Recently, Comixology has begun translating and releasing a line of comics licensed from Delcourt, a major French publishing house. This week’s roster of comics features several returning players from the past including Duarte, the incredible artist behind the fantasy-tinged Elves; Eric Corbeyan, who pens political thriller The Call of the Stryx with great nuance; and Carole Beau, who produces lovely colors for the steampunk story Hauteville House.

What do all these creators have in common?  Well, their respective comics are coming to an end…for now. Each of these books are the second part of quick two-issue miniseries.  Check out my quick reviews of these titles after the jump…


Elves #2: The Crystal of the Blue Elves 2/2

Writer: Jean-Luc Istin

Translator: Christina Cox-De Ravel

Artist: Duarte

Colors: Saito

The Blue Elves of Ennlya, a small port town of Nordrenn, have been murdered!

Lanawyn, a Blue Elf, and Turin, her human ally, set out to discover who is responsible. The trail they uncover leads back to a clan of Yrlans – Northern men who hate Elves.

At the same time, Vaalann, a young Blue Elf, undergoes a dangerous test, that of the Water of the Senses. Her future, as divined by The Mother Prophetess, is closely linked to the Sacred Crystal… A powerful artifact, which enables the wielder to control the Ocean itself!

Could Vaalann be the messiah that the Blue Elves have been waiting generations for?

The most striking thing about Elves is the incredible artwork of Duarte, an artist who is incredibly hard to research because of the cultural barrier between America and France. This second issue should immediately immerse readers, as it features an action set piece that looks absolutely stirring. Jean-Luc Istin’s writing retains the elegance laid by the previous chapters as this storyline begins to slowly come to a close. Istin peppers in some fascinating ideas on what the Blue Elves are capable of about halfway into the story. The last few pages also seed many things yet to come in the Elves Universe as it soldiers onward with a different creative team.


The Call of the Stryx #2: Shadows 2/2

Writer: Eric Corbeyran

Translator: Studio Charon

Artist: Richard Guérineau

Colors: Isabelle Merlet

Kevin Nivek, head of the Secret Service and in charge of security for the President of the United States, is fired after an assassination attempt almost succeeds. While investigating what he believes is a conspiracy among the various American intelligence services, he meets Debrah, a mysterious and formidable young woman who works for a secret organization. He learns that for centuries, and from deep in the shadows, the Stryx have influenced human destiny.

First off, The Call of the Stryx #2 has an incredible cover, evoking the noir paranoia that the series is full of. Richard Guérineau’s careful line work helps establish the delicate mood present in The Call of the Stryx. Guérineau’s style calls upon the work of Queen & Country artist Steve Rolston. Creating a complete story arc in just two issues is something foreign to most American comics readers and a unique challenge for anyone, but writer Eric Corbeyran has taken it in stride. The Call of the Stryx will be continuing but in a different format, which makes the cliffhanger to this story an interesting way to finish off the comic.


Hauteville House #2: Zelda 2/2

Writer: Fred Duval

Translator: Studio Charon

Artist: Thierry Gioux & Christophe Quet

Colors: Carole Beau

1864, under an imaginary Second Empire, Napoléon III uses his army and his secret service to study certain phenomena relating to the occult and to popular legends. His goal is quite simple: achieving world supremacy.

In Guernesey, in the depths of Hauteville House, Victor Hugo’s home in exile, a small group of Republican special agents attempt to thwart the Imperial projects. For his first mission, Agent Gavroche is sent to Mexico to help the Resistance to organize against Maximilian’s troops. Maximilian, a puppet Emperor set in place by Napoléon III, is doing some rather strange research in the Maya temples for his master…

The second installment of Hauteville House retains the interesting premise of the first.  The engrossing artwork of Thierry Gioux and Christophe Quet is a good way to get readers invested into the story. The two have a regal approach to storytelling in this comic, utilizing the steampunk environment to craft strong moment-to-moment approaches in fine art. Many of the panels here are crammed with detail. The approach to coloring is interesting as well, with each moment carefully labored over from Carole Beau, who changes her palette according to the time of day and tone of the scene as well. The writing continues to document Napoléon III’s Secret Service as they investigate supernatural occurrences. This is another installment filled with action and solid character work that should leave readers with more interest in what is next for the Hauteville House franchise.


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