If you are a fan of sci-fi and fantasy comics, you might have heard of Ian Kaledine, a Belgian comic book series that was created by Jean-Luc Vernal and Ferry in 1977. Ian Kaledine is a young prince who lives in Paris in the early 20th century. He is a descendant of a noble family of Cossacks who fought against the Russian tsar. He spends his days enjoying the high society life, but also secretly buying weapons for his people’s rebellion.
However, his life changes dramatically when he meets Bastet, a mysterious woman with a cat-like head, who belongs to an ancient civilization of aliens that lives hidden under the Earth’s surface. Bastet reveals to Ian that he is the chosen one, the heir of a powerful legacy that can save both worlds from a terrible threat. Together, they embark on a series of adventures that take them across different continents and times, facing dangers, mysteries, and enemies.
In this review, we will explore the main aspects of Ian Kaledine, such as the plot, the characters, the art, and the themes. We will also discuss why this comic book series is considered a cult classic and a masterpiece of the Franco-Belgian comics tradition.
The Plot of Ian Kaledine
The plot of Ian Kaledine is divided into 10 albums, each one containing a complete story arc. The first album, The Star of the Cossacks, introduces the main characters and the premise of the series. Ian Kaledine is a prince who lives in Paris in 1908. He is contacted by Bastet, a woman who belongs to a race of aliens that came to Earth thousands of years ago. She tells him that he is the chosen one, the one who can activate the Star of the Cossacks, a powerful device that can protect both worlds from a dark force.
The second album, The Eye of the Tiger, takes place in India, where Ian and Bastet have to stop a rogue faction of aliens who are trying to unleash a deadly weapon. The third album, The Secret of the Sphinx, takes place in Egypt, where Ian and Bastet have to solve the mystery of the Sphinx and its connection to their civilization. The fourth album, The Black Sun, takes place in Germany, where Ian and Bastet have to infiltrate a Nazi base and prevent them from using a stolen alien technology.
The fifth album, The City of the Gods, takes place in Peru, where Ian and Bastet have to find the lost city of the aliens and learn more about their origins. The sixth album, The Seventh Seal, takes place in Tibet, where Ian and Bastet have to face a powerful enemy who wants to destroy the balance of the worlds. The seventh album, The Crystal Tower, takes place in France, where Ian and Bastet have to defend the alien headquarters from an attack. The eighth album, The Time of the Beast, takes place in various times and places, where Ian and Bastet have to stop a
time traveler who wants to alter history. The ninth album, The Last Judgment, takes place in Jerusalem, where Ian and Bastet have to face the final confrontation with the dark force. The tenth and final album, The Return of the Star, takes place in Paris, where Ian and Bastet have to make a crucial decision about their future.
The Characters of Ian Kaledine
The main characters of Ian Kaledine are Ian Kaledine and Bastet. Ian Kaledine is a young prince who is the chosen one of the alien civilization. He is brave, loyal, curious, and adventurous. He has a strong sense of justice and honor, and he is willing to fight for his people and his friends. He is also fascinated by the alien culture and technology, and he learns a lot from Bastet.
Bastet is a woman who belongs to the alien race of the Cat-People. She is the guardian of the Star of the Cossacks, and she is the one who contacts Ian and guides him through his destiny. She is intelligent, wise, mysterious, and powerful. She has a deep knowledge of the history and secrets of her civilization, and she teaches Ian about them. She is also loyal, compassionate, and courageous, and she develops a strong bond with Ian.
The other characters of Ian Kaledine are the allies and enemies of Ian and Bastet. Some of the allies are: Raspoutine, a Russian monk who is Ian’s friend and mentor; Natacha, a French journalist who is Ian’s love interest; Professor Zarkoff, a German scientist who helps Ian and Bastet; and the High Priest, the leader of the alien civilization who trusts Ian and Bastet. Some of the enemies are: Baron Von Stahl, a Nazi officer who wants to use the alien technology for his evil plans; Kali, a renegade alien who wants to destroy the human race; and the Beast, a mysterious and powerful entity who wants to end the world.
The Art of Ian Kaledine
The art of Ian Kaledine is one of the most remarkable aspects of the series. The artist, Ferry, is known for his realistic and detailed style, which creates a vivid and immersive atmosphere for the story. He uses a variety of techniques, such as watercolor, ink, and pencil, to create different effects and moods. He also uses a lot of colors, contrasts, and shadows, to enhance the emotions and the drama of the scenes.
The art of Ian Kaledine is also rich in references and influences from different cultures and periods. Ferry draws inspiration from various sources, such as ancient Egypt, India, Tibet, Peru, and Jerusalem, to create the settings and the backgrounds of the story. He also incorporates elements from science fiction, fantasy, mythology, and history, to create the characters and the objects of the story. He pays attention to the details and the accuracy of the costumes, the weapons, the vehicles, and the architecture, to make the story more believable and authentic.
The Themes of Ian Kaledine
The themes of Ian Kaledine are diverse and complex, and they reflect the vision and the message of the authors. Some of the main themes are: The clash and the harmony of civilizations. The story explores the contrast and the connection between the human and the alien civilizations, and how they affect each other. It also shows the diversity and the similarity of the different cultures and peoples that Ian and Bastet encounter in their journey. The quest for identity and destiny. The story follows the personal and spiritual growth of Ian and Bastet, as they discover their true origins and their roles in the fate of the worlds. It also shows the challenges and the choices that they have to face, and how they cope with them. The balance and the conflict of forces. The story depicts the struggle and the cooperation of the different forces that shape the world, such as good and evil, light and dark, order and chaos, life and death, etc. It also shows the consequences and the responsibilities of using and abusing these forces.
Who are the authors of Ian Kaledine?
The authors of Ian Kaledine are Jean-Luc Vernal and Ferry. Jean-Luc Vernal is a Belgian writer who is known for his work in various genres and styles of comics, such as historical, fantasy, adventure, and humor. He is the creator and the main writer of Ian Kaledine, and he wrote the first nine albums of the series. Ferry is a Dutch artist who is known for his realistic and detailed style of drawing, and his use of various techniques and colors. He is the co-creator and the main artist of Ian Kaledine, and he drew all the albums of the series.
When and where was Ian Kaledine published?
Ian Kaledine was first published in Belgium in 1977, in the comic magazine Tintin. It was then published in France, in the comic magazine Super As. It was also published in other countries, such as Spain, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands. The first album of the series was published in 1978, and the last one in 1994. The series has been reprinted and collected in various editions and formats, such as hardcover, paperback, and digital.
Why is Ian Kaledine considered a cult classic and a masterpiece?
Ian Kaledine is considered a cult classic and a masterpiece because of its originality, its quality, and its influence. It is one of the first and the best examples of the sci-fi and fantasy genre in the Franco-Belgian comics tradition. It combines a captivating and complex plot, with fascinating and memorable characters, and stunning and expressive art. It also explores various themes and topics that are relevant and meaningful for the readers. It has inspired and influenced many other comic book creators and fans, and it has gained a loyal and passionate following over the years.