

Le Rayon U

by Jacobs.

The plot of this retro futuristic sci-fi comic book with an old-fashioned charm is set in a parallel universe, where Australia and Norlandia are waging a merciless war.

Read alsoOur review of Eight hours in Berlin, the new album by Blake and Mortimer

The eminent Professor Marduk, scientist norlandien, developed a revolutionary invention, Rayon U, which, fed with uradium can become a terrifying weapon of massive destruction.

So that his work can find a concrete military outlet, an expedition is set up to the archipelago of the Black Islands, where this precious and rare mineral lies.

But the infamous Dagon, an undercover Australian spy, tries to stop them.

Jean Van Hamme, Étienne Schréder and Christian Cailleaux, the authors of

La Flèche Ardente


JEAN LUC BERTINI/Le Figaro Magazine/Editions Blake and Mortimer

Because of him, explorers find themselves lost in a threatening forest, where they will have to fight against dinosaurs, giant snakes or immense saber-toothed tigers, not to mention the native tribes who jealously watch over their treasures. .

What is U-Ray and what is it used for?

Eighty years after the publication of Jacobs' album,

La Flèche ardente

finally gives the answer.

© Blake and Mortimer Editions 2023

It was while rereading Le Rayon U

a few years ago

that the creator of Largo Winch Jean Van Hamme, a sparkling 84-year-old screenwriter, realized that there was a lack.

What is U-Ray and what is it used for?

To answer this thorny question, he offers

La Flèche ardente

, the sequel to Jacobs' famous album.

He enlists the services of two prestigious designers Étienne Schréder and Christian Cailleaux, who are already working on the revival of our two dear Blake and Mortimer.

What a pleasure to find the heroes of

Rayon U

for the continuation of their adventure on the black islands.

© Blake and Mortimer Editions 2023

La Flèche Ardente

plunges back with obvious pleasure into the good old Franco-Belgian comics of the 1940s and 1950s.

The evil king of Australia Babylos III, on his golden throne, does not lose his temper.

He orders General Robioff, supreme commander of his army, to seize the Black Isles and their precious uradium deposit.

This extremely rare metal, associated with the famous "u" ray, should indeed make it possible to create an apocalyptic weapon.

Our heroes are threatened.

And here we are again on perilous adventures, in the company of Lord Calder, Professor Marduk or the beautiful Sylvia.

The change of scenery is guaranteed.

The big feelings are on the program, as well as erupting volcanoes, fleets of planes dubbed "aeropiles", ominous underground caves, tribes reminiscent of the Atlanteans, epic battles, betrayals and villains including the darkness of the soul is no longer to be questioned.

On the graphic level, the album is of a very beautiful virtuosity.

© Blake and Mortimer Editions 2023

The infamous Captain Dagon has false airs of Colonel Olrik, but he is especially reminiscent of the terrifying Iago in

Shakespeare's tragedy

Othello .

On the graphic level, the album is of a very beautiful virtuosity.

It's like being in the great Hollywood cloak and dagger movies with Errol Flynn.

Or in the kitsch adaptation of

Flash Gordon

from the 80s by Mike Hodges, with Max von Sydow and the beautiful Ornella Muti.

Delightfully old-fashioned, romantic as ever,

La Flèche ardente

is a dazzling album that can be read with a smile on your face, the better to rediscover the candor of the 1940s, and that spark of naive joy that shrouded the adventure stories of those years. there.



ardente” by Jean Van Hamme, Christian Cailleaux and Étienne Schréder.

Blake and Mortimer editions.




Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-03-24

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