Comic Review:The Scorpion – The Devils Mark

Script Writer: Stephen Desberg

Artist: Enrico Marini

Translator: Jerome Saincantin

Lettering and text layout: Imadjinn sarl

Lets start off with a brief description from the book back cover shall we.

Rome, the renaissance. Christianity prospers. A brigand called ‘The Scorpion’ makes a living by unearthing relics in the depths of the Roman catacombs, which he sells at high prices to Princes and Bishops. Trebaldi, a powerful Cardinal takes an interest in Scorpion, who is either a creature of the devil… or a witness to a cursed era who must disappear.

This book contains two volumes, ‘The Devils mark’ and ‘The Popes secret’, telling the story of the title character, The Scorpion.

The book opens in a time that is further back than the rest of the written story in the book, a time when the ways of old Rome are crumbling, a new era is being brought in and a group of people have convened to to find a way to keep their power and try to add to it, these nine Roman families decide to use Christianity for their own ends as they see it as the perfect means to exert control over the people and keep power in their families for centuries to come.

Then the book introduces the man named The Scorpion and his partner Hussard  who are embarking on a mission to find the remains of Saint Alastor to sell of to the elite of Rome’s high society.

While he is undertaking this task another meeting is taking place between Monsignor Trebaldi and a mysterious female assassin, Trebaldi wants The Scorpion dead, why ? we do not know at this point, but The Scorpion is very keen to find out and once he ascertains who has put the price on his head the adventure starts to take off as he sets off to discover what Trebaldi is up to and why he wants him dead.

This book along with the first Largo Winch book has been my first encounter of cinebook and they have to offer and I have to say I am very impressed, I really enjoyed this book.

The story bounces along at a really nippy pace, the world of this story is set up and everything is explained, characters and events are given enough time to feel natural and not rushed.

The Scorpion and Hussard make for a great double act, The Scorpion keeps his cool under pressure and produces some great dry one liners, his partner is the more traditional comedy fool, but he is always there watching the Scorpions back when it is needed, money is obviously important to the pair but I felt that there was a proper friendship at the core of their relationship, they both have a rough edge to their character but are very likeable none the less.

The villains, the nine families headed by Trebaldi are proper villains, they are willing to use whoever they think will aid their goals and if you stand in their way, they will order your elimination without a second thought.

With the assassin Mejai I got a sense that the character had the possibility of turning from her villainous ways and becoming a friend of the Scorpion later on in the story.

This book has the perfect mix of action, humour, tension and mystery, the story reminds me so much of Indiana Jones, which for me is not a bad thing at all, it’s just set in the 18th century.

I have to mention the fact that this is a translated book, I will admit this was a point of worry for me, but I should not have bothered, if you did not know already I honestly think you would never guess, it certainly never entered my mind whilst reading.

The art in this book is fantastic, at times some panels look like watercolour paintings,  especially in the panels that show more of the landscape. The characters all look great and are full of expression, when the action kicks in you get good a sense of it in the art.

As I said earlier, this was my first experience of cinebook, but it will not be my last, I will be continuing on with the adventures of The Scorpion.

4.5/5

GS Reviewer: Glen

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One comment

  1. Glad you liked it! Plenty more where that came from >__0

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