Neptune, vols 1 and 2, by Leo

Second frame of third page of volume 1:

It’s the end of three years in Paris, of boring courses, unpleasant trainings and being forced to follow military discipline, which I can’t stand.

Second frame of third page of volume 2:

They finally let themselves be convinced, given that our minds were made up. Once the decision was taken, we got on with our preparations and said the difficult goodbyes to our comrades.

As my regular reader knows, I have a long-term fascination with the Aldébaran series of bandes dessinées by Brazilian-French artist Leo. Last year he published a two-episode story, Neptune, which takes us on the next steps of the story of the series’ central character, Kim, and her new young colleague, Manon. Despite their young age, their life experience makes them ideal members of a team sent to explore a mysterious alien structure that appears in Earth’s solar system; it’s a nicely done homage to Arthur C. Clarke’s Rama, and other similar stories. The mysterious object turns out to contain some mysterious humans in a jungle habitat filled with new forms of alien life, so Leo executes his usual flamboyant otherworldly landscapes. It’s a good taster for the rest of his works, so if you want to see if Leo writes the kind of bandes dessinées that you might like, you could do worse than starting with Neptune. You can get volume 1 here and volume 2 here in French; volume 1 comes out in English translation next week, and volume 2 in April.