Luc Besson is one of my favorite directors. The Fifth Element, La Femme Nikita and The Professional all remain key components in my movie collection. But much like John Carpenter his last few films have not been good. The first half of Lucy got me really excited but the movie ended up a messy soup made of poor acting and a disappointing conclusion. So when I learned that Besson will be adapting the French sci-fi comic Valerian in 2017 I couldn’t help but get excited.
Writer Pierre Christin and Artist Jean-Claude Mezieres created Valerian in 1967 where it was first published in the French magazine Pilote. It was later printed in Heavy Metal from January 1981 to April 1981.
Valerian is an agent for the space-time police of Galaxity, the powerful Terran empire in the year 2770. Galaxity is the capital of the Empire. Since the discovery of time travel Earth has lived in a technological utopia. Agents patrol the past to protect it.
It was later published in English in graphic novel format by now defunct publisher Dargaud.
Ambassador of the Shadows, World Without Stars, Welcome to Aflolol and Heroes of the Equinox comprise Dargaud’s publications of Valerian’s earliest appearances.
You could say that Ambassador of the Shadows is the first comic appearance of Valerian. I would recommend this book and the issues of Heavy Metal as issues of Pilote will be tough to acquire.
I have been devouring the expansive world of Valerian and I must say that if Besson gets it right it could be one of the better sci-fi adaptations in recent memory.