Antarès, Épisodes 2-6, by Leo

Second frame of third page of each book:

Épisode 2

Kim: "You called me?"
Ashley: "Come in, Miss Keller."

Épisode 3

Maï Lan:"What? You arrive on an unknown planet after a long journey, and instead of sharing in the exploration, breathing fresh air, looking at the sky and feeling the wind, you let yourself get shut in a dungeon and you don't care? I don't get it!"
Lorna:"You don't get it because you have privilege. You can't understand how it feels to be like me, with my father a total asshole and my mother a moron!"

Épisode 4

Ashley: "Can you smell something burning?"

Épisode 5

Kim: "No sign of alien presence, no radar aimed at us during the whole landing, and there, the antennae aren't picking up any kind of radiation for thousands of kilometres around…"
Alexa: "It's strange…"
Épisode 6

Kim: "Good… Let's not waste time."
(and in next frame she says "Wish us luck, we'll need it.")

I got properly hooked by this after reading Épisode 1, and ploughed enthusiastically through the rest of the sequence. I felt that Leo is on top of his game here, balancing the travails of the exploration party (led of course by Kim, who is the heroine of the entire story) with the story of the evil fundamentalist cultists who are trying to assert control over the entire colony and put women like Kim in their place. At the same time the sensawunda is maintained, with the last volume knitting together strands from the Aldébaran and Bételgeuse cycles to reach a pretty satisfying conclusion to Kim’s story, all as ever gorgeously illustrated. But I see there is a five-volume spinoff cycle, Survivants, which was completed earlier this year; I guess I’m going to have to read that too.

Incidentally I had not realised that the English translation has some bizarre censorship. As so often, better to read the original if you can.

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