Comic Review- XIII vol. 2: Where The Indian Walks

XIII vol. 2: Where The Indian Walks

Writer: Jean Van Hamme

Artist: William Vance

Publisher: Cinebook

Where The Indian Walks begins with a single page synopsis of the story so far, following which the book picks up exactly where The Day of the Black Sun finished. Without a further panel wasted on building pace we are thrown back into the action as XIII continues his endeavour to establish his true identity.

There are many more introductions as a whole new cast of characters are brought into the mix. This is 1980’s America through a European lens and the antagonists in this volume are somewhat two dimensional characters, frequently portrayed as over-familiar stereotypes. When the trail takes XIII to small town America this is particularly noticeable with Southberg’s local law enforcer, who was presumably separated at birth from Colonel Kentucky.

Noticeable as it is, the lack of character depth is not overly problematic in what is very much a plot driven story. XIII rides a roller-coaster of ambushes and betrayals, building a collection of clues along the way. For every question answered two more are posed and although the plot moves along nicely there is as yet only the faintest of lights at the end of an exceedingly long tunnel for XIII.

The artwork is consistent with the first volume, stylized and well drawn but more functional than beautiful. The colouring of the book is worthy of a mention, as a somewhat limited palette is used to great effect to successfully evoke the many new locations XIII is compelled to visit.

XIII is a fast paced action-adventure, a true pulp success of it’s era. It is easy to understand why XIII has been so successful in Europe since the 1980’s, although whether or not Jean Van Hamme was able to maintain the standard observed so far through a full nineteen volumes remains to be seen. Cinebook will be releasing an episode of XIII every two months, with volume three due out in October.

@gazbox

GS reviewer: Gareth Webb

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