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Some aliens have decided to invade the Earth but end up being confined in precise locations in the small city of Metz in France. Some alien chasers are trying to save the day and become overnight reality shows celebrities... Our friendly anti-hero, Bertrand Keufterian, will try to become one of them.
In the first episode, Bertrand tries to kill an alien but fails to do so. At the end of the episode, we learn that there were orchestrated explosions on the fences and that the aliens are able to leave their secured area.
By Jack Anderson
on November 8, 2019
When aliens decide to pay a visit to our little planet, there is usually a shot of the White House at some point. And one thing is certain, there'll be a shot of the New York skyline. Imagine a spaceship too, hovering Manhattan.
Then, there is usually a manly hero, an expert of some sort. And thanks to his ingenuity, the world is saved. The end. Roll the credits, please.
FROM MANHATTAN TO... METZ
In the Bertrand Keufterian comics saga, things are totally different. First, the aliens do not decide to go to Manhattan. They don't care about San Francisco. They choose... Metz (pronounce: mess), a small city in France. That alone is such a great choice, as I – and everyone else – am so bored with classic sci-fi stories. The location of the story alone is not only a great choice, but a courageous one. And this is the basis of our story.
The so-called hero of our story, Bertrand Keufterian, is actually more of an anti-hero. He still lives with his (over) protective mother, he keeps being confronted to his brother about the status of his life, as if he wasn't aware of that himself. I really, really liked this aspect of this story, which gives a really profound persona to the hero, who's, again, not so much of a hero. He's actually quite the opposite in the story as well, in which he kept being saved by a young lady (was I just being sexist here?), whereas he should be the one killing aliens with his special gun... which rarely works.
THE (A)TYPICAL STORY
The story itself is odd to describe, as it is both typical and atypical at the same time. On one side, the book is quite typical by using the over-used conspiracy theories, which I keep finding less and less believable over the years, as the conspirators are usually portrayed as old males that are always right, know everything and have masterplans so masterful that you even doubt that such thing is possible, especially in today's society where everything is known by everyone and no one can keep a secret for more than a second.
Which brings me to the media. In BK (short for Bertrand Keufterian), the media are seen as venal and corrupt, benefiting from the chaos by implementing reality TV shows about the aliens and how a group of popular alien capturers are becoming overnight celebrities. This is a key aspect of the book and while I think it is slightly immature writing, it is at least very original and resonates with our time.
But don't be scared by angry aliens, the story is very fun. I was just laughing out loud when Bertrand and his new friend Nina are hidden behind a car, only to see the car owner driving, leaving them all by themselves. This is just one of many very clever jokes from the book. Even while being attacked by aliens, the tone is not too serious and still very innocent, while have a very serious message.
Technically, the book is simply top notch. I am simply amazed by the work from Guillaume Matthias, a true professional and a true artist who made his passion a reality. Not only that, but he invited other artists to add some equally amazing sketches as well – one per each episode, which was the cover of the episodes, released individually before.
I am not an expert of comics by any stretch of the imagination. I know very little about this vibrant world. In that respect, I was simply blown away by the work of the colorists, Solynk and then Céline Labriet, which took over for most of the album and did an outstanding job. Some of the pages are simply brilliant and I was amazed by how beautiful the colors were. The colors are very bright and very... pop, which I believe makes much sense with an album that is clearly that. Pop! In the cultural and positive sense of the word. For instance, the introduction of the character of Nina is simply perfect. The colors are essential in those pages.
A PAGE TURNER
Overall, while the story may be immature at times, it delivers and the book itself (containing four episodes) is a real page turner! I also liked the way the mythology of the story was crafted, you see the political and financial repercussions of the alien life in the city of Metz, how the media are affected by it, etc. Co-author Carlos Rodrigo did a great job.
The creator and drawer of the Bertrand Keufterian saga Guillaume Matthias is a dear old-time friend of mine and I can only applaud him and his team (Carlos Rodrigo, Céline Labriet, Solynk) for their excellent and collective work!
I strongly recommend you reading the adventures of Bertrand Keufterian. The story is original, the dialogues are very fun and the drawings are excellent. I give it 7 out of 10. I'm hooked and cannot wait to read the next adventures of Citizen K. from Metz.
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