Published by Humanoids Story by Alejandro Jodorowsky Written by Jerry Frissen Artwork by Valentin Sécher
The Metabarons (which preceded this book) was a sprawling space opera with its own fascinating mythology. The series first appeared in 1981 and continued all the way through 2003 and was a masterpiece in the making. I mentioned in my previous review that it was just as good, if not better (story wise) than The Incal, and I still stand by it. It was Jodorowsky’s very own Sistine Chapel. I cannot lavish enough superlatives upon it and recommend it wholeheartedly. What then, did I make of The Metabaron: Jodorowsky’s more recent addition to the Jodoverse?
Well it was fucking brilliant.
I was immediately drawn in by the story (co-written by Jerry Frissen ) and Valentin Sécher’s incredibly vivid and realistic art: his images just pop out the pages, honestly speaking, there are panels which will sear themselves on your brain.
Panels like these ones, where we see a brooding Metabaron contemplating about his destiny, and his part in the bigger scheme of things. The framing is excellent as we build up to the Metabaron’s eyes.
And like this one here, the Techno-Vatican where the evil fat Techno-Pope resides.
Tonto, the Matabaron’s trusted robot servant narrates the story (much like in The Metabarons series). The precious oil Epiphyte is at the heart of the story, as greed and power-lust from the Techno-Techno’s have almost drained all its reserves from Marmola, the marble world in which it is native.
The Metabaron once single-handedly brought the dastardly Techno-Techno Empire to its knees, but is seeking a new direction in his life, one which doesn’t include killing. However, in the chaos that ensued after his war against the Empire, a new regime was formed within the Techno-Techno civilization. Their powers were increased by seizing control of the precious Epiphyte, which is used as anti-gravity fuel for their ships.
The Techno-Pope soon learns that the Metabaron is back and headed towards Marmola, and dispatches a psychopathic Techno-Admiral, Wilhelm-100. He is a walking monstrosity with huge metal arms which puts Wreck-it-Ralph in the shade.
He has a passing resemblance to Mickey Rourke, and his cruelness knows no bounds. He is also one of the most imposing adversaries the Metabaron has faced, due to his volatile nature and penchant for blood and rape.
He has a servant, a devious, scheming dwarf aptly named Tetanus (as he’s continuously injecting his master with with Epiphyte). He has grand designs of his own.
He devises a plan to defeat the Metabaron by making a clone of his foe, using blood from the blade of Steelhead (the Metabaron’s grandfather).
And soon, the anti-Baron is born: a clone which is almost identical to our hero. He is put through gruelling tests to increase his mental and physical strength and emerges a formidable opponent.
Has the Metabaron finally met his match? And don’t forget Meta-Rourke who also wants a piece of the action.
This book is nearly as insane as The Metabarons, and every bit as enjoyable. There are some great character compositions, and the strength of the book is how the writers draw you into each of these characters no matter how despicable some of them are. They are well written, and time is given to each character accordingly, this in turn makes for a thoroughly engaging read.
If you’re a fan of The Incal, or The Metabarons, this is one book you cannot miss.
All hail the Jodoverse.